Bosch. I like to watch Bosch on Amazon. There, I said it. It feels a bit like a confession because I’m not a fan of police procedurals. There’ve been a few cop shows over the years that have pulled me in, but usually because they were as much about cultural investigation, as they were about crime. The Wire, of course. And Homicide (Life on the Streets).
But Amazon’s adaptation of Michael Connelly’s best selling cop novels, while deepening the colours of its narrative palate with some consideration of LA’s racial politics, remains at heart a procedural.
Titus Welliver’s Harry Bosch is the sort of detective for whom the word ‘dogged’ seems inadequate.
“Cops, they grind, that’s what they do,” says one villain, a Spec Ops captain gone bad. “It’s kind of admirable in a way.”
“Get off your ass and knock on doors,” says the handwritten note on Harry’s cubicle in the Hollywood Homicide bull pen where he works.
The bullpen, like a lot of cop shows, is where the detectives let their human sides show. We do visit with them in their private lives, especially Bosch whose wife, a disgraced FBI agent turned professional gambler, turned FBI informant, thickens up some of the earlier season plots as well as powering the emotional engine that drive’s Harry personal choices. But the B-Story cops also get their characters built out in subplots and exchanges that rise well above table stakes for this the golden era of premium TV.
Welliver was a surprise to me as Bosch. I’d always imagined Connelly’s detective would be played by a younger Clint Eastwood, perhaps because his name is Harry (as in Callaghan).
But Welliver really owns this role. His performance is what you come back for week after week, or ep after ep, since the whole season drops at once.
I just finished the fifth season and I’m thinking of going back to S1 while I wait for the next one.
Like a chump.