Bosch was a show that received plenty of buzz, so I filed it away in the “View Later” category in my mind (which is, frankly, running out of space). Eventually, when superhero fever died down earlier this year (after the second season of “Daredevil,” “Batman vs Superman” and “Captain America: Civil War”), I turned on my Amazon Fire Stick and binge watched the first season.
Let me tell you, “Bosch” is pretty much tailor-made to please longtime lovers of police procedural shows and noir films. The show exudes the smoky and grim atmosphere that a detective show should have, like listening to jazz on a stormy night and a glass of bourbon keeping you company. “Bosch” is a stylish blend of detective fiction tropes, great acting and marvelous scripting all available on a streaming service.
Titus Welliver was born for the role as the no-nonsense and tough as nails LAPD detective Harry Bosch. Snippets of Bosch’s backstory are revealed slowly as the season progresses which prevents the haphazard info dump so many shows are guilty of. The supporting characters all play their parts well, but the main draw are the cases that Bosch and the LAPD have to tackle.
What makes “Bosch” unique from other routine police procedural shows is that viewers get a glimpse of the effort that goes into an investigation. Bosch and his partner work their cases slowly, they talk to people, discover clues, try to get answers and then they have to piece together a narrative with the information that they have. The detectives have to work their cases while also balancing their private lives and occasionally involving themselves in departmental politics. The show reveals how an investigation is a process, one that is time-consuming and, in many cases, wholly dependent on luck.
While I did enjoy season one of “Bosch,” I didn’t fall in love with it, largely due to the serial killer side plot. Perhaps I remained unconvinced by Jason Gedrick’s performance as Raynard Waits, the Francophile version of Al Pacino’s character from “Cruising.” I probably think that the first season of a show is not a good time to use the whole “Dark Parallel” trope. You know, when two characters share similar experiences but one copes with them while the other gives in to their sinister nature. Viewers barely know Bosch, so I don’t know why they would bother trying to do that so early.
Aside from that major sticking point, “Bosch” is a really well-crafted, sleek and modern take on a tried-and-true genre of fiction. The show affords viewers a look into the world of policing, one that manages to be both unflinching and celebratory. The cast is filled with veteran actors, so it’s always fun to see who appears next. “Bosch” does go through growing pains but, thankfully, the show finds its voice pretty early on.
Good thing, too, because the second season is a tremendous improvement.