We don’t usually stray from Netflix here, but “Bosch” has a good pedigree and seems worth investigating. The series, currently available for instant viewing on Amazon Prime, is based on the popular series of books by Michael Connelly, who stayed on as an executive producer for the series. Also along as a producer and writer is Eric Overmyer from “The Wire.” With these credentials, the show should rise above TV cop show cliches, but, at times, they weigh it down.
Connelly’s books follow standard formulas, too, but sharp writing, a fast moving plot and strong images keep us turning the pages. When the TV show starts, it checks off every item from the noir-style police crime drama list of characteristics for the first three or four episodes. (All that’s missing is a voice over.) After that, “Bosch” starts to gain some traction, and we are pulled deeper into the events of the story.
It’s a murder mystery; a dog finds a bone belonging to a long-dead boy buried on a hillside. A second case emerges when a routine traffic stops leads to something much more sinister. Given the way these plots usually work, we assume the two storylines will eventually merge.
Detective Harry Bosch is, of course, a maverick homicide detective, quick tempered and intuitive, likely to bend some rules while staying true to his own code of conduct and demanding that others do the same. He is divorced, listens to classic jazz on vinyl and starts a relationship with a younger female cop. He could be the American version of Jack Taylor or, perhaps, Jack is the Irish Harry Bosch.
Bosch is played by Titus Welliver, who will be recognizable to most viewers, though they may not know his name. It’s the same with the rest of the cast, familiar faces from supporting roles in numerous TV series. This show has a distinctive TV feel about it. The ten episodes of about 45 minutes each are just right for a season length story. Only a few brief seconds and a handful of words – both easily edited – would keep “Bosch” from being shown on a cable channel such as FX.
If you are looking for a good cop drama or crime thriller that’s a notch above most network shows, you will enjoy “Bosch.” If you are looking for a series more in line with premium cable series or the best foreign TV shows on Netflix, you may be disappointed. “Bosch” is entertaining and worth following through to the end, but does not quite fulfill its potential.