After a six month suspension, LAPD Detective Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver) returns to the streets of Los Angeles to investigate a new case – the murder of a pornographic film producer. Corruption, politics, and old wounds await in this adaptation of the Bosch series of crime novels by author Michael Connelly.
Bocsh Season 2 is yet another in a growing list of streamed television shows, delivering an entire seasons’ worth of content in one go, in a move that demands binge watching. Good thing too, because there’s a lot going on in this season of Bosch – a veritable plethora of sub plots, red herrings, and twisting story lines that frequently seem utterly disconnected.
Serialised television’s popularity has certainly allowed for an increase in the complexity of plots, which I would generally say is a good thing, but it’s also increasingly demanding of its audiences – again, encouraging binge watching. If I didn’t watch this show in two large blocs, I doubt I could tell you much about it!
What I can tell you is this – I have gotten so used to high concept shows that attempt to put news spins on old formulas, that it occasionally comes as a shock to see something so traditional. The police procedural remains as popular as ever, of course, but this show moves beyond the case-of-the-week format to focus on one major crime over the span of ten episodes.
Being used to seeing these things wrapped up in 45 minutes or less, having what amounts to a fairly standard tale of crime and corruption makes me feel a little unsure as to whether there’s really enough story to flesh out this series. This season alone combines elements of at least 3 different novels, and sometimes it really seems like the show just loses interest in its main story line. Half of the season finale, for example. is focussed on resolving a long running sub-plot with no relevance to the ongoing story line, with several threads remaining dangling by the season’s end. It was a truly bizarre way to wrap up what had been a mostly moderately enjoyable season.
Hieronymous “Harry” Bosch himself is an extremely rote character – a tough, tenacious cop with a tragic past, a dry sense of humour, and a tendency to play fast and loose with the law when pushed. In a sense, he’s emblematic of the show itself – a staunch traditionalist with a distrust of the new and fashionable. He’s surrounded by a cast of characters who, for the most part, only stood out in my mind because many of them had starred in HBO’s incredible series The Wire, rather than because of any real impact they left. However, I did enjoy Bosch’s lesbian partner, Grace Phillips (Amy Aquino), for adding a little bit of flavour and snark to her scenes.
Bosch then, is a functional police procedural that doesn’t reinvent any wheels, but delivers exactly on the kind of tough-guy antics that it promises. If this flavour of story is up your alley, you could do worse – just don’t expect any big surprises.
Reviewed by Brendan Whittaker
Rating out of 10: 7
Bosch Season 2 will be released on DVD and Digital on 29 June 2016.