Saturday, February 08, 2014
February 6, 2014
Starring Titus Welliver, Jamie Hector, Lance Reddick, Amy Aquino, Amy Price-Francis, Annie Wersching, Scott Wilson
Music: Jesse Voccia
Producer: Tara Duncan
Teleplay: Michael Connelly & Eric Overmyer
Director: Jim McKay
One of ten pilots for original series created by Amazon for 2014—five dramas and five comedies—BOSCH is based on the successful series of detective novels written by Michael Connelly, who served as an executive producer and wrote the script with Eric Overmyer (TREME). Playing the title role of Los Angeles police detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch is Titus Welliver, a good actor who has bounced around television since the early 1990s in series like NYPD BLUE, MURDER ONE, BIG APPLE, DEADWOOD, LOST, SONS OF ANARCHY, and more recently as corrupt Cook County State’s Attorney Glenn Childs on THE GOOD WIFE.
Welliver doesn’t look like Connelly’s Harry Bosch—nobody does (though I’ve always pictured him as resembling schlock film producer Harry Novak)—and he doesn’t precisely act like him, which may be to the show’s advantage. In the seventeen Bosch novels to date (as well as appearances in short stories and other Connelly novels), Harry is, quite frankly, a pain in the ass to everyone around him. Short on patience and even shorter with people he deems lazy or incompetent, even his partners and especially his one-time boss, martinet Chief Irvin Irving, Bosch is a loner (though he seems to do surprisingly okay in the ladyfriend department).
Despite the changes from book to screen—Irving is now black and well-cast with FRINGE’s Lance Riddick, and Jamie Hector’s character of Bosch’s partner Jerry Edgar is a more competent detective—everything works extremely well. Welliver, an intense, internalized actor, nails Bosch’s singlemindedness, his bullish humor, and his passion for victims of violence. BOSCH’s plot is based on Connelly’s 2002 novel CITY OF BONES, in which Bosch plunges headlong into the case of a child murdered two decades earlier. Discovery that the child was daily brutalized and beaten brings up memories of Bosch’s own abusive childhood.
While Bosch digs into the case, against orders from his superiors (of course), he’s also dealing with a civil suit brought against him by the widow of a suspected serial killer he shot to death two years earlier. The department declared it a “clean shoot,” but there’s no denying there are many boys in blue, primarily Internal Affairs and probably Irving, who would like to see Bosch nailed and ruined.
But that’s Harry Bosch—his life wouldn’t be normal unless he was smack in the middle of a shitstorm, even if he has to brew one up himself. Excellently directed by LAW & ORDER alum Jim McKay in Los Angeles (no Harry Bosch production could be accurately filmed anywhere else) in thirteen days, BOSCH is a remarkably strong crime drama with an absorbing mystery and a strong star turn by Welliver.