Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Let's Talk About Bosch

by Holly West

For several months now, my social media feeds have been filled with posts about Amazon's production of Michael Connelly's popular Harry Bosch series. It's always exciting when a beloved character is brought from the page to the big or little screen, although I think we can all agree that the results can often be disappointing.

Now, having finished the series on Amazon, my overall reaction is meh.

Full disclosure: I don't count myself as a Harry Bosch fan. I'm not not a fan, either--it's just that I've only read one of the books and I don't even remember which one it was. I liked it well enough, but for whatever reason it didn't compel me to rush out and read the rest of the books in the series. They do remain on my TBR list, however.

As a result, I didn't really have a strong image of Harry in my mind. Titus Welliver did a decent job portraying the character. He succeeded in making Harry appropriately intense without being overbearing, which is a hard balance to achieve, especially if the writing is weak.

So. Is the writing weak?

Yes and no. Overall, I think Bosch's writers did an okay job with it. But parts of it were just a bit too cliched and there were too many lines where I rolled my eyes at my husband and said "Really?" I've seen the TV series compared to the Wire and I just have to shake my head. The Bosch TV series just doesn't have the same depth, in my opinion.

One of the series' biggest strengths is the cinematography. It's filmed like a love letter to Los Angeles and having just moved out of the city, it made me long for the good, bad, and ugly of it; a bittersweet reminder of how much I love LA.

The Bosch TV series is watchable, even enjoyable. If they make a second season, I'll probably give it a try, time permitting. But I wouldn't classify this as "must-see" TV. It's solid if you like procedurals. I'm not sure how a true fan of the Bosch novels would find it. For me, it stands well enough alone, but just well enough.

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