Things don't have to be original to be entertaining. In fact, lots of things that are original are pretty bad.
We all agree that Cop Rockwas a very original show, right?
I know this is an age of innovation. The cop show has been re-invented, re-imagined, retconned, and retooled about a thousand times. In a time where all of The Wire is available to stream, a typical meat & potatoes cop show can seem a little quaint.
But, sometimes I want artisinal fusion cuisine. Sometimes I just want a nice steak.
Boschis a nice steak. It's a fun, straight ahead cop show. It's based on Michael Connelly's best selling novels. It doesn't break any new stylistic ground, but man is it fun to watch.
Like the main character, Bosch gets nowhere near the respect it deserves. Available on Amazon Streaming, it's overshadowed by buzzier shows like Transparent, Man in the High Castle, Catastrophe, and others. (I think I've even seen more ink about the DC political comedy Alpha House than about Bosch) And Bosch deserves much more praise. It's not doing anything terribly ground-breaking, but it does what it does extremely well.
It all starts with Bosch himself, as played by Titus Welliver. Welliver is, in a term coined by Bill Simmons, That Guy. If you've watched TV in the last twenty or so years, you've seen him play cops and army guys and so on in various guest appearances on many TV shows. He throws himself into this role, capturing the character's almost obsessive desire for justice at the expense of all other relationships in his life - be they ex-wife, daughter, partner, and lover. While he doesn't quite look the way I imagined Bosch (Bosch always has a mustache, Titus doesn't. He grew one for the opening of season two while on suspension but shaved it off after his daughter begged him to.) he gets the character from the books down cold.
Connelly's plots are always twisty but always follow police procedure. Tracking down leads, going over witness statements, following hunches, and looking for the one inconsistency that will crack open the case. Connelly always finds a way to make that search electric. The show captures that legwork and honors it without getting boring.
The rest of the cast is filled out with a roster of fine character actors, like Lance Riddick, Jamie Hector, and Amy Aquino. I only quibble with Riddick being cast as Deputy Chief Irving Irving. In the book, he's entirely corrupt and a nemesis to Bosch. Riddick is such an empathetic actor he can't help but bring warmth and decency to the part.
Bosch is a fine example of a good cop show. It isn't The Wire or Homicide, but then again, what is? It's well acted, well written, and compelling enough to keep you pressing Next Episode on Amazon.