Bosch - T.V. – Season One – During January Sharon and I watched the first season of Bosch on Crave TV. It is a great crime series.
What I liked most about the series is that it was a story told in 10 episodes. In most network series such as Blue Bloods each show is self-contained with a few minutes of ongoing family and work stories. Connelly said on his website that he knew the Bosch stories were not well suited for network T.V. and sought out a different format.
Each episode of Bosch advances the overall story. Longmire came closest to that concept in my recent television watching with an ongoing story that went through the whole season but there were still individual stories in each episode. The full season plot made Bosch a little better than the last season of Longmire.
Sharon and I are gradually getting used to the concept of watching shows in a series on Crave and Netflix whenever we want and not waiting a week between shows. We have not gone to binge watching episodes. We took just a week to watch the 10 episodes of Bosch.
For readers of the books by Michael Connelly the plot of the first season draws upon a combination of books = City of Bones, Echo Park and The Concrete Blonde – and a short story, Cielo Azul.
In particular, I recalled the search from City of Bones for the boy whose bones were found 20 years after he had been killed on a hillside in Los Angeles.
In Connelly's books Harry was born in 1950 and an Army veteran of the Vietnam war where he served as a tunnel rat. Some of those war experiences surface in the latest book, The Wrong Side of Goodbye. The literary Harry is in his mid-60’s
For the T.V. show changes were made concerning Harry. Connelly discussed some of them on his website in an article from 2014:
The basic status of Harry in what we are filming is that he is 47 years old and a veteran of the first Gulf War in 1991, where he was part of a Special Forces team that cleared tunnels. He has now been a police officer for twenty years with a one year exception when he re-upped with the Army after 9/11, as many LAPD officers did. He came back to the force after serving in Afghanistan and again encountering tunnel warfare.
The story which involves both the investigation of the boy’s death and the search for a serial killer of young hustlers is well told and absorbing.
Connelly has had a significant role in the series:
My involvement in the pilot has been full time and I have approved everything we are doing every step of the way, including the casting of Titus Welliver as Harry Bosch.
Louise Penny was also an executive producer on the T.V. movie of Still Life which was a good show but far from the brilliance of Bosch. I think she would have been well served to have looked to a series like Bosch rather than reducing a complex story to a couple of hours in a movie.
The most important difference between the movie, Still Life, and the series, Bosch, is the casting of the lead character. I understand Louise supported Nathaniel Parker. He never worked well for me as Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Welliver is perfect as Bosch. My next post will discuss Welliver as Bosch.
Further enhancing the Bosch series was the casting of Jason Gedrick as the serial killer, Raynard Waits. Too often T.V. and movies has the evil one a physically unattractive, even grotesque, character. Gedrick, as Waits, is handsome and bright and charming and convincing and totally chilling. His career has featured several roles as a killer.
Gedrick discussed his role in an interview on the TVgoodness website:
He dove into the psychology of how serial killers begin, and that was tremendously helpful in creating the character. “I started asking questions of our technical advisor. I read a lot of books on psychology,” he explains. “The first description that was explained to me was that there was a portion of the brain that in the early formative years, if it experiences trauma, it hardens like a rock [and] can’t be malleable again, and that was a great overall understanding of why this guy does what he does. He’s been through so much that there was no compassion left.”
“In order for me to play it, I don’t have to perform any of the actual events, but I have to understand a sense of justifying why he does what he does. It’s literally a scale–when he was abused, the weights were pushed onto his side, so he keeps going until the scales are level. Once I got there, it got me to think about [historical serial killers and rampage killers]. There is either a long-term or short-term snap based on some sort of psychosis or breakdown that they’ve experienced. It made me realize anyone is capable of having that kind of break where you [lose] compassion and empathy.”
Finally there are some American T.V. crime series to rival the English crime series I have enjoyed over the years. Season Two of Bosch arrives on Crave in Canada in March. Sharon and I are looking forward to the show.
****Connelly, Michael – (2000) - Void Moon; (2001) - A Darkness More than Night; (2001) - The Concrete Blonde (Third best fiction of 2001); (2002) - Blood Work (The Best); (2002) - City of Bones; (2003) - Lost Light; (2004) - The Narrows; (2005) - The Closers (Tied for 3rd best fiction of 2005); (2005) - The Lincoln Lawyer; (2007) - Echo Park; (2007) - The Overlook; (2008) - The Brass Verdict; (2009) – The Scarecrow; (2009) – Nine Dragons; (2011) - The Reversal; (2011) - The Fifth Witness; (2012) - The Drop; (2012) - Black Echo; (2012) - Harry Bosch: The First 20 Years; (2012) - The Black Box; (2014) - The Gods of Guilt; (2014) - The Bloody Flag Move is Sleazy and Unethical; (2015) - The Burning Room; (2015) - Everybody Counts or Nobody Counts; (2016) - The Crossing; (2016) - Lawyers and Police Shifting Sides; (2017) - The Wrong Side of Goodbye and A Famous Holograph Will; Hardcover