Even though I am an absolutely avid reader, I must admit I was a virgin when it came to Michael Connelly’s novels (seventeen so far in the series) about wiry Los Angeles Homicide Detective Hieronymus (“Harry”) Bosch, but after learning that Mikkel Bondesen (Executive Producer of The Killing) produced the new Amazon Pilot “Bosch,” a free download on Amazon (Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Pilot-HD/dp/B00I3MPDP4 ), I decided to trust my instinct that people associated with The Killing always make a good product. After viewing Bosch, I can honestly say I was not disappointed, and I gladly ranked it 5 stars on Amazon and IMDB. I even went to Barnes & Noble and grabbed the first Bosch novel, “The Black Echo,” and at about 100 pages in, I confess I have found a new book series to enjoy this spring. Much like The Killing where almost every gray, rainy shot reminds you that this is a Seattle story, setting matters here, and you need only watch about two minutes of the Pilot to feel how important that L.A. noir feel will be to this story. If you are fan of AMC programming (and yes, I understand many of you have mixed feelings on the network after how it treated our favorite show), you will find a few familiar faces in Bosch, namely, Eric Ladin, Jamie Wright from the first two seasons of The Killing” and Scott Wilson, Herschel Wilson (thankfully, with his head, God rest his soul) from The Walking Dead. Fans of The Good Wife will immediately recognize Titus Welliver, playing Harry Bosch, his performance understated but commanding and very Bogart-esque in his gritty shades of secret sensitivity. HBO fans will be thrilled to see Jamie Hector, formerly of The Wire, as Jerry Edgar, Bosch’s partner, Lance Reddick, formerly of True Blood as Bosch’s Deputy Chief of Police, and tough-as-nails, Amy Aquino, formerly of Big Love, as Bosch’s exasperated Lieutenant. For those of you who prefer your heroines redheaded and fierce, you will be happy to know that apparently Harry Bosch does as well as the Pilot features the lovely redheads, Amy Price-Francis as Honey “Money” Chandler, the ruthless prosecutor after Bosch for his allegedly excessive force, and Annie Wersching as Julia Brasher, the patrol officer eager to work her way up to the Homicide Division learning from Bosch. Further, Michael Connelly, the creator of the character, Harry Bosch, in his best-selling novels, authored the Pilot himself.
In short, Bosch is a compelling, well-structured Pilot created by absolutely quality players at every position, a Pilot that would easily compete with other offerings on networks like AMC (Hell on Who Cares?), Showtime (Harry Bosch is far more intriguing than Ray Donovan any day), and yes, even Netflix with its powerful palate of The Killing, Orange is the New Black, and House of Cards. The theory is that Amazon is interested in really jumping into the original programming game with rising giant, Netflix, and the Bosch Pilot is a first foray into that endeavor. Although I am admittedly loyal to Netflix for its support of my very favorite show, The Killing, I am always supportive of quality programming, the type of programming it is virtually impossible to find on network television now, and if Amazon can offer consumers that very thing, I am willing to pay for, say, a full season of Bosch, (Fingers crossed!) in addition to my Netflix subscription. With players from The Killing and best-selling author, Michael Connelly, intimately involved in its creation, the decision to help push for a full season of Bosch is an even easier call for me. So, if you have not already viewed the Pilot, go now (http://www.amazon.com/Pilot-HD/dp/B00I3MPDP4), and after viewing the Pilot, please rate it 5 stars on Amazon and IMDB. You still have a little time before Season 4 of The Killing, so you are without excuse! If you still need convincing, I wanted to share a few reasons why I think fans of The Killing will appreciate Harry Bosch:
- Both Sarah Linden and Harry Bosch have mastered the thousand-yard stare with a cigarette hanging from their surprisingly attractive lips. You may object to smoking in general, but there is simply no argument that these two do their best thinking, almost in slow motion with lovely music (perhaps some Coltrane for Bosch, the creepy beats of They Fell to Earth for Linden), with their blazing blue eyes, masking years of personal pain, peering at a crime scene from behind a cloud of white-gray smoke.
- Speaking of masked personal pain, both Bosch and Linden are former foster kids. I only learned of Bosch’s status as a former foster kid after reading the beginning of Connelly’s first novel, but I certainly suspected this might be the case after viewing the Pilot. We know that Linden was a self-professed “runner,” taking off from her foster homes without explanation after being abandoned by her mother in a dark apartment for three days. I do not want spoil the Pilot much for fans that have yet to view Bosch, but it is safe to say that Harry Bosch’s childhood was every bit as tragic as Sarah Linden’s upbringing. Both detectives were abandoned, left to be raised by the system, and both seem equally haunted by the ghosts of their past.
- Both Bosch and Linden never seem to want for anyone to, uh, sleep next to them when they are lonely, but neither seem equipped for any sort of long-lasting relationship. In the Pilot, we meet Dr. Theresa Corazon, an ambitious, quick-witted crime scene analyst portrayed by Valerie Cruz, and learn from Bosch’s partner that the two used to have “an arrangement” before she, as Bosch put it, “upgraded.” The sharp banter between Corazon and Bosch certainly suggests that the two might eventually revisit that relationship, at least for a night or two, later in the season. Likewise, Linden spent two seasons on The Killing trying to make it work with her own doctor, Rick Felder, before finally abandoning that effort to chase Rosie Larsen’s killer. Linden and Bosch also seem to like to look for companionship close to home. By the looks exchanged between Bosch and defense attorney, Honey Chandler, and Bosch and patrol cop, Julia Brasher, over an impromptu dinner, I would say either or both ladies may soon know how Bosch takes his coffee in the morning as the story progresses. Pay close attention to Bosch’s actions near the trunk of his car before borrowing a flashlight from patrol cop, Julia Brasher, in the Pilot, and that should tell you all you need to know about how very smooth Harry Bosch can be when he is interested in seeing a woman again. Sarah Linden carries on a steamy affair with her very married partner, James Skinner, later beds her younger co-worker, “Boatman Cody,” and concludes with a (hopefully) to-be-continued but aborted kiss with her current partner, Stephen Holder at the end of Season 3. Oh, and I almost forgot the Fed from Season 1! Remember, “Oh snap, Linden rocked the booty call!” She definitely did not deny it. From the first hundred or so pages of the first Bosch novel, I am fairly certain Harry Bosch will bag himself a Fed too. Clearly, nobody ever told these two not to shit where they eat.
- Harry Bosch and Sarah Linden are never the type that is going to play exactly by the rules. Both take police files and hoard them in their homes without permission when they are bird-dogging a case. No, Detective Holder, the Trisha Seward file is not in storage, but it is actually in Sarah Linden’s backseat and spread out all of her dining room table every night. Oh, Lieutenant, pay no attention to all of the police files spread out on Bosch’s desk at home when he is on paid suspension and out-of-rotation. Nothing you could bust him on there, right? Without giving away too much, I will say Harry Bosch plays a little fast and loose at crime scenes. Much like Sarah Linden parading on to the Native American reservation after her partner in Season 2, lying about back-up she has no reason to believe will actually show up, or picking the lock to the old Seward apartment in Season 3, neither seem to believe in concepts like waiting on a warrant or the coroner when there is a crime to be solved. Frankly, we love them so much, even this lawyer is willing to overlook the rules of criminal procedure and evidence if it means our hero or heroine will get the bad guy.
- Sarah Linden and Harry Bosch are deeply motivated to solve crimes involving children, particularly those children with pasts as tragic as their own. Linden identifies with Adrian Seward, left in a closet for days after witnessing the murder of his mother, a former prostitute, in an abusive relationship with her husband, Ray, who is ultimately convicted of her murder. Convinced she and then partner, James Skinner, helped convict the wrong man, Linden works the Seward case and later, the Larsen case, at the expense of her own sanity, spending two stints in a psychiatric hospital. When a dog discovers the buried bones of a child in the Pilot, Harry Bosch fights his Lieutenant, demanding to keep what would otherwise likely be considered a cold case even though he is on suspension and off rotation at the Homicide Division. If you watch the Pilot, you will understand a little bit about why this particular apparent child murder hits so close to home for Harry Bosch. It is not at all dissimilar to the reason that Linden, abandoned for three days by her mother in a dark apartment, bonded with Adrian Seward.
- There is one more GLARING similarity between Harry Bosch and Sarah Linden. If you watch the first five minutes of the Bosch Pilot, you will know exactly what I am talking about….and I hate to give away too many spoilers….so, let’s just say they both respond to serial killers the very same way. What? Was it something I said?
The best argument I can make to encourage fans of The Killing that they will love Bosch is to say simply: Watch it yourself. Quality material, frankly, should not require any further sales pitch than that, but in this instance, you, the viewer, have the opportunity to influence whether Amazon elects to offer a full season of Bosch. In order to make certain that happens, we ask you do the following things:
- Watch the Bosch Pilot on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Pilot-HD/dp/B00I3MPDP4) and rank it 5 stars.
- Log in to IMDB.com (Create a free account if you do not have one already like I did) and rank Bosch 5 stars.
- Vote for Bosch after logging into IMDB.com: http://www.imdb.com/poll/j2kFJ9_is1w/
- Tell your friends and family to do the same (much like many of you are already telling friends and family to catch up on The Killing on Netflix).
- Talk up Bosch using the hashtag #Bosch or #BoschTV on Twitter. Tweet @AmazonVideo and tell them to give us a full season of Bosch. You may also want to thank members of the Bosch team for contributing their respective talents to the Bosch project, so here are a few notables:
- Writer, Michael Connelly: @connellybooks
- Executive Producer Mikkel Bondesen: @mbondesen
- Executive Producer Henrik Bastin: @HenrikBastin
- Titus Welliver (Harry Bosch): @welliver_titus
- Jamie Hector (Jerry Edgar): @JamieHector
- Amy Aquino (Lieutenant): @aquino_amy
- Annie Wersching (Julia Brasher): @wersching
- Lance Reddick (Deputy Chief Irving): @lancereddick
- Valerie Cruz (Dr. Theresa Corazon): @TheValerieCruz
- Eric Ladin (Nate Tyler): @EricLadin
- Rodney Belk (Abraham Benrubi): @AbrahamBenrubi
Check out BoschTvFanGroup.com