Television as we know it is changing, and with the success of Netflix’s new model of releasing entire, instantly viewable series of streaming content, such as the acclaimed House of Cards, Amazon/LOVEFiLM have unveiled their latest pilot offerings. FILM IN WORDS casts it vote on which content deserves to make it big in TV land.
BISH BASH BOSCH
Hardboiled noir and Los Angeles go together like bacon and eggs, strawberries and cream, scotch and soda – so where better to situate the origins of a brand new detective story than amongst the violent crime and backstreet grime of the city of angels?
The premise is far from original; Bosch is a hardened LAPD detective currently under investigation after gunning down a murder suspect upon a dark, rain-soaked night. The detective’s innocence remains up for debate as we tail the grizzled anti-hero through the ensuing high-profile court case and a new unsettling investigation involving the discovery of a child’s skeleton. Throughout both, the evidence is collected and the viewer left to decide whether Bosch is innocent, guilty, or if we’re willing to just look the other way.
“He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.” Friedrich Nietzsche
Though the narrative threads of Bosch may be well-worn, its formidable cast of ER, Mad Men, and The Wire veterans ensure that the script remains robust and engaging. However, with rivals such as True Detective offering a much less linear and subversive form of storytelling, Bosch may struggle to capture the attention of viewers with its classical crime origins.
Fans of Hugh Laurie’s House will find many similarities in Bosch, Titus Welliver’s portrayal of the greying cop exhibiting the same tortured air of disdain, egotism, and genius that Laurie’s MD projected with such effortlessness. Judging by the first episode there also seems to be an emphasis upon crime scene investigation and the science of murder. Such scenes darken the edges of Bosch’s content, emotionally dissecting the brutality of crime, whilst also alluding to the abusive childhood which still haunts the tortured titular protagonist.
Bosch’s subtle nods to Roman Polanski’s Chinatown, the highly polished aesthetic, and the mysterious nature of the crime which will seemingly span the series, all exhibit potential – but much depends on whether its characters are engaging enough to keep audiences watching. It’s got the atmospheric jazz soundtrack, the hard-drinking, and the foul language, but the jury is still out on whether Bosch will become a quintessential neo-noir or run-of-the-mill police bore.