Earlier this month, Amazon Instant Video unveiled their latest round of TV pilots for users to watch and review. Among them was an adaptation of Michael Connelly's eponymous series detective, Harry Bocsh, who has headlined sixteen of the author's twenty-five novels (and had cameo appearances in many of Connelly's other works, and even popped up in a Robert Crais novel). Connelly's fiction is no stranger to adaptation - Clint Eastwood turned Blood Work into a film, and Matthew McConaughey starred in The Lincoln Lawyer. It was only a matter of time before Hollywood set their sights on Bosch. Thankfully, the wait was worth it. Co-written by Connelly, the pilot episode has actor Titus Welliver taking on the role of Detective Harry Bosch. The episode itself is a mature bit of drama, atmospherically reminiscent of HBO's The Wire thanks to the inclusion that series' writer and producer, Eric Overmeyer, as well as cast members Lance Reddick (Fringe) and Jaime Hector. It also carries that same slow, jazzy burn that brings the characters front and center. The honest and realistic depiction of cop-life helps deliver the story, as expected given the talent involved here. Prior to becoming a full-time author, Connelly was a crime beat reporter for the Los Angeles Times. His TV work now bears the distinction of being the first series to actually shoot on location inside LAPD's Hollywood station, while real police officers carried out their work. Welliver fits the role well, and is the perfect choice to lead this show. He imbues Bosch with the right amount of dedication to the job and devotion to the victims, his lone-wolf mentality, and the certainty that he is right and his actions justified. I was never struck by any out-of-character moments, or discordant notes that drew me out of the viewing. Watching Welliver on screen, it never occurred to me that he was not the Harry Bosch I've been reading for well over a decade. I've been supportive of his casting since first learning of it last fall, thinking he would be great and do the role justice. Frankly, he does even better. During the show's opening moments, Bosh chases down a suspect and kills him in a rain-soaked alley. The pilot picks up two years later, with Bosh caught up in a civil trial, following the LAPD's clearing of the shooting as a good one. In between court scenes, Bosch becomes involved in the discovery of a child's bones. Devoted readers may recognize the story elements from Connelly's novels The Concrete Blonde and City of Bones. The pilot is clearly aimed at earning Bosch a full series-pickup from Amazon, as the story elements introduced here are left unresolved. The episode merely opens the door on what is intended to be a season-long story arc, and I am now fervently hoping we get to see these plots unravel and resolve. If green-lit for production, I expect this to be another strong entry in a series of terrific cop shows, standing tall with The Shield, The Wire and Homicide: Life on the Street. Bosch could very well level the playing field and do for Amazon Studios what House of Cards and Orange is the New Black have done for Netflix. At the time of this writing, Bosch has a 5-star rating with over 4,000 reviews. Amazon would be wise to take heed of this and satisfy their audience's demands sooner rather than later. So, did you watch Bosch and what were your reactions? Thoughts on any of Amazon's other pilots? Share below!
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