Saturday, February 22, 2014

Pilot Review: Bosch

Streaming on Amazon

The third of Amazon’s five new pilots released for public voting to determine which of them will make it to series that I screened couldn’t be more different in nature than the first, but my thoughts on it are almost exactly the same. “The Rebels” is a comedy about a widow left with the football team her husband used to own, and “Bosch” is a drama about a gruff detective standing trial for killing a serial killer. I would equate the two shows’ stars, Natalie Zea and Titus Welliver, for their omnipresence on television and the reliable nature of their appearances. A few years ago, Welliver was splitting his time between “Lost,” “The Good Wife,” and “Sons of Anarchy,” turning in substantially different villainous performances on all three shows. Now, unfortunately, he’s finally been given the opportunity to lead a series, but it’s this excessively familiar, grim and uninviting series. While it’s not all that conventional for a cop to still be working while simultaneously being prosecuted for killing a suspect, it’s not that far outside the realm of possibility, and feels too much like all the shows where corrupt cops are put in the spotlight. This show doesn’t offer much in the way of originality, and enlists the help of many familiar TV faces – including Valerie Cruz, currently starring on “The Following,” Lance Reddick (“Fringe”), Amy Price-Francis (“The Cleaner”), Abraham Benrubi (“Men in Trees”), Jamie McShane (“Sons of Anarchy”), Eric Ladin (“The Killing”), Scott Wilson (“The Walking Dead”), and Annie Wersching (“24”), who wins a special award for having the most boring role of the entire group. This show has been done many times before, and Bosch’s bad attitude does nothing to make it stand apart.

How would it work as a series? Bosch has figured out how to continue working despite explicit instructions not to taking cases, and so he’ll have to keep pushing to make sure that he can defy orders as much as possible. He seems to have plenty of inner demons, and watching him unravel might eventually become interesting.
Will it make it to a series? I’m not sure. I’m not sure most feel quite as negatively about it as I do, but I don’t think it’s the revelation that Amazon was hoping for. At best, it’s a decent cop drama, but I don’t think that Amazon will want to invest too much in it.

Pilot grade: C

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