The Amazon original series Bosch is returning and I’m a big fan, but I’m mainly posting this to get under Stuart Sweet’s skin.
Amazon recently announced a fourth season for Bosch, it’s original detective series based upon the best-selling Bosch series by Michael Connelly. Bosch’s third season is in production and is scheduled to premiere sometime next year. This is huge news for me, my wife, and all the other fans of the dark, gritty detective drama. It might not be such happy news for my colleague and fellow blogger, Stuart.
If there’s one thing Stuart dislikes, it’s TV shows that feature a “dark anti-hero type.” (His words.) If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’re well aware of his lamentations about this type of TV programming. You probably also know of his pining for more wholesome entertainment akin to the TV shows of his youth. I get where he’s coming from, but I think Stuart isn’t embracing what the classic anti-hero archetype is all about.
Dark anti-heroes always will be popular because of the role they play in our collective subconscious. These characters remind us that we don’t live in a world where good and evil are so clearly defined and separated. The truth is, everyone does bad things for reasons that they think are good. One of the most interesting aspects of dark anti-heroes is that their actions make us confront our own ability to justify our misdeeds, large or small.
For example, what do you think of a police detective killing a man he knows is a serial killer but cannot prove it? Sure, the detective will likely save some people’s lives, but his actions subvert our legal system. The very notion that people are innocent until proven guilty is the foundation of America’s justice system. So the renegade detective and other anti-heroes cause us to confront – and hopefully discuss – the moral ambiguity that is part of our shared human condition.
Which brings me back to Detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch and the Amazon original series that bears his name.
In the series, Bosch would fit Stuart’s description of a “dark anti-hero.” He’s quick to shoot suspects, much to the dismay of Internal Affairs. He also has a real problem with authority, which is ironic considering that he’s a homicide detective. Most of all, Bosch is haunted by the murder of his former-prostitute mother, which happened when he was 11 years old. In short, Harry Bosch is the shadow aspect of America’s best intentions. He reminds us that evil exists in this world, and it takes a special kind of strength to help suppress and contain it.
Amazon’s Bosch is played by Titus Welliver, perhaps best known for his role as Silas Adams in HBO’s Deadwood. While Welliver stays true to the character’s tough-as-nails, no-nonsense nature, he also shows the toll this takes as he struggles to navigate a series of complicated and strained personal relationships. The supporting cast is filled out with familiar faces from series such as Being Human, The Walking Dead, and The Wire. This is an added bonus for streamers such as myself.
Unlike my friend Stuart, I highly recommend watching Bosch and other shows that feature dark anti-heroes. These characters say too much about us and the way we live to be dismissed out of hand. If you have Amazon Prime Video or Amazon Video, there’s still time to binge-watch the first two seasons. By the time you’re done, you might be close to the premiere of the third season of Bosch. Trust me, it’s well worth it!