SERIES REVIEW Bosch Legacy (S1)

“Legacy matters. How you live your life, what you leave behind” – Bosch

What a weird journey this series has had to reach our screens. After seven seasons of the critically-acclaimed original show Bosch, Amazon saw fit to shutter the title for reasons best known to itself.

The follow-up show – Bosch: Legacy – was announced for fledgling digital service iMDB TV, only for that platform to be subsequently bought by Amazon and re-branded as FreeVee – and now that ‘channel’ is available right back on the service that canned the original show, albeit with adverts to sweeten the budgetary deal (and for anybody recoiling at that thought, I will say in my experience it took five episodes for an advert to even show up, and when it did it was Amazon trying to sell advertising space on the very same channel – go figure.)

But here we are – a new channel (sort of), and a new show. So, what else has changed?

Well, in all honesty – very little, for better or worse. If you assumed Bosch: Legacy might serve as a reboot of sorts, that thought is immediately dissuaded when the show opens with a full recap of the last season of Bosch – and with that, this show serves as a direct continuity to the previous series, albeit with a reduced budget and therefore some cut corners (more on that later).

The flashy new introduction (sadly the excellent opener of the original series is nowhere to be seen) sets out its stall early, with a focus on the three main characters we’ll be following in this show – Bosch himself, daughter Maddie, and shrewd lawyer Honey ‘Money’ Chandler. Erik Overmyer (Treme, The Wire) returns as show-runner, and although author Michael Connelly sits in the Executive Producer chair, this series appears to be working off original scripts for the first time, rather than anything based on plot lines from his books.

The Legacy of the show’s title has a few interpretations that inform the show’s storylines. There’s the obvious legacy of the former show’s set-up that informs this new iteration, but also Maddie’s position as a legacy hire – a rookie cop with one or more relatives formerly in the police force. Equally, a good portion of this season focuses on the legacy of family – legacies lost, found, buried, contested – it’s all here.

We reconnect with Bosch (Titus Welliver) as he’s taking on his first few cases as a newly-minted private detective, after unceremoniously quitting the police in the final season of the original show. Here he’s a little more rugged, a little more rogue – happy to break into houses to secure a client’s belongings, helped by new tech-savvy partner Maurice (Andrew Chang). For the majority of the season, his main case sees him seek out the heir of dying billionaire William Vance (William Devane) – a pursuit which begins to rapidly spiral out of control, both for Bosch and the audience’s suspension of disbelief.

Elsewhere Honey (Mimi Rogers) is slowly trying to piece back her life after nearly being fatally shot by a hitman, hired by smarmy businessman Carl Rogers (Michael Rose) in the previous season. When Rogers beats the case against him for the murder spree he initiated, Honey doubles down on pursuing a civil case to bring him to justice. Unfortunately, Rogers original business partners happen to be the Russian Mafia – and his high-profile legal shenanigans aren’t to their taste. Suddenly, everyone’s a target and when bodies being dropping left and right, Honey brings Bosch in to help her close the case.

Meanwhile, Maddie (Madison Lintz) is starting her new life as a ‘boot’ – a rookie cop, both helped and hindered by her namesake’s reputation in the force. Maddie’s journey is arguably the most interesting – or most realistic – part of the show, as she navigates the topical elements of modern policing from racially-motivated shootings to police corruption and beyond. Lintz has been able to transform a role from child actor into a three-dimensional character in adulthood, which is no easy feat. It’s frustrating then, to see her storyline give her greater agency than ever before, only to be reduced to a reason for Bosch to kick in doors at the end of the season when she’s yet again put in a position of peril. The character deserves better.

The show spins out a couple of sub-plots to keep the wheels spinning elsewhere, from gas pipelines being booby-trapped to facial recognition to Terminator-esque assassins chasing down witnesses. It’s all definitely in the general remit of Bosch’s narrative but feels a little redundant in places. Bosch was always a slow burn, but with a large chunk of the police procedural element of the original show removed, some of the offerings here feel a little less than, a little tiresome.

Some of this is shouldered by a clearly reduced budget. One of Bosch’s main attractions was it’s huge ensemble cast, and that here is very evident in its absence. Sure, we get a few choice cameos (Crate and Barrel pop up for an episode, J Edgar in another bizarrely perfunctory scene) but aside from that it’s an all-new cast that focuses primarily on our three leads – everyone else is a bit player at best. This leads to a slimmed-down approach where scenes feel like some nuance is missing, or have are missing entirely. Iconic sets like Bosch’s roof-side apartment are removed from the show for spurious reasons. There’s the worst use of CGI in a TV show that has no right to be in anything produced in 2022. It all adds up to a sense of a show trying to reaffirm itself with lesser means at its disposal.

Throughout the show, characters repeatedly ask Bosch does he miss it? They are referring to his police career, but it equally reads as a question for the show’s fans too. This show has the sense of the original, and as such it’s a pleasant enough way to occupy your time, but there’s also something of that original missing here that makes is feel less of a Legacy and more Bosch: Lite.

Andy D

Rating: 3 out of 5.


One Comment Add yours

  1. MartyM says:

    Just one small correction. The move from IMBbTV to freevee was just a rebranding exercise, it was always owned by Amazon. The IMDb website was purchased by Amazon in 1998.


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