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When I first wrote a review of the Amazon cop drama Bosch, it marked the first and only time I reviewed a show without seeing a full season. I was five-episodes in when I reviewed it, knowing I’d found something truly special. After four seasons, the only thing I got wrong was not declaring it the best police procedural on television. It is, which is why if you haven’t been watching it, the time to start is now. Season 5 will be released April 19, leaving plenty of time to cook up the popcorn and brew the coffee.
You’ll need it because you won’t want to stop watching.
Season 5 puts Titus Welliver’s titular character in a position we haven’t seen him in before: undercover. As with the previous four seasons, this seems like another departure from the same-old cop drama. That’s one of the reasons the show is so good. Every season focuses on a series of events and puts the characters into brand new situations every time. How they’re able to keep it so fresh without leaving the reservation entirely should be a case-study for prospective directors and writers.
But through it all, the rock-solid consistency of Welliver’s character is the glue that binds. The world around him may be crazy. People he’s close to may be put in danger. Some may even die. The bad guys get more creative. The crimes get more sinister. Yet through it all, Hieronymus Bosch keeps doing what he does. Ethics are only important when they don’t get in the way of justice. Tactics are useful for building a case, but there are no rules in catching the bad guys.
What really make the show work so well, though, is the supporting cast. That’s not to take away from Welliver’s performance, but he’s only possible within a circle of friends and foes who keep him on his game at all times. Without them, he’s just a cranky old cop. With all the pieces working in wonderful disharmony, Bosch is able to shine.
The art of making a great police procedural has been lost on too many cheesy shows with bad formulas and comical conclusions. Bosch takes it up to the peak of near-perfection, making it the most binge-worthy cop drama on television.
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