“Bosch” The long-awaited adaptation of Michael Connelly’s beloved detective series is now on Amazon's streaming service with Titus Welliver as Hieronymous “Harry” Bosch, solver of mysteries and protector of the thin blue line.
Beset by prosecutors, journalists, his superiors and the general decay of old-fashioned police work, Harry wears his aggrieved self-righteousness on his sleeve, which makes it easy to see why so many people don’t like him.
Fortunately, the beauty of Connelly’s books lies more in the crimes than the characters, and when Harry becomes less involved in defending himself and more involved in solving the years-old murder of a young boy that may or may not cross-hatch with a more current series of killings, “Bosch” picks up some steam.
CRITICS' PICKS: What to see, do and eat
Also an excellent supporting cast, including Alan Rosenberg as a spiritually groovy forensic anthropologist; Lance Reddik, characteristically enigmatic as Deputy Chief Irving; Annie Wershing as Julia, the rookie Bosch becomes involved with, and Amy Aquino as Grace Billets, Bosch’s commanding officer.
Fans of Connelly’s work will no doubt rejoice, as will those who find comfort in the strong silent guys who dig in their heels and try to keep the world from spinning in the wrong direction.
And if you like the series, you’re just a click away from all the books. Amazon Prime, anytime.
“Mozart in the Jungle” I finally had time to binge-watch Amazon’s adaptation of the Blair Tindell book that had the classical-music world buzzing a decade ago. (Hey, it’s classical music; these things take time). I enjoyed every minute, and not just because of Bernadette Peters, though I will watch anything she is in, ever.
Revolving around a comely young oboist….frankly, they had me at “oboist” because how many times has a television show revolved around an oboist? I’ll tell you how many: Zero.
Revolving around a comely young oboist named Hailey (Lola Kirke, sister to “Girls'” Jemima Kirke if that means anything beyond the fact that they definitely look like sisters and are almost always interesting on camera), “Mozart in the Jungle” is, at its essence, a workplace comedy. Except in this case the workplace is the New York Philharmonic, which lends the series the kind of behind the scenes frisson that fuels reality programs like “Ice Road Truckers” only with far more glamorous interiors.
Peters plays the philharmonic’s director, which is not to say its maestro: That role goes to two very different men, the dramatically departing conductor Thomas (Malcolm McDowell) and the incoming Gustavo Dudamel-like whiz kid Rodrigo, played by Gael Garcia Bernel. Hailey becomes Rodrigo’s assistant and we all get an assistant-eye’s view of both the proceedings and the life of a talented young woman working toward her big break.
Not surprisingly, classical musicians and their fans had many complaints about the depiction of the orchestra and the way it’s run here, just like journalists blew up over “The Newsroom” (doctors, lawyers and police detectives just roll with the nonsense at this point). But no one watches a half-hour self-identified comedy series for industry scholarship. “Mozart in the Jungle” is a captivating mix of young life in the city—Hailey has an fabulous roommate played by Hannah Dunne who really needs to become a very big star—and a high-brow soap. Studded, at regular intervals, with lovely and important reminders of why art matters, it’s as big a swing, in its own way, as “Transparent,” and though it doesn’t have the same social impact, or awards magnetism, it’s another reason to be happy Amazon’s in the game. Amazon, any time.
“Gotham.” Never miss it, don’t know why anyone would. The slightly ironic noir prequel to the Batman legend becomes more and more its own animal as Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) struggles to put his very troubled city on the path to virtue without the aid of the caped crusader (who is still being home-schooled by the intrepid Alfred (Sean Pertwee), who never gets as much screen time as one would want.)
Fantastic without being supernatural, “Gotham” has sustained its twisted but still quite recognizable vision of the City Corrupt. The sins—greed, larceny, disregard for human life—are universal, the villains tricked out in comic book tradition. Robin Lord Tayler’s emerging Penguin is a joy to watch, as is Cory Michael Smith’s Mr. Nygma soon to be Riddler, and rumor has it that Monday’s episode introduces the Joker.
But the story belongs to Gordon, and his less ambitious partner, Harvey (Donal Logue), clearing a path through a twisted forest of thorns one crazy case at a time. Fox, Mondays, 8 p.m.