4 Reasons Why Bosch Was a Huge Success

4 Reasons Why Bosch Was a Huge Success
4 Reasons Why Bosch Was a Huge Success

Bosch is definitely one of the most successful and critically acclaimed cop dramas out there, and that’s saying something considering there are thousands to choose from. Adapted non-chronologically from Michael Connelly’s popular mystery novel series, Bosch features Titus Welliver as the stoic LAPD detective, Harry Bosch. Throughout the show’s seven-season run, Bosch has survived shootouts, military assassins, serial killers, lawsuits, internal affairs probes, and a lengthy suspension — all stemming from his unwavering commitment to a single principle: the pursuit of justice for all.

Starting all the way back in 2014 and ending with its final season in 2021, Bosch holds an impressive 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.5 rating on IMDb. In fact, the show was so good that it even got a spin-off sequel series in the form of Bosch: Legacy, which follows Bosch as a private investigator after the events of the original show. But what was it that made Bosch so successful? How did it manage to stand out amidst the sea of crime dramas? Read on because today, we’re listing down the four main reasons for Bosch’s massive success.

1. In Bosch, Every Character Elevates the Show

Harry tackling someone on the ground

Everybody counts or nobody counts.” This isn’t just the motto Harry Bosch lives by, it’s the beating heart of the show. While the show may be called Bosch, it’s an ensemble in many ways. The show features a diverse and talented cast of characters, each with their own backstories, personalities, and multiple-season arcs.

For instance, Jamie Hector perfectly portrays Jerry Edgar, Bosch’s partner and friend, who balances his loyalty to Bosch with his own ambitions and family life. Madison Lintz does a fantastic job playing Bosch’s daughter, Maddie, who grows up from a rebellious teenager into a confident and independent young woman. Then we have the late Lance Reddick (from The Wire and John Wick) playing the deputy chief of police Irvin Irving, who has a complicated and evolving relationship with Bosch. And, of course, there is Welliver himself, who has gone on to become everyone’s definitive and favorite Harry Bosch. 

The show also delivers villains in spades. From the cunning serial killer Raynard Waits (Jason Gedrick) in Season 1 to the corrupt cop Ricardo Diaz (Jacqueline Obradors) in Season 6, the show clearly avoids one-dimensional portrayals. Instead, it delves into the dark psychological nitty-gritty that motivates these characters to be who they are. 

2. Bosch Earned Its Success Thanks to Its Authenticity in Every Frame

main character of Bosch

Bosch was filmed on location in Los Angeles, capturing everything from the iconic Hollywood sign to the gritty downtown streets. The show did not glamorize or romanticize the city but portrayed it as it is, with its beauty and its flaws. Many iconic L.A. restaurants like Musso & Franks, In & Out, and Du-par’s were also featured in the show — making it instantly relatable to every viewer who has been there.

Plus, Bosch doesn’t sugarcoat the world of law enforcement. While high-speed chases and dramatic shootouts have their place, the show deals with the intricacies of being a cop, in the most authentic way possible. From the tedious collection of forensic evidence and the bureaucratic legal system to the everyday cop jargon and office politics, Bosch shows you all of it — the good, the bad, and the boring. Many fans even call it the L.A. version of The Wire.

Real-life homicide detectives Tim Marcia and Mitzi Roberts even served as consultants on Bosch when they weren’t busy working on actual cases. They would advise the writers and actors on things like “This is what a police officer would do. This is what a detective would do. This is not what a detective would do.” The scenes that take place in the detectives’ offices were also shot in the actual detective offices at the LAPD Hollywood station. They would film in the evening after most of the detectives had gone home.

3. Bosch Has Always Respected Its Fanbase and It Shows

Jerry and Harry in Bosch

Unlike many modern crime shows that hold our hands through every plot twist and awkwardly explain details we just witnessed five minutes ago, Bosch trusts its audience. It’s a masterclass in show, don’t tell; it expects you to pay attention and rewards you for doing so. A perfect example is in Season 1 when Bosch goes to visit his daughter. 

He makes her pancakes and says, “My secret, syrup in the bottom.” It’s a casual moment apparently. But then later on, when she is in L.A., and they’re having breakfast, she gets a second plate and puts syrup on it, then transfers her pancakes over. The characters do not acknowledge it. The camera doesn’t linger on her actions. But it speaks volumes about her evolving relationship with her father. It’s subtle, smart direction that most shows lack and it’s clearly the creative team’s brilliance — very much similar to how Noah Hawley deals with subtle easter eggs or cultural nods in Fargo

4. Bosch Was One of the First Amazon Originals With Mass Appeal

snippet from Bosch Spinoff

Bosch debuted in 2014 when Amazon Prime Video was still a relatively new and emerging platform for original content. At the time, Netflix had massive hits like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, while Prime Video only had small successes like Transparent and Alpha House, which catered to a niche audience. Bosch, however, capitalized on the ever-popular crime drama genre and tapped into the established success of shows like True Detective, CSI, and Criminal Minds. This, coupled with the massive popularity of Connelly’s novels (selling over 80 million copies globally and translated into 40 languages), gave Bosch an existing fanbase and undeniable name recognition.

The gamble paid off. The pilot, voted on by viewers, secured Bosch a green light, and the first season garnered critical acclaim with an 84% Rotten Tomatoes score. But unlike many shows that fade after initial success, Bosch only got better. Season after season, it delivered bigger and better stories, resulting in a perfect 100% Rotten Tomatoes score for every season after the first one. Bosch helped establish Amazon as a major player in the streaming industry and arguably paved the way for future successes of today like Reacher and Jack Ryan. Check out 10 Things You Didn’t Know About the ‘Bosch’ TV Series here. 

Watch Bosch on Prime Video

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