Monday, April 16, 2018

Bosch-Season Four | Lefsetz Letter

There was no review in the newspaper.

I now track TV shows like I used to track record albums. I research and find out when they’re going to be released. “Bosch” launched yesterday on Amazon Prime, but you wouldn’t know it unless you’re a fan, and you should be.

As I always say, distribution is king. If “Bosch” were on Showtime, it would be the talk of the town. It’s not an HBO show, there’s no deeper meaning, it’s plot-driven only, but oh-the-cinematography! You watch and fall in love with a city you already live in. It’s got the film noir look we haven’t seen on the big screen since “L.A. Confidential,” back when movies were America’s foremost art form, when we tracked them and went to them.

But now…

If the newspapers want to survive they’ve got to get with the times. I’m turning the pages of the NYT seeing reviews of films I’ll never go to see, that I won’t remember when they ultimately hit the flat screen, meanwhile, television drives the culture. This disconnect between and art and commerce, art and publicity, is unfathomable to me, kind of like the new ESPN app…if you’re not going to give everybody everything, don’t play. You can’t bunt in a world of home runs, and you must be willing to cannibalize your legacy business to protect your future.

So “Bosch” is a cop show. And I’m addicted, even though I’ve never read a single Michael Connelly book. Actually, I’m off genre tomes. Too often there’s a twist at the end that is wholly unsatisfying. But the truth is America lives for story, and those who deliver it succeed.

The star is Titus Welliver. Whom I did not know. Now you’re gonna tell me he was on “Lost” and “Sons of Anarchy” but I never watched those, I don’t watch much TV, still don’t, but health problems got me searching and I love escaping into the story, there’s a way filmed entertainment (digital video) allows you let go of your troubles and releases you into a new world that is wholly satisfying. This is what I loved about going to the movies. You sat there during “Chinatown” and were engrossed in a fictional story that became real for two hours. In a world with too many distractions, this is incredibly fulfilling.

And at first you don’t get Titus. I guess we’re used to more suave cops, spies, people larger than life. But as the series progresses you can’t imagine anybody else in the role. He comes across as a loner. A man of principles without being too self-righteous.

As for his ex-wife…

She blows like the wind. We know people like this, who are pulled by their desires. And in the new season when she’s playing poker at night and looks haggard, she looks real, and I’m all for truth in my viewing.

I remember Amy Aquino as Melanie Griffith’s secretary in “Working Girl,” a tiny role. She’s great here, as a lesbian lieutenant with an edge yet a heart.

And there are people of color.

It looks like L.A.

And it’s not shot on the uppity westside, nor the transient Hollywood, but downtown. Angels Flight, the Bradbury Building.

Everything’s kind of yellow, kind of twilight, deep in meaning, you’re drawn in.

Now the TV shows that get publicity unfold over months, the HBO syndrome. But that’s unsatisfying. It’d be like having “Sgt. Pepper” dripped track by track whereas when it was released you sat at home, alone, and played it over and over again until it revealed itself and you knew it by heart.

I feel like we’re the only people watching “Bosch,” but that makes the experience even more satisfying. We can own it, and spread the word as we enter the world. Seemingly everybody’s got Amazon Prime, do they know this series is on?

I doubt it.


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