Streaming Sunday features TV series or movies adapted from books I’ve read, offered on at least one streaming service and I’ve watched.
The Bosch TV series was released in February 2014 on Amazon Prime Video and is based on the Harry Bosch book series by Michael Connelly. At the time, I was in the middle of a group read of the books and delayed watching the first season until I’d read the books on which the first season was based (The Concrete Blonde #3, City of Bones #8 and Echo Park #12). Connelly is one of the executive producers and screenwriters of the TV series so I was excited that my most favorite detective series was in great hands, confirmed by the casting of Titus Welliver as the title character. Incidentally, the creation of this TV series was what had me become an Amazon Prime member.
Connelly has done countless interviews about the development of the series and one thing was constant: his basis for having the series be developed by Amazon and the importance of getting the casting of Harry Bosch right. According to Connelly in an Esquire interview (February 11, 2015), explaining why Amazon, he said “They sell more of my books than anyone else in the world.” Regarding the casting of Welliver, “When we could finally meet with him, he walked out of the room with the job. It was an instinctive thing. We felt: That is Harry Bosch. He’d read the books and his take on the character was right on.”
Speaking of Welliver, he is so very, very Harry Bosch! In every one of my early book reviews, I always reiterated how wild I was about Harry so I was nervous about the casting. I was familiar with the actor’s work but needed to see him in the role before making a final judgment. He actually had me at the trailer. Harry is an LAPD police detective who is highly driven, a little haunted and frequently runs afoul of department leadership. He has a strong moral code that’s uniquely his own, which is his most endearing characteristic. You may not always agree with his methods but you’ll never question his motives.
As of this date, their are 23 books in the series (I’ve read 20) but the universe is much larger when you include the Mickey Haller series (now streaming on Netflix as The Lincoln Lawyer series), as well as several other connected series. We created a Harry Bosch Universe series listing on Goodreads to keep the order straight and there are 36 books and counting.
I love the books but I’m crazy about the TV series! It’s one of the few my hubby watches with me and loves even more than me. I got him to watch after getting him to listen to the book series during our frequent road trips while building our family’s beach house. He got hooked on the books, too (he’s still listening to them). Welliver is great as Harry but he’s surrounded by a stellar cast. Of course, there are changes from the books, especially his relationship with his partner, Jerry Edgar (J-Edgar in the TV series), which is dramatically different and for the better. However, the essence of the stories carry through and Harry is still the main focus, the reason you want to watch.
The series is comprised of seven seasons (ten episodes each), ending with the final release in June 2021. However, the spinoff, Bosch: Legacy, was released on May 6, 2022 on Freevee. It’s essentially Bosch season 8 (more to come on that in a later post).
I’ve only listened to the book series and was really happy with the original narrator, Dick Hill, who was replaced after book #5. Len Cariou narrated most of those that followed until Welliver was cast for the TV series. He now narrates all related to Harry and is re-recording the earlier books. He’s perfect as the narrator and I think I prefer him over Hill.
You certainly don’t need to read the books to love the TV series. However, if you’re currently reading the books, I wouldn’t begin until finishing book #8 to prevent spoilers. The TV series also takes liberties to tweak the outcomes so what may be the resolution in the books will often detour a little on the series. I loved the adaptations, which affected Connelly’s writing of the books released after the TV series was launched. I found the storylines nimbler and he admits to being a better writer as a consequence.
This is one of those TV series that stays true to the book series because they never change the central character, Harry Bosch. The crimes he’s investigating may differ and the folks around him might taken on slightly different personas but they got it right from Season 1 through the final episode of Season 7. Hubby and I watched the first five seasons at least three times and binge watched them upon release. They’re that good!