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Raymond Chandler, writing about his private hero Philip Marlowe, once said that "down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid." Michael Connelly, one of Chandler's literary descendants, created a compelling and legitimate heir to the Marlowe tradition when he began writing novels about LAPD detective Hieronymus 'Harry' Bosch back in 1992.

Last year, Bosch made his small-screen debut when Amazon began streaming a 10-episode series that, at the time, was the most-watched Amazon original series on Amazon Prime Video. I was extremely impressed by the first season's fidelity to the tone of the novels, and by Titus Welliver's tightly wound performance as the title character.

Now, "Bosch" is back on Amazon with a second 10-episode series ... and it is even better than the first go-round - more textured, with even better supporting performances and an ever stronger sense of Los Angeles' many layers. The second season is taken from the events portrayed in three Connelly novels - "Trunk Music," "The Drop," and "The Last Coyote" - which allows the series to be choosy about what it takes and leaves, while always taking the time to allow events and characters to breathe. This allows the audience to be even more invested in what it is watching, and that helps an already impressive series to get better.

Now, let's be clear. "Bosch" isn't the kind of television series that breaks new ground or transcends the genre. It is, at its core, a police procedural. But like the novels on which it is based, "Bosch" finds its individuality in the curves and shadows and the edges. And also like the novels, the show gains resonance as the main character becomes a little bit less of a lone wolf; in the second season, Bosch spends more time with his ex-wife and their teenaged daughter, and he increasingly finds meaning in their needs and, to his surprise, his own. To coin another phrase from Chandler, Connelly's novels and the TV series are " with something more than night."

There are no happily-ever-afters in "Bosch." Some cases never get resolved, some bad guys never get punished. Sort of like life. But Harry Bosch keeps going forward, resolute in his belief that everybody matters, or nobody matters ... even if that sometimes puts him at odds with the powerful, the modern, and the influential.

"Bosch" is terrific stuff. Watch it. (Start with season one, if you haven't seen it.) I suspect that like me, you'll end up hoping that there will be a season three.




I have an excellent wine to recommend to you this week - 2013 Bon Naso pinot noir from Oregon, made by the Loosen Christopher winery ... which is rich and elegant and smooth and everything one expects from an Oregon pinot.




That's it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday.

Slàinte!
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