Back in 2014 Amazon was still airing pilots for TV series and letting the audience vote on which pilot should be given the chance of becoming a full on show. Bosch became one of those shows that won audiences from very early on. The show ran for seven seasons and made Henry Bosch a cult classic character in the police procedural genre.
Bosch never managed to gather a huge audience, but viewership was steady, people knew what they liked and seeing the rough but fair LAPD policeman resolving cases became a very satisfying affair. When the show ended after seven seasons, it felt like a good conclusion, but not one that closed the possibilities of continuation forever. That continuation came almost immediately when Amazon announced Bosch: Legacy.
The announcement came with the expectations that Bosch Legacy would be more of a spin-off. A series focusing on what Henry left behind once he retired from the police, and that the show could maybe follow some supporting cast members a bit closer. Bosch: Legacy ends up being that, of course, but it feels also like it could have been named season 8 and no one would be blinking an eye.
The show is being released weekly on Amazon’s Freevee, a new streaming platform that is completely free for users, the only caveat is that it comes with ads, making it closer to broadcast network TV than anything else. If the platform finds success or not, it is something that only time can tell, but Bosch: Legacy feels like the perfect show to try it out, as it comes with a preexisting audience, and it will be easy to see if that audience stays with the platform and shows despite the ads.
Bosch: Legacy is developed by Tom Bernardo, the main writer and showrunner from the previous seven seasons. Even Michel Connelly, the author of the Bosch novels remains on the show as executive producer, everyone seems to have come back which of course makes this season 1 of Bosch: Legacy feels more like season 8 of Bosch. There is nothing wrong with this, this is what we wanted. Henry is such a wonderful character that it would be sad to lose him just to make the show different for difference’s sake.
The creatives know that the audiences are just to continue the story of our favorite LA policeman, but then why name the show Bosch: Legacy? What’s the purpose? Well, for once, it is a simple media advertisement to grab new viewers. The fact that it is also being released on Freevee makes it feel like it needs to be a new show for those jumping on the platform for the first time.
There are also several changes inside the Bosch universe that fit the title. Henry is now retired from the police force. This doesn’t really stop him at all, as he is just as involved in the search for justice. But it is clear that Maddie, Henry’s daughter, his literal legacy to the world, will be more of a major character in this season, now that she is a policeman herself.
Bosch as a show has worked the theme of police corruption and brutality in many of its storylines, but the current political environment is very much different to the time when the novels and the show were conceived. Vox populi has made an enemy of the police force in today’s day and age, even if it isn’t true that all policemen are bad, the institution’s reputation is at an all-time low.
That now the hero of our show isn’t covering himself behind an LAPD badge says a lot, not only about the position and the message the show wants to present to the audience, but also about Henry himself. Could our hero still be a hero by being part of such an evil organization? It is an interesting dilemma, but the fact that he chose to just leave it behind and begin his retirement helps Henry remain a true hero, for those that want simpler times.
Henry is not with the police anymore, but he has to work with them. It is just the reality of working criminal cases, the police need to be involved somehow. The show knows this, and the decision of making Maddie our policeman point of view is genius. She is still very new to the force, she is untainted by the corruption inside the institution, and audiences can perceive her still as someone worth rooting for.
How the show will decide to manage her situation as part of the police force the further the show goes will be key in how audiences, those that follow the legacy and those that come to watch for the first time, will see Maddie’s character. Henry is still there, of course, but the conflicting ideologies and realities of working within the police force today can make for some very interesting and compelling television.
The performances are still great, the cases are just as interesting, and the characters are just as fascinating. Don’t let the name fool you, this is Bosch season 8, and if you have followed Henry and his friends for seven seasons, one more thing you like is never a bad thing.