With the second season of Bosch on Amazon and the debut of Flaked on Netflix both arriving March 11, Friday might be called L.A. Day on the streaming services. But as I say in my video review above, this tale is not just of one city but two very different series. Back for 10 episodes, the Titus Welliver-led cop drama Bosch, based on Michael Connelly’s bestsellers, is top-notch TV – as it was in its first season, which I proclaimed made up one of the best new shows of 2015. On the other hand, the Will Arnett-starring Flaked is as aimless as the bike riding his character does around Venice and the boutiqued stores of Abbot Kinney.
Co-created and written by Arnett and Mark Chappell and lovingly directed in part by Wally Pfister, Flaked is soaked in a lot of heart for the gentrifying neighborhood but just doesn’t deliver. With guest appearances by the likes of Heather Graham and Kirstie Alley, the series executive produced by Mitchell Hurwitz, Ben Silverman and Peter Principato is ultimately less about saving Venice, Arnett’s sobered-up Chip or much of anything except the dream girl (played by Ruth Kearney), with some local politics and broken promises thrown in to not much effect.
In contrast, the seamlessly executed Season 2 of Bosch sees the idiosyncratic and jazz-loving LAPD detective back in the field and deep into a new case full of fathers and sons, fathers and daughters, desert safe houses, rogue cops, North Vegas brothels, domestic tension and some very dark truths.
Building on the strength of its first season that debuted on February 15 last year on Amazon, this round of Bosch reinforces the appreciation if you are already a fan, and will provide a quick conversion if you are new to the faith. Add in that Jamie Hector is much more in play as Bosch’s partner on the force Detective Jerry Edgar, and Lance Reddick expanded in his role from Season 1 of Deputy Chief Irvin Irving. Once again, the City of Angels, which was a character unto itself in Season 1, plays a big role in Bosch – even more so with the addition of Jeri Ryan in a classic and damaged only-in-Tinseltown role that’s at the core of the case that fuels the new season.
There’s a great exchange in the series that sums up why Bosch works so well. At one point Hector’s Edgar says to Bosch, “I thought you loved L.A.,” and Bosch replies, “I do but I know what it is.” Unlike many a series, Bosch the series knows exactly what it is – and that’s just one of the good reasons you should watch Season 2 when it drops Friday.