“Bosch: Legacy” Review: More Crimes, Cold Cases and LA Landmarks in New Amazon Spin-Off

Titus Welliver and Mimi Rogers in season one of Bosch: Legacy. Photo Courtesy: Amazon Freeve

Rating: 6/10

If, like me, you’re partial to investigative procedural shows set in photogenic cities (complete with a touch of local cuisine), you’re in luck. Bosch: Legacy — a.k.a. sort of Bosch season eight — debuts on Amazon’s ad-supported and free streaming service Freevee (previously known as IMDb TV) this Friday, May 6. The 10-episode new season of the Bosch spin-off will premiere with four episodes; after that, two new ones will be available each Friday through May 27. The first four episodes of the season were available for review.

If you’re new to this TV adaptation of the Michael Connelly series of books starring a Los Angeles Homicide Detective with a soft spot for jazz and cold cases, I’d say it’s better that you start with the previous seven seasons of Prime Video’s Bosch, which are also available on Freevee. More than a traditional spin-off with a new character as the main focus, this show still revolves around Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver), but in his new era as a private investigator. His daughter Maddie (Madison Lintz) and the lawyer Honey Chandler (Mimi Rogers) are the two other protagonists from Bosch who’ve come to Legacy

Bosch: Legacy kicks off with a very necessary “Previously on Bosch” that reminds you where things left off at the end of Bosch’s season seven. Maddie decided to apply to the LAPD and follow in her dad and mom’s footsteps by working in law enforcement. Honey awoke from a coma after being shot in her home while she was working on a case involving millionaire Carl Rogers (Michael Rose). He had ties to Russian organized crime. And Bosch resigned from the LAPD, ready to start anew as a private eye. 

This new season is loosely based on the novel The Wrong Side of Goodbye. Connelly not only executive produces here, but he’s also credited as co-writer of Bosch: Legacy’s pilot with Eric Overmyer, who also developed Bosch as a TV show. 

Madison Lintz and Titus Welliver in season one of Bosch: Legacy. Photo Courtesy: Amazon Freevee

The new show also stars Stephen Chang — he’s featured in Bosch: Legacy’s opening credits as the fourth lead with Welliver, Lintz and Rogers — as Mo. He’s Bosch’s associate and the kind of person the detective turns to when he needs to track someone’s car — or do something as simple as a Google search. Harry — the kind of Angelino who doesn’t use Google Maps — isn’t exactly tech-savvy, so I understand why he’d want a Mo in his professional life. Plus, they both share an enthusiasm for jazz and have lots of opinions about it. 

The thing is though, Mo doesn’t get as much screen time as Harry, Maddie or Honey do, even if he’s supposed to be one of the series regulars. Plus he’s introduced in the same way all the other characters in this show are: as someone we already knew from the previous series. That’s not the case with him and we don’t learn much about him, his background or how he met Bosch and managed to gain the detective’s confidence. 

Old acquaintances from Bosch’s past life do show up. I was only too happy when Crate (Gregory Scott Cummins) and Barrel (Troy Evans) made an appearance to help Bosch in a surveillance gig that the two old-school detectives nail. Coltrane, the adorable blue heeler dog that Bosch adopted in season five of the show, is also back. Although he doesn’t get enough close-ups for my taste. And we can only hope Jerry Edgar (Jamie Hector) and one of his impeccable three-piece suits will also materialize at some point in the show. 

The callbacks to Bosch don’t end there, which is why I think this simply feels like a new season of Amazon’s longest-running Prime Video Original, Bosch, more than a spin-off or new TV drama. There’s jazz, aerial takes of Downtown Los Angeles at night and a continuous showcase of the Californian city and its food scene. Maddie has a heated conversation about whether the small chain Umami Burger or the hot dogs institution Pink’s is a better lunch option. We get a peek inside upscale restaurants République and Jar, and stop in for coffee and donuts at Trejo’s. Plus, there’s a chase on foot through the streets of LA’s fashion district, and Bosch meets a client by the Portal of the Folded Wings Shrine to Aviation in Burbank. So the show keeps being a way to vicariously travel to LA while always avoiding tourist traps. 

Titus Welliver in season six of Bosch. Unfortunately, there aren’t many takes from this perspective in Bosch: Legacy. Photo Courtesy: Prime Video

The other thing to return to Legacy, although sadly not for long, is Bosch’s glass-walled cantilever house, which hangs over the Hollywood Hills — and the arresting views of the city that come with it. The house can be seen in Bosch: Legacy’s first episode but the detective is forced to move out of it after an earthquake damages its foundation. 

I’m not sure whether it’s that unfortunate change of residence or the constraints imposed by filming during the pandemic — or both — but this new season looks less photogenic than past seasons. So much so that I had a very hard time finding a promo image for this article that wasn’t just some actors on an interior, and not necessarily attractive, set. Even if Los Angeles still is a big component of the show, the city looks less cinematic this time around.

I’m also not sure about the way the series decided to tackle the pandemic. They took the And Just Like That… route of portraying a present-day maskless society in which COVID-19 is a thing of the past. Even though some references to how the pandemic also had good things — you could easily find a parking space — ring true, we know better than to think of COVID-19 as a thing with a clear ending.

Much like the time I told you about the other Amazon procedural show based on a series of bestselling mystery novels (Reacher), I also don’t think Bosch: Legacy is going to win many awards. It’s not that kind of Peak TV material. But if you were craving a new season of Bosch and feel like revisiting the detective’s not-always-by-the-book way of doing things, you won’t be disappointed.