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Murder in the City of Angels

Amazon Instant's dark new crime drama Bosch is the latest prime time love letter to Los Angeles.


Nic Pizzolatto’s sweltering Louisiana backdrop in True Detective, Vince Gilligan’s dirty ‘Burque in Breaking Bad, James Manos Jr.’s candy-colored, blood-spattered Miami in Dexter. If there’s one thing we know about prime time crime, it’s that place matters. And Bosch, the newest police procedural on the scene, knows it, too.

The Amazon Studios series isn’t short on muscle. Michael Connelly, the author of the best-selling Harry Bosch book series on which the show is based, is also the show’s creator. The Wire producer Eric Overmeyer co-wrote the pilot, which kick-starts the hunt for a 13-year-old boy’s killer.

Related: The 13 Best True Crime Documentaries Streaming on Netflix Right Now 

It stars a steely-eyed Titus Welliver (seedy Lionel McCready in Gone Baby Gone), who does hard-boiled homicide detective Harry Bosch justice. 

But it’s the crime drama’s commitment to Connelly’s original theme – In every murder is a tale of the city – that’s most alluring. From the flashing L.A. traffic and busy downtown night life to the crime scene boneyard tucked away in Laurel Canyon. There’s nothing sweet about Connelly’s portrayal of the City of Angels.

And that’s something Bosch, which hits Amazon Instant Video this Friday, February 13th, in its ten-episode entirety, has in common with some of our favorite crime dramas. Read on for four gritty and gorgeous mystery programs that prowl the dark side of Los Angeles.


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  • Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Television

Odds are you haven’t seen Southland. Creator Ann Biderman’s network-hopping series might just be one of TV’s best-kept secrets. Though it had a cult following and critics on its side, the masses just didn’t tune in to the morally complex character drama as hazy as the city’s air-pollution problem.

The Shield

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So, Farmington, the district in which Michael Chiklis leads a cast of inner-city LAPD officers into taking the “rules are made to be broken” idiom way too far, is fictional. But the bloody gang violence at the heart of The Shield is very real. In fact, we hear the setting’s based on South Central, a notorious gangland capital.

Related: The Grim Sleeper Murders Haunted Los Angeles for 25 Years 


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There’s more to L.A. than the “Hollywood” Sign. How about the infamous O. J. Simpson car chase? Or the Rodney King riots? Both of which are featured in the opening sequence of this innovative time-jumping puzzle of a series starring Donnie Wahlberg and Neal McDonough. Sadly, the New Kids didn’t hang around for long. The critically acclaimed show was cancelled after just two seasons.

Ray Donovan

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Another from Ann Biderman, who’s done a lot of right when it comes to writing on-screen wrongdoing (Primal FearNYPD Blue). This time she takes the action off the street and into the homes of Hollywood’s elite. Starring Liev Schreiber, Jon Voight, and the city’s sprawling-mansion architecture, Ray Donovan tells the tale of a sharp-dressed fixer with a thorny past, puts the money in mo’ money, mo’ problems.

Related: 12 True Crime Authors Who Will Hook You on the Genre  

Featured photo courtesy of Amazon Prime.