If you live in the U.S., Amazon recently premiered a few shows for free on February 6, 2014. The shows are: The After, Bosch, The Rebels, Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle. They all look very promising, but since I have absolutely no interests in comedy, sports, or historical drama (even if it's semi-music-related), I only watched the sci-fi The After and the crime-drama Bosch.
The new series is from Chris Carter, the creator of the X-Files (one of my all-time favorite television show, except for perhaps the later seasons when we lost Agent Mulder), so The After has some key things that what made the X-Files so great. That includes mystery of the unknown and science fiction/horror elements.
I don't know if The After will work as a full series, as it felt very narrow with eight strangers trapped in an underground parking. The strangers all have their unique character traits: a cop, a clown, a drunk, a millionaire, a French actress, a lawyer, a criminal, and a call girl. I only mention 'French' in the actress because her accent was evident that it was almost hard to watch and understand what she was saying. Which is a shame because the main story is focused around her.
Overall, I think this nearly hour-long show is terrific, but it does suffer from many of these apocalyptic large-cast shows (to name a few Terra Nova, Fast Forward, Falling Skies, Under the Dome, etc), is that there are just too much (and too many characters) going on to keep track of. Shows that handle large casts well is The Walking Dead, where only a few character stands out, or, in the case of Lost, may focus only on one character at a time.
The pilot does an incredible job of setting the tone and style of the show. This was a police procedural crime drama with two parallel storyline: Detective Bosch on trial for the murder of an alleged serial killer and at the same time trying to solve the murder of a young boy. You know they are related, if only Bosch can prove it to save himself.
What I'm curious about is how they can take this series. I mean, how far can you take Bosch's story? It felt to me like the trial can be wrapped up in a few episodes ... and let's face it, court room dramas aren't my cup of tea. What I would love to see is Bosch just solving regular crime with his cop-turned-detective girl rookie - and I'm hoping that's where the series takes us.
I've been looking for a new crime drama, especially since Justify is closing down next year (and Killer Women and HBO's True Detective* aren't cutting it for me). Bosch may be fast on my favorite crime-drama list of shows for 2014.
If you're interested in checking out these brand new original shows, head over to AmazonOriginals.com and watch them for free.
* PS on another topic altogether, why are people raving about True Detective so much? I watched the pilot and absolutely nothing happened on the show. Seriously, it's boring and I really don't understand why people love this show.
If you're in the UK, you can watch via Lovefilm Instant: https://www.lovefilm.com/micro/amazon_originals
[Or if you want to pretend to be American/avoid the silverlight plugin, use a chrome extension like hola or media hint and watch the Amazon versions.]