Thursday, May 3, 2018

WKRLEM - You'll never leave Harlan alive

Too bad that Justified is over.

Maybe they could make some movies or something to keep it going. That works for Tom Selleck in the Robert B. Parker Jesse Stone movies. They could do one a year or so.


Sixty Grit said...

The pilot was good, and there were a few episodes that weren't filmed in California, but the stories ran out after Mags died. All I am saying is that series was no Bosch, and heck, even Bosch isn't Bosch these days.

Amartel said...

Yeah yeah. It's California. That never ruined it for me. Miss the show but it ended on time and didn't overstay its welcome. I'm currently missing Better Call Saul. Will check out this Bosch.

Sixty Grit said...

BCS will be back. It never hurts to rewatch the previous seasons, just sayin'.

Good writing makes the difference. Even Bosch suffers from plot holes you can drive a truck through in the latest season, but at least it is filmed where it is set - L.A.

MamaM said...

I would like to see you leave New York alive, Trooper. Are there any plans in the works for a move? You've previously mentioned Florida and a possible shop there but that was a while back and a change like that would be major. Leaving in the mind is another possibility and writing can accomplish that.

One of my goals is to get out of our present house alive, after growing up here and then moving back for another 22 years of life in it. Thankfully, almost everything has been sorted and boxed, with what's been kept sent to the new place (still in boxes) with the final move to take place at the end of May. At least there has been a partial cull of things that needed to be given away or dumped with the rest labeled, so the amount for us to cope with (either alone or together for the next round) will not be as great.

I'm most sad about leaving the birds who count on the seed and suet we consistently provide. Their world and mine is about to change.

Trooper York said...

The holes in the story are due to the fact that they are condensing the novels into a three hour format. They also really screwed with the timeline so it doesn't make sense. In the novels Harry was a Vietnam vet so his tunnel rat experiences made sense. But that is so long ago that it wasn't credible in the current day.

The Last Coyote which was the book that dealt with Harry's Mom's murder was much more believable as the murder was set in the same time era as the Black Dhalia. In fact Connelly was ripping off James Ellroy's life story as his Mom was also murdered. So they had to condense and change everything to make the time line work in 2018.

Mags Bennett's arch was the best of the stories that they produced. I think they really missed a bet with how they used Sam Elliott. When you get someone of that caliber you have to do better.

Of course Elmore Leonard had died by then and his son was the consultant so there's that.

Trooper York said...

Thanks Mama M.

I am on the mend. I have to eliminate stress and am slowly building back my stamina. The issue now is if they are going to replace the pace maker. I want to stay with my doctor until we decide before we go to Florida.

I have been busy writing these days. I want to see if I can actually pursue a life as a writer. That is a sedentary position that doesn't require the vigors of retail.

This last episode came out of the blue. I hope it is a one off. Once I get my medication adjusted then I should be ok. Still it is doctors visits and bullshit for the next couple of months to get it straight.

Sixty Grit said...

There are times I regret not moving to the Low Country in South Carolina but I decided to stay close to my favorite hospital. Of course I haven't needed them, yet, but what the hey, I can endure the harsh winters we have here because spring comes around early enough. My son sent me some pictures of his children and I thought "The trees are all dead there" then realized, oh yeah, he's up in Y*nkee land where winter dies hard. Never mind.

The writers did okay moving Bosch up to our current set of wars, and even the tunnel thing wasn't that bad, but it's almost as if they leave out crucial bits of information and all of a sudden he is more of a mind reader than a detective. Too much magic and happenstance, plus he got over his ex-wife's mu... - hold it - spoiler alert! As you were.

Trooper York said...

That is example of what we are talking about. The plot development you are talking about took a whole book and it took place in Hong Kong. They just shoe horned it in. They have a wealth of incidents from the books to choose from so they just stuff them in as a shorthand way to push the story forward.

You will notice how it seems they always end up in a tunnel with Bosch. The first serial killer story was set in a tunnel where he escaped from custody and Harry had to hunt him down alone. Now this story he is alone in a tunnel. They are picking and choosing elements to make the series. Don't get me wrong. I think they are doing pretty good with their choices.

It is far superior to your run of the mill cop show with actors chewing the scenery like Hawaii Five O or Blue Bloods. No comparison at all.

Trooper York said...

One of the real bonuses of Bosch is Titus Welliver. Usually a heavy he is a much better actor than most of the pretty boy leads of cop shows.

He is in the spirit of old time heavies like Lee Marvin or Charles Bronson who went from villains to charismatic leading men. Villains are almost always better actors than heroes.

Sixty Grit said...

He does good work. He needs better writers. I hadn't noticed the tunnel thing, but you are correct. At least there isn't any symbolism involved, eh?

Trooper York said...

The thing is when adapting a book you are faced with a choice. Do you slavishly follow the plot or do you take short cuts and telescope the plot line.

When you have built up a repitorie of over thirty novels over thirty years there is a lot to choose from. The problem is that the orginal books were written over thirty years ago so the character has aged out of 2018 relevance.

I will give another interesting example. The Spenser books of Robert B Parker started with Spenser being a vet of the Korean War. A guy like that would be in his seventies now. So he would not be getting in fist fights where he beats the crap out of five guys at a time the way he does in his current books. Now Robert Parker has been dead for five years and they have new authors writing the series. A new Spenser or Jesse Stone book comes out every year. Without acknowledging how silly it is if you read the whole series. It requires a suspension of disbelief. Or just being unaware of the story that has gone on so far.

The Harry Bosch of the books is very different than the TV show. Which is fine.

Elmore Leonard has always been one of my heroes. They asked him about how the TV show has adapted his stories and if he was angry about any of the translations of his stories to the screen. He basically said he didn't sweat it as long as he got paid. He said the book is his creation and it stands as written. The movie and TV show is it's own creation and has nothing to do with him. I think that is a very healthy attitude.

Raylan was always only a bit character to Elmore Leonard. He wasn't a recurring character like Spenser or Travis Magee or Matthew Scudder or Nero Wolfe. So nobody was all that invested in his back story or where they took it. He was even impressed with what they did and decided to incorporate it in a novel which was the last one he wrote about Raylan. That is really healthy and most writers should take a lesson from that.

Sixty Grit said...

A Korean war vet would be in his 80s. Vietnam vets are in their 70s. Shit happens, time passes and next thing you know not only have we run out of Civil War vets, Spanish American war vets and WWI vets, but now WWII vets are thin on the ground.

Heck, veterans from the first Gulf War are getting up in years. I was talking to a guy the other day and he wasn't that much younger than I am, but he paid a frightful price for his service.

But clever writers can bridge those gaps. What they can't do is make Lisa Simpson, who is now in her mid-30s stay forever young. Oh, right, they can.

Trooper York said...

It is just a willingness to suspend disbelief.

The bare bones of Harry Bosch's character were used in this series. His obsession with his mothers death. His military service as a tunnel rat. His lone wolf act and the way he couldn't keep a partner. Most of the characters in the show are quite different than the books. For example the police commissioner was a real enemy of Bosch and a cause of a lot of trouble for him. Here they made him a supporter and defender. Which really works for the TV show but has nothing to do with the books.

The only way to be true to the books was to make it a period piece which would be way too expensive. Since the majority of people are not familar with the books what they did is fine. If you want the nuance you can go back to the source material.

But this series is fine as it is. A superior TV show well worth your time.

Trooper York said...

If you want to watch another superior TV series based on a series of books by an excellent mystery author I would heartily recommend "Hap and Leonard" on the Sundance channel.

Based on the series by Joe Landsdale it is set in the 1980's. They solved the problem by being set in the original time of the books so they can follow along with the plots. It stars the cat who played Omar in the "Wire" and Chalky White in "Boardwalk Empire." Another case of a great actor who normally plays a villain and who knocks it out of the park playing the lead.

Plus it is set in the South so I look forward to Sixty telling me how all the trees are wrong.

Check it out. It is really good.

Sixty Grit said...

And that's another thing - how did Marlo Stanfield escape the mean streets of Bawmer only to end up under the exact same chief of police. Brother can't catch a break, nome sane?

I read the Landsdale books and have been watching Hap and Leonard. I am starting to think that Michael K. Williams is being typecast, if you catch my drift. That series seems to take its time with telling the stories as they were written. And I have been looking for non-East Texas flora, haven't seen it yet. I'll keep my eyes peeled.

Has there ever been a better bunch of nicknames than those used by characters on The Wire? No, no there has not. Bunk and Stringer and Poot and Fruit and Cheese and Prez and Bubbles? Those are my peeps!

Trooper York said...

One of the reasons for the "Wire's" multileveled deliciousness is that they used famous and talented mystery writers to write episodes. They had Dennis Lehane and George Pelecanos and I
think Richard Price. Top notch writers.

There plenty of series out there that would translate to great TV shows. I hope that Netflicks and Amazon investigate some of them.