I’ve pointed out before that Amazon are terrible at curating their own premium television service. There is actually quite a lot of decent stuff on Amazon, but you would never know it from looking at the interface for Amazon Prime, which mixes so-called “originals” with back catalogue, mixes stuff you have to rent or buy with the stuff included in your subscription, and – now – mixes Amazon Prime stuff with Freevee stuff as well as stuff – like Station Eleven – that you have to get a subscription-within-your-subscription to see.
It’s way too complicated in a universe of premium TV services, and if you’re looking for something to watch, your heart might sink at the prospect of negotiating that interface. And on top of all this, Amazon are simply terrible at telling people when new stuff is going to be available. To the point, I think, that TV critics can’t even be arsed with it. I listen every week to the Radio Times podcast, and it seems they’re much more likely to talk about something on BritBox than something on Amazon.
In the middle of all this nonsense, and for reasons best known to themselves, Amazon have decided to take what is probably their best show (and the main reason to get a Prime subscription) and put its sequel series on Freevee, a television service so pointless that it’s already on its third name — and still nobody cares about it.
Laving aside the terrible (and non-compliant) Prime TV apps, the problems begin on the Amazon landing page, where you’d barely know that there is a whole premium television service with expensively made shows somewhere behind it.
When you do get to the Prime page, what do you see?
Two (2) prominent promotions for an undoubtedly shit film; something that might be a comedy aimed at teenagers, some kind of undoubtedly shit true crime documentary, and some kind of undoubtedly shit live comedy thing. None of which, you’ll notice, is Bosch: Legacy, the sequel series to the five (excellent) series of Bosch. Bosch: Legacy dropped its first four episodes on Friday 6th May – two days ago.
Scrolling down, and we get two almost identical tiles for something called The Escape Artist. Ooh, is this new? No: 2013. Then a bunch of films which were made in years ranging from 1962 to 2019. These are categorised, variously, as Movies We Think You’ll Like (or How Algorithms Get Things Wrong), Popular Movies. Then we get TV Shows We Think You’ll Like and then New Movies Every Day, Science Fiction Movies; suggestions based on the fact that I watched an episode of The Wilds before deciding I couldn’t stand it; then Documentary Movies, Top Rated TV Series, Noughties Movies, Popular TV Shows, Documentary TV Shows, Emotional TV and Movies, Action and Adventure TV Shows, Tense TV and Movies, Because You Watched William and Kate (I didn’t), Comedy TV Shows, Top 10 in the UK, Comedy Movies, Feel Good TV and Movies…
And so it goes. None of the above included Bosch: Legacy. It took till I scrolled down to Top 10 in the UK to even see the latest episode of Star Trek: Picard, a show I have actually been watching. You’ll also note a huge number of movies, comedies, and documentaries, which I almost never watch. I skipped over mention of the sport that I never watch. You’ll also note there’s not a single opportunity to Continue Watching things I’m in the middle of, no Wish List (even though Amazon does let you add things to a personal list). Even the My Stuff tab at the top takes me not to my current list or shows I’m currently watching but to things I have already watched.
Amazon spent $11 billion on TV production in 2020, and $13 billion in 2021. But their trash interface makes their TV service look trashy, and completely hides the good stuff. Stuff like Reacher, Wheel of Time, Patriot, The Man in the High Castle, The Marvellous Mrs Maisel, Homecoming.
And so to Bosch: Legacy, which has been made with the same great production values, same lead actor, same high-quality scripts, some familiar faces and some new ones… and yet where is it?
It’s on FreeVee, which used to be called IMDb TV, and before that IMDb Freedive. Amazon own it. It has stuff on it. You can watch it for free (with ads). And I must say that the phrase “free with ads” did make me hesitate. But it turns out I needn’t have worried. Here in the UK at least there are hardly any ads. You barely even notice them. It seems that its only purpose is to allow Amazon to offer a free, ad-supported tier, although it doesn’t have the same stuff on it as the paid-for Prime service. And all it seems to do, for me, is cheapen the offering, make it harder to find Bosch: Legacy, and make it less likely that people will watch it.
It’s all absolute insanity. Still, as long as Bezos gets to play astronaut, I suppose. Do you think Amazon know how close “Freevee” is to the UK’s “FreeView”?
As to the actual show: in spite of Amazon’s efforts to prevent me from ever watching it or knowing it existed, I enjoyed it. Didn’t like the theme tune much. Bosch has left the LAPD and is working as a private detective. He’s hired by a rich old man in a wheelchair (in a scene reminiscent of The Big Sleep) and is also working with his former nemesis Honey Chandler (Mimi Rogers), who is pursuing to corrupt billionaire who tried to have her killed. And Bosch’s daughter Maddie (Madison Lintz) is a rookie cop. The story picks up exactly where Season 5 of Bosch left off, so that you’d barely know the difference. So a great big shrug emoji, but catch it if you can.