September 26, 2003
MarkBernstein.org
 

Death by Hollywood

Death By Hollywood
Steven Bochco

Exactly what you'd expect in a first novel from the creator of Hill Street Blues and L.A. Law. Bochco has a superb sense of what we want to know about the inside of secret societies -- the station or the studio, big difference. He's got a great knack for plotting. And he's got a terrible weakness for characters who are esoteric (Belker) and a fondness for characters and subplots that are so far beyond the pale that they twist everything in the scene out of shape (Howard Hunter). The book has too many blow jobs and too little description, but it's a fine first outing.

If he wants, Bochco could easily build a successful mystery series, and though Death By Hollywood might not be the obvious starting point, it could be done. It's not clear why, with access to the television audience, he'd want to pursue this, but I rather hope he does.