Blu-ray Review: First Season of Chicago-Based Political Drama ‘Boss’

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CHICAGO – Starz’s “Boss” doesn’t so much reimagine life in politics in Chicago as Shakespearian drama as it does being in a mob family. Mayor Thomas Kane (Kelsey Grammar) is not too distinguishable from Tony Soprano in the way he manipulates those around him and in how betrayal could not only mean the end of your career but the end of your life (the First Lady of the Windy City describes politics as “money, muscle, and the neutralization of one’s enemies.”) And much like Tony’s panic attacks, it’s human frailty that could bring this don down. The strong first season was just released on Blu-ray and DVD in anticipation of the second season premiere in August. Blu-ray rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

There are more than enough elements in the first eight episodes of “Boss” to outweigh the show’s flaws. In particular, the writing in the political back rooms and the performances by the people there (especially Grammer and Martin Donovan) ring true. Outside of politics — everything involving Kane’s daughter and the underwritten role of his wife — the show falters a bit. And it doesn’t quite have a grasp on journalism.

However, the political world has rarely been more captivating. As the show built over the first season, peaking with a spectacular arc about poisoned water and how Kane’s office made a Chicago story one for Bensenville to handle, I was more and more riveted by the political machinations. I’m really hoping that the second season builds on these themes, while also strengthening the missing character depth that could make it a true great. The potential is there for this to become one of the best shows on television. See where it began and stay tuned for our full review of the first two episodes next month.

Boss: Season One was released on DVD and Blu-ray on July 24, 2012
Boss: Season One was released on DVD and Blu-ray on July 24, 2012
Photo credit: Lionsgate

Betrayal starts from within. Mayor Tom Kane (Golden Globe winner Kelsey Grammer) is King of Chicago and he rules his domain with an iron fist. Deception, scandal, and betrayal go hand in hand with Kane’s form of politics. As long as he gets the job done, the people of Chicago look the other way.

Despite being the most effective mayor in recent history, Kane is hiding a dark secret. A degenerative brain disorder is ripping everything away from him and he can’t trust his memory, his closest allies, or even himself. Watch as Kane viciously fights battles on all fronts in Boss: Season One.

Special Features:
o Episode Commentaries With Boss Executive Producer Farhad Safinia, Director Of Photography Kasper Tuxen, and Executive Producer Richard Levine
o Featurette: The Mayor and His Maker With Kelsey Grammer And Farhad Safinia

“Boss: The Complete First Season” stars Kelsey Grammer, Martin Donovan, Connie Nielsen, Kathleen Robertson, Troy Garity, and Hannah Ware. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on July 24, 2012. content director Brian Tallerico

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