Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Boss - Season One
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We are now into the fourth episode of this ongoiing new series for television BOSS and while the entire series for the DVD cannot be reviewed as yet, t seems only fitting that the public be alerted to a show that is far above the usual series dramas made for television. It boasts some brilliant writing by Farhad Safinia, who was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1975 and left Iran with his family at the age of four to live in Paris, then London. At King's College, Cambridge, where he studied Economics, he directed and acted in a number of stage productions for the Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club and other theatre companies. After graduating, he moved to New York City where he studied film at the New School University and at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. His only other screenplay to date is 'Apocalypto' but he clearly is someone to watch. The production company includes Gus Van Sant and star Kelsey Grammer and Mario Van Peebles, and the work of some extraordinary cinematography

BOSS opens with Chicago Mayor Tom Kane Kelsey Grammer) seated in an empty warehouse listening to his physician tell him is complete secrecy that he has Lewy-body dementia, a progressive degenerative neurologic disorder in which thread- like proteinaceous inclusions are deposited within neurites (Lewy neurites): the disease is not treatable, not curable, and as the patient decline the motor and sensory functions gradually are obliterated until the completely incapacitated victim dies.
From this opening Kane moves into action - a man who has clawed his way to the top of the political heap where he is now surrounded by a staff (Kathleen Robertson, Martin Donovan et al) who assist him in manipulating the election of the next governor of Illinois (Jeff Hephner is his choice). There are numerable sidebars that weave in and out through the series - Kane's estranged wife (Connie Nielsen) has her own political agenda, Kane's equally estranged daughter (Hannah Ware) has turned away form her father's modus operandi only to bifurcate her life between evangelism and Free Clinic support as well as drug dealing with a growing romantic interest (Rotimi Akinosho), Kane's dealings with big business which happens to uncover historic Indian gravesites that cause another series of complications, his distrust of the Latino community and the payback for deeds he does not approve of, and while all of this is going an (and more) Kane must face his progressive deterioration of his physical life and try to regenerate a semblance of a spiritual/humanitarian life. Of particular importance is the ever present reporter Sam Miller form the Chicago Sentinel (Troy Garity) who will likely assume more and more importance as the series roles on.

This is an astonishingly fine cast, a intensely creative script, and a show with exceptional production values. Where will it go? It is difficult to wait for the next installment in the weeks to come. Grady Harp, November 11
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The world of Chicago politics takes another savage beating in the sharp and cynical Starz original series "Boss." Really, the city needs to get an expert PR firm on the case immediately! Any TV show or movie that features Chicago invariably paints its city offices as a hotbed of corruption and malfeasance. But that's okay Chi-Town, I won't hold it against you if it keeps producing top notch entertainment like this unexpectedly rewarding drama. In truth, I had absolutely no interest in following Kelsey Grammar into this den of inequity. I think it's fair to say, that while I think he's talented, Grammar is not a particular favorite of mine. But I'm glad I gave the show a shot. After finding the early episodes intriguing, if somewhat unfocused, "Boss" brought all of its disparate plot threads together in almost operatic fashion to provide some of the year's most intense drama. As all the political machinations, plotting, and back-stabbing reached fever pitch proportions--"Boss" grew into the season's most pleasant (if rather unpleasant) surprises. Filled with great performances, the show recently scored a Golden Globe nomination for Best Drama and one for Grammar as Lead Actor.

Grammar plays Tom Kane, the ruthless mayor of Chicago. He is diagnosed in the first episode with a degenerative neurological condition which he struggles to control and keep a guarded secret. Corrupted by power, Grammar has lost all vestiges of idealism that he might once have had and, in the process, seems to have pushed away those closest to him. Most of the season revolves around the state gubernatorial race as Grammar hopes to oust the current regime with someone more controllable. Past scandals, brittle and complicated relationships, palace coups, and backroom deals populate the season's eight episodes as every major character tries to advance through the maze of corruption. And in many ways, everyone is complicit in some form of wrong-doing and it will be almost impossible to remain unscathed. At the center, Grammar rules the roost in a towering performance--a terrifically despicable anti-hero. Everyone may want to take him down, but it's easier said than done!

I won't recount the various plot points of the season, I think it's best to let the show unravel like a good novel. But I will say that "Boss" would be nowhere near as effective if it were not for the great (and huge) cast of supporting players. Everyone is great, but I'll only mention a few of my favorites. A deadpan Martin Donovan and a crisp Kathleen Robertson provide excellent support as Grammar's closest confidantes. This may be Robertson's best role to date. Connie Nielsen is an understated presence as Grammar's estranged wife, but shows unexpected importance as the episodes progress. Francis Guinan is spot-on as the current Governor and Jeff Hephner serves up a true star making role as his rival. I expect we'll be seeing Hephner more frequently if this is any indication. But at the heart of "Boss" is a fierce Grammar. Like the driving force within a Shakespearean tragedy, his Mayor Tom Kane is an unforgettable power player who stands to conquer all challengers. It's a big role and a great performance. A smart and savvy political drama for adults, check out "Boss." KGHarris, 12/11.
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on August 2, 2012
Everything about "Boss" is great. I had no idea that Kelsey Grammer is such a fine actor - he's up there with Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson and Dustin Hoffman. I'm from Texas and believe that LBJ was the most ruthless politician to ever claw his way to power. Mayor Cain is just as ruthless. But he has enough good qualities and Grammer is such a nuanced actor that we empathize with him, the same as we did for Vito Corleone in The Godfather. The plot is a Shakespearean tragedy like Macbeth or King Lear, the dialogue, photography, cinematography and the supporting cast is wonderful, especially the actors who play the consigliere Ezra Stone, Cain's wife and daughter. There's a scene in the last episode where Cain is standing in front of a mural that I won't describe so as not to spoil it that shows his true character. There's also a hit man that is scary as hell. If you like intelligent, adult drama like The Wire, Boardwalk Empire, and Breaking Bad, you'll love Boss.
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The world of Chicago politics takes another savage beating in the sharp and cynical Starz original series "Boss." Really, the city needs to get an expert PR firm on the case immediately! Any TV show or movie that features Chicago invariably paints its city offices as a hotbed of corruption and malfeasance. But that's okay Chi-Town, I won't hold it against you if it keeps producing top notch entertainment like this unexpectedly rewarding drama. In truth, I had absolutely no interest in following Kelsey Grammar into this den of inequity. I think it's fair to say, that while I think he's talented, Grammar is not a particular favorite of mine. But I'm glad I gave the show a shot. After finding the early episodes intriguing, if somewhat unfocused, "Boss" brought all of its disparate plot threads together in almost operatic fashion to provide some of the year's most intense drama. As all the political machinations, plotting, and back-stabbing reached fever pitch proportions--"Boss" grew into the season's most pleasant (if rather unpleasant) surprises. Filled with great performances, the show recently scored a Golden Globe nomination for Best Drama and one for Grammar as Lead Actor.

Grammar plays Tom Kane, the ruthless mayor of Chicago. He is diagnosed in the first episode with a degenerative neurological condition which he struggles to control and keep a guarded secret. Corrupted by power, Grammar has lost all vestiges of idealism that he might once have had and, in the process, seems to have pushed away those closest to him. Most of the season revolves around the state gubernatorial race as Grammar hopes to oust the current regime with someone more controllable. Past scandals, brittle and complicated relationships, palace coups, and backroom deals populate the season's eight episodes as every major character tries to advance through the maze of corruption. And in many ways, everyone is complicit in some form of wrong-doing and it will be almost impossible to remain unscathed. At the center, Grammar rules the roost in a towering performance--a terrifically despicable anti-hero. Everyone may want to take him down, but it's easier said than done!

I won't recount the various plot points of the season, I think it's best to let the show unravel like a good novel. But I will say that "Boss" would be nowhere near as effective if it were not for the great (and huge) cast of supporting players. Everyone is great, but I'll only mention a few of my favorites. A deadpan Martin Donovan and a crisp Kathleen Robertson provide excellent support as Grammar's closest confidantes. This may be Robertson's best role to date. Connie Nielsen is an understated presence as Grammar's estranged wife, but shows unexpected importance as the episodes progress. Francis Guinan is spot-on as the current Governor and Jeff Hephner serves up a true star making role as his rival. I expect we'll be seeing Hephner more frequently if this is any indication. But at the heart of "Boss" is a fierce Grammar. Like the driving force within a Shakespearean tragedy, his Mayor Tom Kane is an unforgettable power player who stands to conquer all challengers. It's a big role and a great performance. A smart and savvy political drama for adults, check out "Boss." KGHarris, 12/11.
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on December 3, 2011
Boss is an outstanding series, well written, superb acting, leaves one wanting more at the end of each episode. Nothing on Premium Channels can touch it. Having been a loyal viewer of HBO's Soprano Series, Boss is prime to be continued as successfully. I'm anxious for the Premire on dvd to come out soon so I can share it with those who haven't Starz nor who willingly pay $10 a pop to watch it On Demand. My hope is that the series continues to be of the highest quality to date, in my opinion.
0Comment|21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The world of Chicago politics takes another savage beating in the sharp and cynical Starz original series "Boss." Really, the city needs to get an expert PR firm on the case immediately! Any TV show or movie that features Chicago invariably paints its city offices as a hotbed of corruption and malfeasance. But that's okay Chi-Town, I won't hold it against you if it keeps producing top notch entertainment like this unexpectedly rewarding drama. In truth, I had absolutely no interest in following Kelsey Grammar into this den of inequity. I think it's fair to say, that while I think he's talented, Grammar is not a particular favorite of mine. But I'm glad I gave the show a shot. After finding the early episodes intriguing, if somewhat unfocused, "Boss" brought all of its disparate plot threads together in almost operatic fashion to provide some of the year's most intense drama. As all the political machinations, plotting, and back-stabbing reached fever pitch proportions--"Boss" grew into the season's most pleasant (if rather unpleasant) surprises. Filled with great performances, the show recently scored a Golden Globe nomination for Best Drama and one for Grammar as Lead Actor.

Grammar plays Tom Kane, the ruthless mayor of Chicago. He is diagnosed in the first episode with a degenerative neurological condition which he struggles to control and keep a guarded secret. Corrupted by power, Grammar has lost all vestiges of idealism that he might once have had and, in the process, seems to have pushed away those closest to him. Most of the season revolves around the state gubernatorial race as Grammar hopes to oust the current regime with someone more controllable. Past scandals, brittle and complicated relationships, palace coups, and backroom deals populate the season's eight episodes as every major character tries to advance through the maze of corruption. And in many ways, everyone is complicit in some form of wrong-doing and it will be almost impossible to remain unscathed. At the center, Grammar rules the roost in a towering performance--a terrifically despicable anti-hero. Everyone may want to take him down, but it's easier said than done!

I won't recount the various plot points of the season, I think it's best to let the show unravel like a good novel. But I will say that "Boss" would be nowhere near as effective if it were not for the great (and huge) cast of supporting players. Everyone is great, but I'll only mention a few of my favorites. A deadpan Martin Donovan and a crisp Kathleen Robertson provide excellent support as Grammar's closest confidantes. This may be Robertson's best role to date. Connie Nielsen is an understated presence as Grammar's estranged wife, but shows unexpected importance as the episodes progress. Francis Guinan is spot-on as the current Governor and Jeff Hephner serves up a true star making role as his rival. I expect we'll be seeing Hephner more frequently if this is any indication. But at the heart of "Boss" is a fierce Grammar. Like the driving force within a Shakespearean tragedy, his Mayor Tom Kane is an unforgettable power player who stands to conquer all challengers. It's a big role and a great performance. A smart and savvy political drama for adults, check out "Boss." KGHarris, 12/11.
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on August 26, 2012
After hearing so many people rave about "Boss" during it's first season, I had to check it out for myself. Luckily we were being offered a free limited subscription to Starz so I was able to catch up with the episodes in what I would say would be an obsessive manner. I knew that my husband would also enjoy this series, but alas our trial subscription ended. That led me to purchase Season One from Amazon.

Needless to say I watched all the episodes again with my husband (in marathon fashion) and he too was hooked. We are currently enjoying Season 2 together as I signed up for Starz so I wouldn't miss it.

This is a role of a lifetime for Kelsey Grammer who plays Tom Kane, the fictional role of mayor of Chicago. This is not the lovable Frasier Crane we have come to love and laugh at in "Cheers or Frasier". He is corrupt, vicious, calculating and vengeful. The picture on the cover of this DVD says it all. It'a an Emmy winning performance and he wasn't even nominated this year.

Alot has been said about Chicago and Illinois politics being corrupt, but it's nothing like the Chicago politics pictured in this series. As a life-long Chicagoan I have become used to the "slings and arrows" that come our way, but I think I can say with some certainty that non of our mayors have been as corrupt as Tom Kane. (At least I hope not)

I enjoy seeing our city featured on television and the fact that it's shot here and not somewhere else designed to depict Chicago, is great for our city.

Bottom line, if you love politics, suspense, intrigue and yes, SEX, you will love this show. If you don't want to spend more money on your cable provider to get Starz, you can order the seasons through Amazon like we did.
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i was a big fan of Frasier Crane, Grammer's twenty year role in situation comedy, first on CHEERS and then on FRASIER. He played a psychiatrist who was beset with personal problems on every level and was hilarious. For anyone who knows him as Frasier, it is a real shock to see him as the deeply corrupt Mayor of Chicago in BOSS. He is also terminally ill with a disease which is affecting his memory and causing him hallucinations. His main concern is staying in power for the time he has left and he will do anything to achieve this. He is a very evil guy and about as anti-Frasier a character as he could find. he has a very able supporting cast but make no mistake, he is what anchors and holds together the whole show. He does a fantastic job. Season two begins in less than a week and I am ready for it. This is a very dark show but excellent. It is hard to see how he can become much more corrupt but I'm more than ready to watch it happen!

Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
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on April 17, 2013
Granted, this is an award-winning series, but it's obviously more of a "male guilty pleasure" than a "real life" drama. To prove the point, Kathleen Robertson as Kitty O'Neill, who's Tom Kane's personal aide, is hep, knowledgeable and the Boss respects her ability. They could have had the young lady lured away to a better job by a high-powered attorney or something. Instead, to satisfy male-ego, in order to retire her from the series, this very intelligent sex-kitten isn't using "birth control"! Yeah, they write a "modern gal" into the script and then use a Victorian Age excuse: "she's pregnant" to write her out! The writers really had to get creative to reach for that conclusion! It worked for them, but it turned me off.
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on August 4, 2013
While this isn't without flaws, especially in the first few episodes, it develops into an intense, tremendously
well acted and deeply chilling portrait of power and it's various abuses.

Kelsey Grammer is a frightening Godfather-like mayor of Chicago, who reveals just enough humanity for
us to hope for some redemption. Or are even those flashes just an act? Almost everyone in this show is
working an angle, playing their cards, hoping to come out on top and not worried about who they step
on to get there. Filled with some really surprising and often depressing turns, this is as dark a look at
U.S. politics as I've seen in a long time. And to me that makes this important viewing. Because sadly, as
over the top as the show can seem, why do I think it's much, much closer to reality than we'd all like to
believe?

As for the weak spots, there are a couple of performances in supporting roles that don't quite keep up,
and especially in the first few episode a lot of gratuitous sex that feels shoehorned in. Believe me, I love
a good sex scene. Just not when it feels like there's no reason for it to be there besides someone in
power saying `hey, no one's been naked for 15 minutes!' But that starts to fade as the season goes
along, as do the plot holes. At the same time the emotional power grows, and by the last couple of
episodes it's simply mesmerizing.
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