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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Twisted And Twisty Political Soap Opera From Starz Has A Stellar Second (And Last) Season, February 6, 2013
This review is from: Boss: Season 2 (DVD)
Of all the shows from 2012, the second season of Starz's "Boss" was my choice for the most improved. Don't get me wrong, I loved Season One of this dark and twisted political soap opera! When I reviewed it, I gave it my highest recommendation. But the show probably connected slightly more with my brain than with my heart. In the ten episodes that comprise this set, the writers managed to streamline the most successful elements of the first year and also give some of the underutilized peripheral characters a greater chance to shine. In truth, this may well be one of my absolute favorites from the 2012 line-up.

The show is filled with Machiavellian maneuvering, duplicitous double dealing, and insane political posturing. Chicago city government (as well as a state election) is the arena for the never ending game and all the players are jostling for the best position and the preservation of their own self interest. The heightened drama unfolds with an operatic grandeur with the unscrupulous Tom Kane (Kelsey Grammar) unwilling to relinquish his mayoral seat under any circumstance. Although intensely dramatic, I found myself frequently laughing out loud at the show's ruthlessness! But just as the show is hitting its stride, Starz has decided not to move forward with Season Three. So it's somewhat bittersweet to say goodbye to this gleefully unpleasant adult entertainment.

Grammar is terrific in the role that won him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. His Kane is still struggling to hang on to his devastating health secret and remain in power. As the season starts, he sits squarely on the throne. But his reign starts to be compromised by rivals, foes, personal demons and the truth itself. But never count Kane out, even when all looks lost. The story arc of "Boss" this season is absolutely perfect. It is a riveting series of highs and lows orchestrated with precision by sophisticated screenplays and intricate plotting. Unfolding like a fine novel, the season is peppered with surprising and unsettling moments.

In addition to Grammar, the show continues to boast one of TV's strongest ensemble casts. Connie Nielsen, as Kane's wife, really steps into a power position this year and steals every scene she's in. Jeff Hephner (Zajac), Kathleen Robertson (Kitty), and Troy Garity (Sam Miller) are all back as well. Robertson (who played my favorite character in Season One) is somewhat sidelined this year and I missed her presence in the thick of things. And mark my words, I predict that Hephner will become a star very soon. Perhaps the weakest aspect (to my mind) of the show's myriad plotlines continues to be Kane's daughter (Hannah Ware), but she is integrated far better this year than last. And just because you might think the great Martin Donovan (Ezra Stone) has no place anymore, don't say goodbye prematurely. Kane sure can't!

The dynamic in the mayor's office is decidedly different as well with new cast members taking on pivotal roles at Kane's side. Sanaa Lathan and Jonathan Groff are both well suited to their respective roles. Still, this largely remains Grammar's show. Naked ambition has never looked so cool even as he struggles to maintain the veneer of normality. I bid farewell to "Boss." Although I wished the show would continue, this wraps things up at a nice concluding point and doesn't leave too much twisting in the wind. Do yourself a favor, check this out from the beginning to fully enjoy the show's intricacies! KGHarris, 2/13.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 12, 2013 6:40:50 PM PDT
Team Robins says:
I am shocked that such a good dramatic production is not being renewed! I have not seen this season yet, but expect to buy it soon. Season one was an unexpected pleasure and I was looking forward to a few more.

Posted on Jun 27, 2014 9:13:12 AM PDT
R. V. Russo says:
Thanks to KG Harris for submitting a brilliant review of "Boss" with great detail as to the characters and the twisted plot. While I enjoyed the two-year Starz's showing of Boss, I just ordered seasons 1 & 2 so I can view them again. I recommend viewing this show not just for Kelsey Grammar fans but to anyone who enjoys the corrupt (tell me it is not) political arena.
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