Thursday, 7 June 2012


One mean Mayor! Kelsey Grammer is BOSS. Images: LIONSGATE/STARZ.

If there's one thing that US TV does so well-high over the shoulders of many of its British and European rivals and counterparts-it's powerful and memorable political dramas, with finely crafted characters and skulduggery galore. It's a tradition of back-stabbing, manoeuvring, and kiss the girls to make them cry attitudes berthed in the human psyche of many of the power players in real life American society (with the rest of the world slowly but surely catching up!) that's so compelling and ripe for adaptation and transferring into thinly veiled artistic fantasy. With such seminal prior examples around since the mid-seventies onwards, like the terrific mini-series WASHINGTON BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, to the more amiable comedy-drama antics of the perfect Oval Office, as well as lots of corridor talking, so resplendent in Aaron Sorkin's THE WEST WING, now comes the shady dealings and intrigue of BOSS.

It hasn't arrived yet on UK TV shores, but I'm hearing great things States-side about it, especially as a new vehicle for ex-Seattle comedy psychiatrist Frasier Crane portrayer Kelsey Grammer, showing him at his decidedly darkest, serious, razor sharp and controlling best in a first season, eight episode run (with a second year coming soon) about the day to day emotional and calculating infighting, power wrestling and rising ambitions of fictional (Thank, God!) Chicago Mayor Tom Kane, who makes British Mayors Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone look as if they're still in Kindergarten, keeping his debilitating and untreatable brain disease secret from friends (a different kind of mental health issue to the one he had in his comedy series!), family and staffers alike whilst embarking on his personal mission/crusade to keep the city's political power, muscle and prestige to himself at all costs, and in the face of what will be a difficult re-election campaign. As this event intensifies, so will Kane's blunt aggression, sorting out a few old scores along the way to make sure he comes out top, and even prepared to use and possibly sacrifice his fractured family in the process (including GLADIATOR's yummy Connie Nielsen as his wife Meredith, and Hannah Ware as his drug abusing daughter, Emma).

In control? Grammer as Chicago Mayor Tom Kane.
At a political function with wife Meredith (Connie Nielsen).

Trailer: Boss - Trailer 1 - YouTube

Created by rising star Farhad Safinia for LIONSGATE FILMS and the STARZ channel (executive produced by Grammer (in his first major series drama lead) with movie icon Gus Van Sant, the first season run of BOSS, with great guest turns from the likes of HILL STREET BLUES Daniel J. Travanti and Martin Donovan, as well as calibre directors including DAMAGES Mario Van Peebles, has earned rave reviews for the title star and the series in general, many of whom have cited it for being a more than accurate look at politics and manipulation behind the scenes.

Season One of BOSS is now available in the US on Blu-ray. Look out for more on the show, and its upcoming second season, on KOOL TV in the not too distant future...

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