Kelsey Grammer? Brilliant. The rest of the TV series Boss? Frustratingly close.
The TV series Boss never made it to the big time. It only got to its second season before being cancelled and only managed a late night screening on a lesser channel on British TV. But this tale of a fictional Chicago Mayor, played brilliantly by Kelsey Grammer, is oh so close to being a classic.
At its best, Grammer powers the show to a cross between The West Wing and House of Cards. At its worst, implausible characters and unlikely scripts drag it down to the level of cringe-inducing rather than entertaining. Grammer’s brilliance means you very quickly forget the previous, famous and very different, roles he has played. He dominates his scenes – and dominates them as Mayor Tom Kane, not as That Chap From Those Comedy Series.
The show focuses on the behind-the-scenes manoeuvring in politics, relatively slow-paced but with plenty of plot subtlety to follow and a fearsome mix of ego, vanity, greed and ambition amongst a large cast of deeply flawed people. There are no heroes as Grammer tries to cling on to power.
If you like politics, you’ll love the show even if – like me – you also end up wishing it was just that smudge better.
If you like this, you might also be interested in A Face in the Crowd.
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