I have something of a ritual that I go through every so often. Whenever a new season of a show is up and coming, I go back and rewatch the previous season or seasons of the show to understand the context of where the show is when it returns. But also because I watch so many shows on television that I need to make sure that I know what’s going on. Coming up fairly soon is season 2 (I believe it's this week in fact) of the show “Boss”, and I couldn’t be more excited for it. In case you’re not aware of the show, Boss is a political drama starring Kelsey Grammer, best known for his work on “Cheers” and his spin-off “Frasier” as Frasier Crane, as the corrupt mayor of Chicago who has recently found out that he has a degenerative neurological disease.
Most of Kelsey Grammer’s work post Cheers has been in the comedy realm and they haven’t gone all that far. From shows like “Back to You” and “Hank”, a large portion of them have been cancelled within a matter of episodes airing. But with Boss, he has found a juggernaut of a show to headline. Airing on the cable network STARZ, it was picked up for season 2 even before the first episode aired. And taking a look at even the first episode, you can see why from the get go. When you watch it, you really feel like you’re getting an inside look into the world of politics in this day and age. Now I can understand that this might not sound entirely interesting to some people, but you have to consider the fact that this is a drama. It’s not all about the politics. In many ways, it’s about a corrupt man who has been further corrupted by the tragedy of his condition.
Often times when you see a show which focuses on someone with an incurable decision, they tend to be the kind of person with a great number of regrets in their life which they feel the need to repent for. But while he does have a few of those, by and large he is completely comfortable with who he is and what he does. Yet it couldn’t be more gripping to watch. To see the way in which Tom Kane (played to perfection by Kelsey Grammer) manipulates the people around him without remorse or ethical dilemma is both fantastic and disturbing at the same time. The people around him, from his wife, to his staff and political opponents all pop out at you as characters you know are horrible people and yet you can’t stop watching them both manipulate and get manipulated by the people around them in a matter of fact type of way.
What is often even more interesting is the fact that the left versus right, Democrat versus Republican divide is almost inconsequential in the story they tell. While numerous references are made to political parties or ideologies are made, most of it is entirely beside the point as far as many characters are concerned. During a time in which endless discussions seem to take place about divisive politics along party lines, this show digs deeper into the realities of politics where such a divide doesn’t really enter into it. To use a more recent show as a contrasting example, where a show like The Newsroom attempts to elevate the news above the party politics narrative that many real organizations have fallen into, Boss tries to highlight the dirty, grimy, yet exceptionally well dressed cronyism style of politics that is even more deeply rooted and often systemically wide spread in the system. Anyone who loves The Newsroom, I think, will almost definitely enjoy watching this show.Who’s the Boss? Kelsey Grammer is the freaking boss.