Kelsey Grammer’s BOSS: Television Review

This isn’t quite legal television, but, my goal with this blog was to discuss legal issues and legal entertainment, so I’ll try to sneak this in. The show focus is on the Mayor of Chicago and indications are that the scope will be fairly large. Plus, the only legal television show of the fall season I’ve attempted to watch is the second season opener of Harry’s Law and I’ve only made it through the first 20 minutes.

The big talk about Boss, which airs Friday nights (and lots of other nights) on the STARZ channel is that Kelsey Grammer stretches well outside of his Frazier Crane comfort zone to play the Mayor of Chicago and yell a while lot. Grammer’s performance has been getting praise from what I can see, but, I felt the main scene where he was trying to come off as a tough guy felt a bit flat and forced.

And, really, that’s my impression of the show overall after one episode. It doesn’t seem content with being a slow burn type of show. They want to make the action happen in a very traditional TV sense, while maintaining the feel of something like The Wire. Which is somewhat difficult to obtain, especially in a political show.

As an example of this, two scenes stand out other than the Grammer yelling scene. One, when he shuts down the city council meeting and doesn’t let anyone leave until they agree with his course of action. And, later, the scenes with his doctor and Grammer getting the prescription drugs he needs.

This softens a bit in episode two, which is good. Seeds are planted for the Mayor’s daughter going an illegal route to save her clinic by purchasing the needed drugs illegally, but, it wasn’t beat over your head like things in the pilot were.

There is some good stuff here and I think the scope certainly sets up very wide, and I like that potential. There’s some silliness through two episodes that is designed to bring viewers in, but, a show of this nature can’t last on that alone. So, in that sense, I liked the second episode more for the long term potential of the show. And, a positive is that the show has been renewed for a second season, so it seems like it will at least be granted the space to grow.


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