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Blu-ray Review: Boss – Season One

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Thanks to a certain superhero film franchise from the previous decade, we are almost all entirely aware of that saying about great power and the responsibility that comes with it. Well, sadly — as anyone who has ever wound up several years down the line following an election year can attest to — there are those who abuse their power in order to fulfill their own ends. Such is the case with Mayor Tom Kane (the always wonderful Kelsey Grammer), the fictional, near-totalitarian ruler of a little town called Chicago in the Starz series, Boss.

Mayor Kane has been twisting the political community around his finger for many years now, bending the wills of his enemies to serve his needs, whilst manipulating even those that mistakenly call him their friend still further. Now, however, Kane has at long last began to feel what it’s like to lose control, as he has been (unofficially) diagnosed by his private, secret physician that he has Dementia with Lewy Bodies, a disease that not only threatens to destroy Kane’s life, but — more importantly — his career!

As he already begins to exhibit signs of his illness, Kane fails to notice that nobody else observes his weakness — relying instead on illegal prescriptions to hide the symptoms and becoming more and more paranoid about what he is or isn’t doing. Meanwhile, Kane’s young protégé Ben Zajac (Jeff Hephner) is being groomed to become the next governor of Illinois by Kane and his own advisor, Kitty O’Neill (the oh-so-sultry Kathleen Robertson) — while the contender for the title, the current state governor (Francis Guinan), tries to re-win his past victory by any means necessary.

Drama. Intrigue. Sex. Violence. All of the truly great things that go into any fine (or even lesser) series are alive and well in Boss. Connie Nielsen and Hannah Ware co-star in this enjoyable drama as Grammer’s estranged wife and alienated daughter (respectively), while Martin Donovan portrays another of Kelsey’s close advisors. Lionsgate brings us all eight hour-long episodes of the show’s freshman season to Blu-ray in a stellar transfer of a darkly-lighted series that boasts strong colors, rich detail, and some fine contrast.

Accompanying the 1.78:1 presentation here is a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless soundtrack that does wonders for a series that is primarily comprised of dialogue. Nevertheless, it might be a bit too much — but I’m not complaining. In terms of special features, the set includes an audio commentary on two episodes, and a brief discussion between star Kelsey Grammer and series creator Farhad Safinia.

To sum Boss up in one, somewhat overlong sentence: Kelsey Grammer has always mesmerized me in his sardonic various television roles over the years — as well as his personal, tabloid-worthy real-life events — so it’s positively gripping to see him tear up the sanctity of satire by engaging in such a solemn role. He’s a bad, bad man here, kids: and that’s what makes Boss so boss.

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.
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