Plot: What’s it about?
Tom Kane (Kelsey Grammer) is the mayor of Chicago, a post that afford him immense power and influence. He wields this power to ensure his own personal interests are covered, as well as those of his wife and those who he feels deserve to have their efforts rewarded. He has been a constant presence in the political scene, the person everyone answers to and everyone wants to be on their side. All of that power is useless to serve his current need however, as he has discovered his life is going to end soon. A Parkinsons-like disease will ravage his mind, causing him hallucinations, tremors, and the deterioration of motor skills and speech functions. But he keeps this horrific truth to himself, as he wants to use what time he has left to settle his affairs, both personal and political. As he works to push the election of a new governor and mend some fences in his private life, a dogged reporter works around the clock to expose Kane’s corruption. As time passes and pressure builds to almost intolerable levels, can Kane keep his hold on his office, or will he buckle under?
When I first learned about Boss, I hoped it wouldn’t be Frasier as a politician. The first season is excellent and lets Kelsey Grammer shed his type casting once and for all. His powerful, flawed Tom Kane drives this series and lets Grammer show how great of a performer he can be. The show is dark, so if you want inspiration about the potential of politics, Boss will snuff out that hope in an instant. This is a world of corruption, betrayal, and selfish advancement, which as a resident in Illinois, I can assure you isn’t an off base portrayal. Illinois and Chicago in specific are notorious for corruption in politics and Boss never flinches in that regard, so this is brutal content. This series also has a lot of adult content, from rampant sex and naked bodies to ears being cut off, so if you’re squeamish, be forewarned. I was riveted by this first season and now I am impatient in waiting for new episodes, so of course Boss: Season one earns high marks.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in 1.78:1 widescreen. This show looks superb. The level of detail is stunning, with so much depth, you can detect even the most obscure facial textures. This is the kind of visual depth that makes HD so awesome, a three dimensional quality with remarkable detail. The colors are natural in scope and contrast is even handed, which is good news. I saw no errors of any kind either, leaving this is as one of the best transfers I’ve ever seen on home video.
Audio: How does it sound?
Not to be outdone, this DTS HD 7.1 soundtrack sounds excellent. This show provides a lot of depth, even in the more reserved scenes. The urban landscape comes alive in the surrounds, making the show feel like it is real and in the moment. Since the city itself is a major character in Boss, this is a crucial sound design choice. More power kicks in when needed, as well as added presence when the tension ratchets up as it often does. The vocals are crystal clear here, so not a single line is missed. And the music is lively as well, so this mix hits all the right marks. This release also includes English and Spanish subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The extras include audio comments on two episodes, as well as a promotional featurette.