While Boss may not be immediately compelling, it has a lot going for it. Starz has thrown all its weight behind the show, already renewing it for a second season, gotten a solid cast surrounding the very famous Kelsey Grammer. This goes along well with the first, 8 episode season, which is long enough for plenty of happen, but short enough to quickly get into the meat of the show.
Boss begins with a bang, the revelation that Mayor Tom Kane (Grammer) has a terminal, degenerative disease. This start, much like that of Breaking Bad, sets the show in motion with this impending constraint. We see Tom in all his power and he shows everyone who’s the boss, and Grammer is nothing short of incredible in these scenes. But throughout the episode, even right after Kane delivers a grandiose speech, Kane cracks just a bit. He sways, becomes flustered, and at one point blurts out a random word. Kane may be the boss of Chicago, but certainly not of himself.
Alongside Kane’s plot is a bevy of plots which seem fine but not anything special. There’s Kane’s wife, Meredith, who is very distant from Kane, his aide Kitty who sleeps with the gubernatorial candidate Kane supports, and his daughter Emma who is attracted to a drug dealer who later gives her some drugs (are we to assume she has a drug problem?). As the episode finishes, we get a good sense that Kane has plenty on his plate but not enough time, something that will surely haunt his conscience as the season proceeds.