7 Reasons You Should Be Watching 'Boss'
Kelsey Grammer, Sanaa Lathan and T.I. put in gripping performances in one of TV's best dramas.
No one is purely good or evil on the show. Viewers are kept guessing about the true intentions of most of the characters as storylines constantly evolve. As the stories unfold, so do the layers of the characters. We learn more and more about them with each episode and are less and less able to predict where the story is headed, which is a good thing.
Strong female characters. Television has had a slew of strong female characters in recent years. Count them: Allison Janney on The West Wing, S. Epatha Merkerson on Law & Order, Kyra Sedgwick on The Closer, Kerry Washington on Scandal, Glenn Close on Damages and Gretchen Mol on Boardwalk Empire.
The women of Boss are just as ruthless as the male characters. They have their own minds, look out for their self-interests and use their feminine wiles to get what they want, when they want it. Scandal's savvy first lady, Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young), has nothing on Meredith Kane or Maggie Zajac (played brilliantly by Nicole Forester), who know nothing about being a "good wife." Sure, they'll play the role of the stereotypical wife -- doting, vulnerable, unsure, scared and insecure -- but it is just a performance to get them to where they want and need to be: in the seat of power, next to or in place of the men in their personal and professional lives.
Chicago. So many shows are set in the same locations -- New York, Los Angeles and even Atlanta and Miami. It's pretty cool that the show's creators want to remind us that a setting in Chicago can be just as exciting, given the city's history of political drama and corruption. It is great to see cutaways to well-known buildings and sites in Chicago, along with speeches delivered in front of Chicago landmarks. Adding local talent such as Karen Aldridge, who plays Dr. Ella Harris, the mayor's put-upon doctor, and Rotimi to the cast lends authenticity to the show, especially since few cast members actually sound as if they're from Chicago.
Boss is a game changer for the Starz network. There's a reason a show that arrived with little to no fanfare is now winning Golden Globes, earning the praises of critics and developing a major following: This is a great show that stands out among the pack. Boss is poised to be the game changer that will put Starz on the map for high-quality original programming, much like Mad Men did for AMC and The Shield did for FX.
Network executives made the first season and the second season's premiere episode available for free for on-demand viewing online, which may prove to be a winning strategy. Boss is opening the door to more great original television programming in the future.
Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., is editor-at-large for The Root. She is also editor-in-chief of the Burton Wire, a blog dedicated to world news related to the African Diaspora and global culture. Follow her on Twitter.