• Network: Starz
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 21, 2011
  • Season #: 1 , 2
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 98 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 88 out of 98
  2. Negative: 7 out of 98

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  1. Dec 31, 2011
    10
    Great show worth watching, it may not be perfect or as good as Breaking Bad or Homeland, but compared to most other shows on other networks this is bounds and leaps ahead of them, I'd say this year Homeland, The Killing and Boss are the best new shows on TV.
  2. Dec 14, 2011
    10
    I'm very much impressed. Homeland was my favorite this year - before I've started watching The Boss, and now the tale from Chicago has me among it's most avid fans. I didn't expect such level of artistry from the Starz, the channel that was peddling T & A in "historical" settings, it's a very pleasant surprise.
  3. Oct 24, 2011
    9
    Boss unlike most shows this season doesnâ
  4. Oct 21, 2011
    10
    This show is great, from the acting to writing, directing, and screenplay. Kelsey Grammer puts on a powerful performance in the first episode alone. It's smart, eye opening, disgusting, fascinating, and much more. Strong language and violence should be expected, but that's the way life is. It ain't pretty. This show is real.
  5. Nov 29, 2011
    9
    Unbelievably good and it's all due to Grammer who is absolutely riveting as the brilliant/corrupt/evil mayor of Chicago. Chicago is almost too small a venue for this show.
  6. Nov 6, 2011
    9
    Gritty like Mad Men. Wielding power like Tony Soprano. Heartless like Charles Foster Kane. Boss' main character, superbly directed by Gus Van Sant and powerfully portrayed by Kelsey Grammer, Tom Kane, even shares the surname of Orson Welles' cold protagonist. At this writing, Boss has, in 3 episodes, beaten every new network television show in terms of directing, writing, acting and entertainment. I've always thought highly of Grammer, but I've always said the only way for him to move past Frasier is to take on a role that is the opposite likeability of Frasier in every way. And, boy, has he finally nailed it. This is the next great television show. Watching Tom Kane deteriorate over the course of this show, especially given the public nature of his very existence, leaves the viewer salivating. Expand
  7. Nov 14, 2011
    8
    Very impressive. I don't think that I've ever seen Kelsey Grammar this riveting, awe-inspiring, and devoted. Probably the best new show besides Homeland. Now Bryan Cranston has some worthy competition next year for the best actor in a drama emmy.
  8. Nov 10, 2011
    4
    Kelsey Grammer does a great job as the morally conflicted Tom Kane, and the acting and storytelling is satisfactory. But unfortunately none of the characters are at all likable enough.
  9. Nov 19, 2011
    8
    Grammer is amazing and the insightful look into Chicago politics is thrilling but what's missing is a sense of fun. If some of the characters smiled and cracked a joke once in a while the show would be near perfect.
  10. Oct 23, 2011
    4
    I'm not getting it. It seems like something we've ALL seen before. Starz is probably hoping this a winner. I will continue watching, but I'm not a fan.
  11. Oct 24, 2011
    6
    25 minutes in I thought I'd just stumbled across the best new show of the year. Unfortunately those thoughts had vanished utterly by the end of the hour.

    Grammer is superb, the direction is incredible, and the general tone and setting is pitch perfect.

    Unfortunately the Writer (or perhaps Producer?) didn't seem to trust that a "straight" drama would be compelling enough and dips into the
    realms of the absurd resulting in a loss of all believability. Some of the things done would have been more at home in a comic book or superhero film portrayal of villainy / anti-hero. Adding insult to injury is a smoldering but incongruous sex scene utterly lacking in context. (and I have absolutely NO problem with gratuitous and graphic sexuality as long as it has even the merest justification)

    Grammar may get a well justified Emmy nomination for his performance, I just wish that the writing was equally as worthy of acclaim.
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  12. Oct 22, 2011
    10
    Grammer is stunning in this new drama. The story is incredibly complex and intriguing, and it keeps the viewer wanting to see more. It looks like Starz has already ordered a 10 episode second season due to such an overwhelming positive response from critics. After one episode, I am addicted already. I am praying that this show takes off with viewers just as well as it has with critics.
  13. Nov 11, 2011
    9
    Terrific TV! If this were only about politics, it might get dull, but Grammer's character's spiraling sickness draws the story forward. High production value to boot.
  14. Dec 3, 2011
    9
    Awesome show, the acting and dialogue is just fantastic. If you liked the political parts of The Wire you should check this out. Grammer is just amazing in this as the main actor and gives his best acting of his career, to me its some of the best acting ive seen on tv since The Wire and Carnivale. Was not expecting much from this show but wow I have really been having a blast watching it, going to buy season 1 dvd when it comes. Expand
  15. Dec 10, 2011
    9
    Gritty, dark, and intense. Shows a side of politics that many never see and for good reason. The performances, writing, and production are all top notch and it's hard to find any flaws.
  16. Dec 5, 2011
    10
    An amazing show. The acting, script, intricate plotting, are all executed near perfectly. Definitely the same realm as the wire, but I would say Boss is more subtle and requires the viewer to pay close attention to every nuance, making it very rewarding. Easily the best show on TV, and the fact that Gus Van Sant is producing shows - the shooting is equally excellent. I have to believe that this show being rated lower than Breaking Bad or Homeland is an inaccuracy caused by the relatively small number of people who are able to watch it or are even aware of it (since it is on Starz). I hope this show gets the attention it deserves and is in for a long run. Expand
  17. Jan 9, 2012
    9
    Great show! Compelling storytelling about a conflicted man in power. It is masterfully directed and truly beautiful when it comes to scenography. Instant winner in my eyes.
  18. Aug 31, 2012
    9
    Good show, Kelsey Grammer is fabulous and a real revelation for those who remember him only from Cheers and Frasier. This is definitely no sitcom. It's a dark and cynical view of politics in general and big city Chicago politics in particular.

    Though the themes are generally depressing, the production is stylish, exciting and keeps our interest. We know from the start the Grammer's
    Mayor Kane is a heavyweight antihero.

    My only complaint is that the plot seems to go slightly overboard at times to demonstrate Mayor Kane's villainy. No doubt successful villains do evil things, but I presume they must be done selectively and not gratuitously.
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  19. May 28, 2012
    7
    Three things you can't accuse the first season of 'Boss' being is boring, unimaginative and unintellectual. Two things you CAN point the proverbial finger at and single out is the program's constant ability to be a tad far-fetched and (at times) over-dramatic. It strangely happens quite regularly. One thing is certain however, this is a compelling television show and I couldn't recommend it enough to prospective viewers thinking about taking the plunge. After viewing all eight episodes I eagerly await the sophomore year with great anticipation! Expand
  20. Jan 21, 2012
    10
    An outstanding TV show, that showcases the Chicago Political Machine that runs the United States and World currently. If this is only partially true, we are in big trouble. Kelsey Grammer and an Outstanding Cast put together some great work that is both horrific, adult, Shakespearean and just disturbing. It's a nice compliment in material to Mel Gibson's Apocalypto, which features the same writer....One piece of advice, get rid of Mario Van Peebles episodes. "Stitch Jones" is not a good director. Expand
  21. Jan 3, 2012
    10
    This may be the best show I've seen in the last five years, and the last two episodes left me stunned (in a positive way). Kelsey Grammer gives a performance that is incredibly powerful. He shows that he is so much more of an actor than we expect from the former Dr. Frazier Crane. The rest of the cast is outstanding, and the writing left me breathless. What I don't understand is how this show and Grammer have been totally ignored by the recent award nominations like the SAG Awards and the Golden Globes. Is it that the nominators don't spend the $10 a month to get Starz? Or is it that the PR department at Starz just fell down on the job? I hope they get their act together by the time the Emmys roll around. I can't wait for season two. Expand
  22. Jan 3, 2012
    10
    The writers need a Golden Globe as well as Kelsey Grammer for his outstanding no apologies performance. Of course the Chicago gangster style politics is overly exaggerated being a Chicago native, but the show is underrated. The city is known for its brutal governing system, but warns of its danger.
  23. Jan 29, 2012
    10
    Amazing show! I hadn't even heard of it until I saw Grammer win the Globe for best actor in a tv drama. Too bad this is on Starz and hence the limited audience. If this was on Showtime or HBO, there would be much more fanfare associated with the show. I watch quite a bit of TV and keep up with a lot of shows and somehow, I hadn't even heard of this. Thank goodness they greenlit a second season even before the premiere aired. Hopefully ratings will be better in S2 because I can't wait too see what happens with Tom Kane and everyone else down the road. The acting is great and it's produced and written very well. It is however, very dark and cynical. It's probably one of the most cynical shows I've ever seen...but if you like real dramas...this show's got it in spades. Expand
  24. Feb 10, 2012
    10
    It is rare that you find a show which doesn't care if its audience won't keep up. Boss makes no excuses - it powers ahead, but without falling into the Aaron Sorkin motor-mouth mode. Fans of the West Wing might enjoy this, but Boss is deeper, faster and meaner - in more ways that one. Kelsey Grammer plays the lead character as if he was born for it - and it is hard to think of anyone in TV that quite matches Mayor Kane's power, malice and sheer evil. But before you learn that lesson, you will learn to love Kane and root for him: through his political fights, his estranged relationships and his disease (which makes for some fantastic "Whu?!" moments in the show). Boss is exceptional and arguably my best new show of 2011. Expand
  25. Jan 20, 2013
    8
    Boss is an exciting drama with excellent characters, acting, and plot lines. Unfortunately, Boss is held back from a perfect score by the lack of any characters I can connect with. All of the characters suffer from one personality defect or another, and it is hard to root for any of them.
  26. Apr 26, 2014
    9
    I think the continuous plot twists keep the viewer fully engaged in the plot.
    The problem, as other people have mentioned, is that none of the characters seem to be completely trustworthy.
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Oct 21, 2011
    90
    Even at its worst, Boss radiates intelligence and toughness, and an appreciation of politics as a nonstop performance in an unscripted drama.
  2. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    Oct 21, 2011
    80
    Boss is electric with self-importance, and that is in itself is a hoot, given its particular combination of thematic pomp and expressionistic pulp.
  3. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Oct 21, 2011
    60
    Its early episodes are a mix of power and disappointment.