Boss Season Two (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-08-2013, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109942&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

Studio and Year: Lionsgate - 2012
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 560 minutes
Genre: Crime/Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Kelsey Grammer, Connie Nielsen, Hannah Ware, Sanaa Lathan, Kathleen Robertson, Jonathan Groff, Jeff Hephner, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Troy Garity
Directed by: Various
Music by: Brian Reitzell
Written by: Farhad Safinia, Angelina Burnett, Kevin J. Hynes
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 9, 2013

"Conflict, entanglements, moves…"

Film Synopsis:

Mayor Tom Kane's (Grammer) grip on Chicago is as powerful as ever. With high doses of medication, he's able to beat back the physical symptoms of his debilitating brain disease, but it comes at a cost. Committed to his unorthodox agenda, Kane cuts out the cancers within the political machine he helped build. As corrupt heads roll and his list of enemies grows, Kane's virtuous actions begin to erode the very foundation of power he's worked a lifetime to build. In order to maintain it, Kane must govern as he always has — ruthlessly.

My Take:

The series follows Tom Kane, the Mayor of Chicago, a dastardly politician that stirs a seething caldron of double deals, self serving agendas and ax grinding. His marriage to wife Meredith is nothing more than one of convenience and his estrangement from daughter Emma leaves her bitterly angry. Kane has been diagnosed with dementia with Lewy bodies, a degenerative neurological disorder. Determined to remain in charge, Kane conceals the disease from everyone around him except his own physician, Dr. Ella Harris. At the conclusion of last season Kane’s inner circle was decimated with the murder of his closest advisor Ezra Stone and the resignation of his right hand Kitty O’Neill.

Kane has now set his eyes on rejuvenating the rundown, crime riddled housing project of Lenox Gardens. In furtherance of his seemingly seedy agenda he poaches senior aide Mona Fredericks from nemesis Alderman Ross and hires a young and extremely ambitious temp names Ian Todd in the hopes of filling the large holes left by Ezra’s death and Kitty’s departure. Calm waters elude Kane as a personal tragedy and his advancing disease provide obstacles that interfere with his plans.

In the meantime Kane’s whipping boy gubernatorial candidate Ben Zajac’s campaign suffers a crushing blow orchestrated by the resurfaced Kitty O’Neill who now has a new job. In Kane’s office Mona struggles to make the Lenox Gardens promise a reality and it is revealed that there is more to Ian Todd than meets the eye. Shocking to those around him, including his family, Kane begins to exhibit an empathetic side which is reflected in several key decisions that threaten those he has brokered questionable deals/associations with in the past.
Kane’s disease is at a stage where he is having trouble discerning his hallucinations from reality. His spiraling behavior causes him to seek alternative methods to get it under control as things at Lenox Gardens reach a boiling point. Secrets abound, sacrifices have to be made, trusts will be broken and unforeseen consequences threaten to dethrone Mayor Tom Kane.

I don’t subscribe to the Starz Channel so this is my first time seeing Boss. I knew going in that it was well regarded and as a Kelsey Grammer fan I looked forward to checking it out. Wow. Boss is (or was) a good TV drama that revolved around the corruption, political maneuvering and maniacal power of Mayor Tom Kane and the resonating effects his reign has on not only Chicago but the people around him. It’s most decidedly a character driven show and features complex narratives supported by enriching subplots, defining drama and edgy themes.

The continuing storyline is engaging and eschews overt uses of melodrama while adhering to the dog eat dog, corruption/crime based texts that are underscored by the superb acting of lead Kelsey Grammer and a stalwart supporting ensemble. Unfortunately the series was cancelled by Starz which is really a shame. Season Two built up to a great conclusion that left my mouth watering for more of this terrific show. I read that there might be a movie in the works that will close out the hanging plot points etc. but we’ll have to see. In the meantime all that remains are seasons one and two which prove once again that not all great shows make it.
Boss Season Two’s ten one hour episodes are evenly spread over two BD-50 Blu-ray discs with the bonus material found on disc two.

Parental Guide:

This show contains brief violence, thematic material, sexual content/nudity and language that would not be suitable for younger viewers.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 88

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

Video: 86

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

Boss Season Two comes to Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 16 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 5 Mbps.

This high definition video presentation offers clear, refined images that boast a noticeably de-saturated level of color. This is intentional and conveys he show’s thematic underpinnings. The rendering of fine detail can range from exquisite to moderate. This leaves certain long range and mid level shots with less dimensionality but not to the point of appearing soft. Black levels fluctuate similarly however with the stable contrast and subdued chroma this wasn’t problematic and worked well with the visual style of the series. I didn’t see any signs of video related artifacts/anomalies.

The DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio soundtrack offers excellent lossless sound quality. Dynamics are robust without being ostentatious. Vocal reproduction is clearly intonated with deep room penetration which elevates the tonal characteristics of dialogue. The front soundstage is nicely diffused with excellent separation and clearly articulated detail. The presentation doesn’t offer much in the way of discrete surround sound however the sound field has appreciable depth and spatial dimension via ambient extension through the rear channels. Bass response isn’t room shaking however it appropriately supports the source elements and where applicable provides a tight, punchy low end

Bonus Features:

  • Cast/Crew audio commentary on episodes: “Louder than words”, “Mania” and “True enough”

  • (HD) The King and his Court: Boss’ treacherous ensemble – 15 minute featurette

Final Thoughts:

Boss is a compelling character driven TV drama that revolves around themes of political corruption, blue collar crime, and fiefdom. Its second and final season brings the series and main character to the brink with clear intentions of a continuance. Unfortunately the show was cancelled which is too bad as I found it had plenty of stock. Boss Season Two comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition audio/video quality and a sparse supplemental package that left me wanting. Diehard series fans that want to experience the show over again are encouraged to pick up this Blu-ray release. If you’re curious you can shoot for a rental but I would suggest beginning with Season one.


Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

Ralph C. Potts
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post #2 of 4 Old 04-08-2013, 11:12 AM
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Like you, I don't subscribe to Starz but I watched season one through iTunes and loved it! When I found out it was being cancelled, I knew I would'nt be subscribing to Starz because that was the only show I was interested in on the channel. I will purchase both seasons on Blu ray because I enjoyed the first season so much. It really is a shame that Boss was cancelled.
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-08-2013, 11:37 AM
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Watched about two episodes from season one before it disappeared from my satellite subscription. I was bummed because; I really liked those first two teasers.
I'm a Kelsey Grammar fan, the familiar Chicago scenes, and now your review >> are putting these on my Father's Day wish list smile.gif

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post #4 of 4 Old 04-09-2013, 01:26 PM
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I am a huge Frasier fan, but I am afraid to watch this because Kelsey looks so MEAN!!!

I just got through watching ALL 264 episodes of Frasier. It was a blast.
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