17 August 2012 3:55 PM, PDT | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

The Chicago-based political melodrama Boss, which returns for a second season tonight (10 pm, Starz), is not subtle, nor did it ever pretend to be, and its super-wonky political maneuverings and soap-opera plotlines don’t always mesh. It’s Cognitive Dissonance Theater. (Spoilers follow for those who haven’t seen Season One.) One minute you’re admiring a fine bit of reportorial brushwork that could only have been rendered by a political insider, and the next you’re guffawing at a ludicrous broad-brushstroke image, such as the sight of mayor Tom Kane (Kelsey Grammer) regarding a box containing the severed ears of a poor schnook who was causing him trouble. Or yet another Fatal Attraction-like carnal interlude between the show’s biggest sexaholics, Tom’s ex-aide, Kitty (Kathleen Robertson) and the mayor’s married protégé/rival, treasurer Ben Zajac (Jeff Hephner).Despite its purplish grandiosity – imagine The Tudors in 21st-century business »

- Matt Zoller Seitz

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