Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Chicago Sentinel? Come on!

Posted By on 12.15.11 at 06:30 PM

Boss.jpg
I’ve asked one of the Starz media people at what point the creators of the Chicago-set political drama Boss decided to call the Chicago Tribune the Chicago Sentinel, and why. (No reply yet.) Here’s why I think there was such a point.

This is Sam Miller's page on the Boss website (below the jump).

boss.JPG

It reads:

A Tribune reporter with a reputation for fearlessly pursuing the truth, Miller is politically savvy with a journalist's nose for the real story. Currently working on an in depth piece about Mayor Tom Kane, Miller follows Meredith Kane on one of her stumps for the private company funding the failing inner-city schools. Miller has no idea that he's about to be a pawn in Kane and Stone's master plan for revealing their gubernatorial candidate.

Boss, which was filmed here and just completed its first season, goes in heavily for verisimilitude. The Sun-Times is called the Sun-Times; Bensenville is Bensenville. But while Bensenville , and the actual expansion of O’Hare Field, figure in the plot in a big way, the Sun-Times is merely referenced a time or two. The Tribune is the paper up to its ears in the intrigue, which is probably why it wound up being called the Sentinel. The Sentinel’s gothic logo gives the game away.

gothic.png

As the improbabilities piled up, I marveled at how hooked my wife and I continued to be. How to reconcile the body and booty count with the familiar excesses of our City Hall? It’s pretty simple: Boss is “Shakespearean,” writ large and shrewdly so that what’s wise and true about it is magnified by what’s preposterous.

In the space of a few weeks, Sam Miller makes an astonishing rise from reporter on third-rate assignments (we first meet him at a news conference at a school the mayor’s wife has taken a fancy to) to Sentinel editor—the post is offered him not because he’s brilliant and a born leader but because someone's leaking him embarrassing info on Mayor Tom Kane. The paper’s publisher, in Kane’s sway, wants to get him off the story. It’s not believable for a second, but neither is Othello.

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