The Best and Worst TV Bosses
TV has had its share of memorable bosses. Some we would consider to be dream bosses, while some, well ... we’d rather not consider.
Here, we take a quick glance at the good, the bad and the ugly, from Slough to the Whitehouse via Dublin.
(We hope you’re not reading this at work!)
David Brent (The Office, David Brent: Life on the Road)
One of the most iconic bosses of recent TV history, David Brent and The Office remain the highlights of Ricky Gervais’ career. Neediness, lack of self-awareness and a tin ear for comedy combined to make Brent an unforgettable king of cringe. That said, while his antics would make for an unprofessional workplace, his staff often get away with doing very little (apart from practical jokes and flirting).
Kate (Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope)
We think Amy Huberman’s an underrated comic actress, as she proved once again in Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope. She played Kate, the boundary-crossing, disorganised and inappropriate boss in this recent, acclaimed RTÉ comedy/drama. When she’s not blaming others for her bad habits, she’s having her staff cover for her: so not quite a contender for boss of the year.
Frank Underwood (House of Cards)
The ultimate boss, Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) demands a lot from his staff, but mostly he craves “absolute loyalty”. It’s true; some of those who toe the line and do his bidding do get promoted. But those who get in his way, or outlast their usefulness are not so lucky. Officially we couldn’t recommend him as an employer, but we might be tempted if he was offering us a cushy and powerful job…
Superintendent Ted Hastings (Line of Duty)
This is a dynamite show – a British drama about dirty cops and the internal affairs police who must hunt them down. Northern Irish actor Adrian Dunbar plays the head of the anti-corruption unit. He’s got a temper and some dark secrets, but he gets the job done. And his interrogation scenes are a sight to behold. The workplace is tense, but it’d be worth being in his office just to see those moments up close.
Malcolm Tucker (The Thick of It)
If The Thick of It had a swear jar, it could pay off a small country’s national debt! Peter Capaldi later found fame as Doctor Who (before recently stepping down), but we prefer his work as government spin doctor Malcolm Tucker. With an eloquent, endless torrent of abuse for his employees and enemies, Tucker is a storm of action, harsh words, and brazen ideas. He’d be a nightmare to work for, but he’s phenomenal to watch.
Bad bosses make great TV:
The Office is available as a box set on Virgin TV, Can’t Cope Won’t Cope will return to RTE in 2018 and The Thick of It, Line of Duty and House of Cards are available on Netflix. David Brent: Life on the Road is coming soon to Netflix.
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