Five TV Bosses We Do and Don’t Want to Work With

April 20 2015

Great television shows are made up of interesting, dynamic characters. They inspire feeling … you love them or hate them. In fact, a good plot depends on the conflict. There’s a protagonist, and an antagonist. There’s leverage and authority, and the conflict of good and evil. It’s not surprising that in television, a boss is almost always present to direct the course of action in some way, shape or form.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some TV boss greats—for better or worse—from TV past and present.

Five TV Bosses We Do and Don’t Want to Work With

Michael Scott
No boss list would be complete without mentioning The Office’s Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell. Or, if you’re of the UK persuasion—David Brent—played by Ricky Gervais. (Here’s a great comparison read.) Either way, this character is the essential parody of disconnected, idiot boss. He’s awkward and socially inept. In fact, sometimes it’s painful to watch, but in many ways he makes the show because we all know or have known a Michael Scott.

We may not always want to work for him, but it’s fun in its own way while it lasts.

Don Draper
Mad Men’s Don Draper is the boss of your nightmares. A dictator of bosses, if you will. He’s cold and calculating. He’s everything we expect from a powerful person. He’s controlling and really doesn’t care about you. He makes your life miserable, truth be told. Why? Because he can, that’s why.

Don Draper is not to be messed with, and we certainly don’t want to work for him.

Frank Underwood
House of Cards’ Frank Underwood is calculating and manipulative, but there’s a method to his madness. He simply knows how to play the game. In fact, he is the perfect example of how networking and the right connections can give you the power of influence. It’s Frank Underwood’s world, and we’re just living in it.

We have a lot to learn from Frank Underwood. He is a leader, and we want to be his understudy.

Lisa Cuddy
It’s exhausting being House’s Lisa Cuddy. There’s always something that needs damage control. She’s the boss that can’t really control her peoples, but should she? It’s frustrating in the beginning, but over time, she’s the boss that learns to work with what’s she has—you. She gives up direct control in favor of your respect, until she has you right where she wants you. Then she’s relieved, and so are you.

Working for Lisa Cuddy would be tough at first, but once trust is earned, we’d love every second of it.

5 TV Bosses We Do and Don’t Want to Work With

Walter Skinner
In honor of the announcement that X-Files is returning to the small screen, let’s talk about Walter Skinner. In the beginning, like Cuddy, things are tough. His role is simply one of director, working with the “bad guys” and cold toward Mulder and Scully. As time progresses, A.D. Skinner becomes their friend rather than their boss. He’s on their side, working with them, rather than against him.

We’d love to work for Skinner, but we’d have to be able to handle those rough first years.

TV bosses are great, because we can relate. They are more than a title – they’re a personality type. And boss or not, there’s always that one person they remind you of. Love them or hate them, it’s therapeutic.

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