The Boys—A Study In Anti-Heroes
The Boys has been getting a lot of publicity lately, so I wanted to share my little review of the first two seasons here as well.
The premise of this show is really intriguing—how would society react to superheroes who were out-of-control? Superheroes who had personalities much like the rest of us, frustrations, selfish ambitions?
Obviously, it’s not possible to maintain 100% approval. Public figures are usually lucky to get 50% approval. And there will probably always be that very small percentage who are really upset.
Those are The Boys. And for the most part, they are relatable. But can these poorly-trained terrorists stand up against super powers?
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When his girlfriend is gruesomely killed in an accident caused by a speeding superhero, Hughie sets out on revenge and is adopted by an underground team of hero-fighting terrorists determined to bring down the most famous team of these heroes: The Seven.
Karl Urban really shines in this role, even more than he did in Star Trek or Thor: Ragnarok. His character, Billy Butcher, is just the right mix of bitterness and revenge that fits the actor’s gruff demeanor.
The other actors supplement his talent pretty well. Jack Quaid is perfect in the nervous, dorky role that serves as the moral compass for the rest of the team. Erin Moriarty plays a great wholesome, middle-America heroine.
And Antony Starr is pretty chilling as the neurotic, insecure, invincible Superman-substitute. Giancarlo Esposito (from Breaking Bad fame) reprises his role as the shadowy mastermind behind the curtains.
Knowing that this show is actually based on a comic book series (available for free on Kindle Unlimited!), I have to direct my praise and criticism to those writers, and not the screenwriters.
I really enjoyed the first season. The plot remained focused on the characters, and their motivation for revenge, and their struggle to remain decent humans, capable of relationships.
The second season, while it still highlighted Butcher’s past and character development, started veering into this mysterious Compound V. I felt that this was a detour from what originally made the story great.
The Recommendation: We Only Recommend The Best
Despite the weaker second season, The Boys is an intriguing series with dynamic, fully-dimensional characters played by some excellent actors. The Boys Season 3 will most likely release in 2022.
At times, the show definitely aims for shock value. This isn’t a comic book series to watch with your kids—it’s even worse than anything Deadpool would advertise.
But in the end, it’s a fascinating commentary on society, and about how those without power feel under the heels of those with all the power.
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