Rated Amazon’s best original series on IMDB, ‘The Boys’ is an in your face hit about a ragtag team of vigilantes who work together to take down a group of abusive corporatized superheroes. A gritty yet borderline darkly comedic story that looks at how acclaimed superheroes, corrupted by fame and power, would actually behave in the world when left unchecked.
From its characterizations to its hard-hitting social commentary on the superhero, this series will shock and surprise you, all while sharing some very dark truths along the way. That said, here are seven reasons you should check out Amazon’s ‘The Boys.’
We talk about ‘The Boys’ on the latest episode on The Workprint’s TV Talk. Available on iTunes and GooglePlay.
The Comic by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson is Fantastic
‘The Boys’ creators are well-known for an in-your-face approach. With Ennis’ writing in the acclaimed ‘Preacher’ series obliterating any notion of censorship, and Robertson’s emotive yet violent art style on comics runs such as ‘Happy!’ and ‘Transmetropolitan’, showcasing a talent for blending extreme acts with context of character.
Together, their run on ‘The Boys’ was a phenomenal blend of rebelliousness boundary pushing that took the superhero mythos and placed the genre on its own head. This, atop of being a brilliant and almost satirical take on authoritarians with corporate interests — as superheroes have become synonymous with A-list celebrities, elite athletes, and multibillion-dollar franchises (think Marvel).
It’s a great comic you should read. Especially if you’re going to follow this show.
The Showrunner Eric Kripke has a solid track record.
Eric Kripke is a fantastic showrunner who had created the longstanding series ‘Supernatural,’ which is now airing its 14th season. A feature unheard of for most television shows.
Atop of this, not only is he a fan of the original comics, but he’s also been an accommodating and adaptive showrunner who likes to balance the rhythm of the story with the space on the comic page, creating a whole different feel for ‘The Boys’ in adaption.
Atop of this, just like the original comics creators, Kripke isn’t afraid to tackle on tough subjects such as Trump Era conservatives and #MeToo.
In Eric Kripke’s reddit AMA, He emphasizes that the brutality and realism of the series is meant to feel as authentic to the real world as possible. A super punch would literally go through a regular squishy human. A well-loved and attended to hero would likely grow full of themselves and obsess about image above everything else.
One of the biggest storylines of the series addresses Starlight’s own messed up #MeToo moment early in the series. And while there were many ways the story could’ve gone sour if executed poorly, the series does a great adaptation of dealing with the difficult issue while keeping relevant. The series, not shying away from talking about the difficult situation or making Starlight a victim. Atop of this, they even contextualize the perpetrator, giving him a sympathetic layer of depth to understand why he’s horrible yet while never actually forgiving him.
The Seven are a perfect take on a modern Justice League
Starlight – Also known as Annie January, she’s the newest member of the seven and the only morally good person in the group. A good-natured girl from Iowa, she wants to be an inspiring superhero, leaving her country and conservative roots to join the Seven after nailing the thorough auditions.
The Deep – An Aquaman inspired hero who is beloved by the people for his environmental rights issues. Often the joke of the team. Actually a disgusting psychopath.
Translucent – A superhero who can turn invisible with indestructible skin. He’s a pervert that likes to spy on people using the bathroom. Known as America’s sweetheart.
Queen Maeve – A Wonder Woman inspired hero who used to care about doing the right thing but has slowly lost her morality overtime working with The Seven. She’s often found with a drink in her hand. Queer.
Black Noir – A Batman styled hero who serves as the group’s ninja. He doesn’t speak at all. A complete mystery whose motivations remain unknown.
A-Train – A Flash inspired speedster with The Falcon’s sense of style. Often defends his title as the fastest man in the world. Cares more about image and his place in the seven above all else.
Homelander – A Superman type of hero with Captain America’s sensibilities. Leader of the Seven. A beloved American icon. Total psychopath.
Now, The Seven are what happens when you take a real-life Justice League or Avengers type of superhero group and let them runaway with the company credit card. What’s different in the show is that it isn’t about government regulation on superhumans. This series is all about how superheroes can make lots-and-lots of money and what if the world was run by their franchise billions (like it is today). Most importantly, who would stop them?
The Cast is Stellar but Karl Urban Steals the Show
The cast is phenomenal. Erin Moriarty from ‘Jessica Jones’ plays a sincere but powerful superhero in Starlight, really excelling in the Superhero genre by subverting the victim trope on its own head. Anthony Starr is a perfect rendition of Homelander, a character whom you’ll absolutely love to hate, especially as he sells more-and-more of the bullshit American dream.
Though hands down, the best performance is by Karl Urban. He plays Billy Butcher, a character whose sole motivation is avenging his raped and murdered wife by any means necessary. Urban plays the character with a tough guy, British accent, whose arrogance and debonair for doing the dirty deeds necessary is excelled only by how much of an asshole he is. Making the audience question who’s really at fault in the war between himself and Homelander.
There are also some amazing guest appearances. Simon Pegg (Whom the main character, Hughie, is actually inspired by in the comics) plays Hughie’s father. Billy Zane plays himself working with other actors who are Superheroes in a movie series. But most importantly, Haley Joel Osmund as Mesmer, a washed-up telepath turned circuit junkie and author who wants to be able to see his estranged daughter.
The Style is Dark
If you like cold and dark DC styled lighting tones, you’ll love this series. It’s very Zack Snyder and reminiscent of Watchmen. Which is befitting, as I’ve personally told friends about this series as ‘Watchmen’ if every hero was like The Comedian.
To top matters off there are so many trigger warnings for this series. Gratuitous sex, drug use, bloody eviscerations, analingus, and rape. All featured. None of it tasteful (except maybe the analingus).
Despite this, all the excessiveness is actual contextual in selling the world of this story and all fits organically in this universe. Delivering a gritty tale by sharing some harsh truths most series are too afraid of portraying about the superhero genre.
Season 2 Promises More
Again in the Kripke AMA what we know about season 2 is that ‘The Boys’ are on the run wanted by the law. Homelander somehow becomes an even bigger asshole. And Stormfront, portrayed by Aya Cash, joins The Seven. There’ll also be a blind hero who sees through echolocation.
It’s also less going bigger and more of a deeper character study. So be ready to learn a lot of backstories.
You can watch the boys on Amazon Video right now