Title: The Boys.
Number of episodes: 8.
Release Date: 2019.
Genre(s): Dark Comedy, Science-Fiction.
Developed by: Eric Kripke.
Based on: The Boys by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson.
Cast: Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, and many more!
Original Network: Prime Video.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10).
In an age where superheroes are omnipresent in their entertainment forms, from comic books to movies, it almost impossible to ignore the attention they seek and live completely oblivious to their domination of multimedia entertainment. It’s no surprise that we love these superheroes as they are a symbol of the best parts of mankind, and what they achieve for the greater good is undeniably honorable. However, superheroes aren’t always infallible nor perfect. To stop a threat there is collateral damage, there are decisions that force them to weigh the value of countless lives, there are incredible powers at play that could bring them to kill rather than capture. But the most important revelation is that behind the mask is a human being and that human beings aren’t always good.
What is The Boys (2019—) Season 1 about? Set in a world where superpowered individuals are called heroes, the show follows the formation of a team of vigilantes, known as the Boys, looking to expose the ‘supes’ and their abuse of power, notably the Seven’s, a group of heroes owned by the Vought International corporation. Following Hugh Campbell, a young man who saw his girlfriend succumb to a devastating tragedy by the hands of a member of the Seven, the first season sees to introduce every member of each group as well as unveiling the darkest secrets of each and every one of these characters who are nothing like what they show the world to be.
With two sets of groups at the center of this show, it was astonishing how much character development was even possible in just under eight episodes. The heroes that form the Seven are mostly parodies of well-known superheroes, from Homelander who portrays a disturbingly evil Superman to A-Train who showcases all the egotistical qualities that could ever be associated to the Fastest Man Alive. Among them is also a new recruit with pure intentions to be a superhero, Starlight, who quickly discovers the dark side of this league of heroes that she once admired. Everything she discovers shatters the glass castle in which she lived in throughout her life, from the marketing that goes behind the popularity of these supes, which includes shooting movies and creating their own cinematic universe, to the publicity stunts that they have to pull off to get the votes of American. Throughout the season, you are constantly thrown a curveball as each of their personality opens up a timely and relevant matter, such as sexual abuse by people with power, that will blow your mind.
The underground team-up that constitutes the Boys is, however, just as intriguing with Billy Butcher as their leader. Channeling a deep hatred for supes as he believes one of them is the reason behind the loss of his significant other, he recruits members to take down the supes and reveal their real faces to the world. At the center of the Boys is Hugh Campbell, the lead character of the show who grew up loving these heroes until a tragedy strikes him and rolls him down a path riddled with revenge. His transformation is the most intriguing one as his morality fights with his bloodlust and leads him to makes decisions that his past-self would never have ever fancied. As the other members are introduced throughout the season, it becomes almost impossible not be invested in their cause and see what insane plans they come up with.
The show has an underlying theme of anti-heroism but tackles various ideas pertaining to superheroes and their place in society. One of the subplots, for example, explores the militarization of superheroes and the possibility of turning them into international war tools that will allow the corporation that owns them to become the ultimate powerhouse in worldwide security. What the first season brilliantly does is set the table to this world of supes and allow the viewer to ponder the countless issues that come with the presence of superpowered individuals living among common mortals. The scriptwriters also do a magnificent job in intertwining modernity into the show by attaching social media, publicity, and marketing into the superhero business.
The best part of it all is how the show never rushes into exposing too much about the characters while still developing the story in a direction that no one could see coming. Each episode has a stunning revelation that instantly has your jaw dragging on the ground. The emotions that are lived by each, the history behind each character, the connection between them, there’s simply nothing that is undefined and gives way to an exciting show that promises a wild ride from start to finish. Although it is Rated-R, the brutal sequences are well-balanced throughout each episode and invite anticipation in the viewer, evidently shaking with excitement to see what messed up sequence the showrunners has in store them.
One thing’s for sure. The finale had me desperately craving for the next season to release.
The Boys (2019—) Season 1 is a dark and cynical satire of the superhero genre with a phenomenal cast and an unpredictable story to expose the powerful and the elite—who are sometimes one and the same.
One of the greatest surprises that Prime Video has had to offer in a while! All eight episodes are now available for you to binge!
Have you read the comic book series by Garth Ennis?
Have you seen The Boys (2019—) Season 1? Will you?
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