‘The Boys Presents: Diabolical’ Season 1 Review – ‘Equal Parts Hilarious, Meaningful, and Wild as F**k’

Synopsis:

What do you get when you let some of the most maniacal minds in entertainment today write their own animated shorts set in the world of The Boys?

When it comes to film and television, what we crave more than anything are good stories. The mindless explosive eye-candy blockbusters are cool, but in a time where media is literally everywhere, there is a need for substance and creativity. However, good stories aren’t always in abundance. Well, they may be around, but definitely aren’t given the proper welcome as say, a well-known established brand or franchise. What the powers that be fail to realize are that no matter how extreme or ridiculous, how goofy, or how serious the art is, if the story is good, it will be consumed, shared, and discussed. Hell, even more so if the story is original or at least feels authentic. We want diverse and creative voices. We want the comedy to be respected as much as the drama because the laughter is healing. Also, comedy is complex enough to tell a multitude of stories in deep, humorous, and palatable ways. I say all that to say, let’s get weird with it. 

“What goes around comes around, cocksuckers!”

With The Boys season 3 finally coming in June, we could all use a morsel of the Emmy-nominated universe until then. It’s been too long. Well, they knew we wanted and provided us with an eight-count variety pack of episodes with a Compound V shot of directors, writers, animation styles, and stories – you never know what you’re going to get. From the producers of The Boys and Invincible, The Boys Presents: Diabolical is an eight-part animated anthology series that is equal parts hilarious, meaningful, and wild as fuck. Like the live-action series, while it may resemble something familiar, these cartoons aren’t for kids. Filled with exploding heads, drug-induced impalement, face-melting testicles, and walking talking turds, it’s as if the Vought universe collided with Adult Swim inside of a television set playing Saturday morning cartoons.

As I mentioned before, these episodes do have some substance and meaningfulness to them but let’s be real, you’re coming for the weird, the obscene, and the gory action. Then if you happen to take something away from it, cool. With animation styles that are influenced by classic American shorts, The Boys comics, Rick and Morty, Saturday morning imports, French comics, anime, and more, there is something to catch the eye of most animation lovers. Similar to that of Star Wars: Visions, not only is the animation different in every episode, but the stories, writers, and directors are as well. Where they differ are that these stories feel more connected to the storylines that we are familiar with from season 1 and 2 of The Boys. Some of the writers include Aisha Tyler, Awkwafina, Justin Roiland, and Andy Samberg. We are introduced to characters that only fans of the comic may know, some that need to be added, and some that should probably be flushed. The stories are all very entertaining whether it’s about Homelander’s first mistake, Supes with unappealing powers, or a moisturizer that can transform you into whatever you can envision, they all have their moments of depth and destruction. All the animation looks great and crisp, the stories while short, pack a punch, and the voice cast is top-tier. Some of the cast include Michael Cera, Don Cheadle, Chace Crawford, Kieran Culkin, Giancarlo Esposito, Kumail Nanjiani, Kevin Michael Richardson, and many many more. This may not be a series that you frequent after your first watch, however, it’s a fun time nevertheless. Its rewatchability is medium.

See also
‘X-Men '97’ Review - Marvel Revival Series Is Peak Comic Book Storytelling
The Boys Presents: Diabolical – Episode 2: “An Animated Short Where Pissed-Off Supes Kill Their Parents” Courtesy of Amazon Studios
The Boys Presents: Diabolical – Episode 6: “Nubian vs Nubian” Courtesy of Amazon Studios

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What popped for me was the diverse storytelling. It told stories that were Black-led, Asian-led, stories of self-reflection, and some that are just plain absurd. If binge-watching, the series is a rollercoaster of events and emotions.

The Boys Presents: Diabolical – Episode 3: “I’m Your Pusher” Courtesy of Amazon Studios
The Boys Presents: Diabolical – Episode 5: “BFFs” Courtesy of Amazon Studios

Standouts & Final Thoughts

Starring: Awkwafina, Michael Cera, Don Cheadle, Chace Crawford, Kieran Culkin, Giancarlo Esposito, Eliot Glazer, Jason Isaacs, Kumail Nanjiani, Justin Roiland, Seth Rogen, Andy Samberg, Ben Schwartz, Elisabeth Shue, Christian Slater, Kevin Smith, Antony Starr, Nasim Pedrad, Simon Pegg, Kenan Thompson, Aisha Tyler, Youn Yuh Jung, Kimberly Brooks, Nicole Byer, Frances Conroy, Asjha Cooper, Chris Diamantopolous, John DiMaggio, Jermaine Fowler, Emily Gordon, Grey Griffin, Randall Duk Kim, David Marciano, Xolo Maridueña, Dominique McElligott, Caleb McLaughlin, Colby Minifie, Eugene Mirman, Retta, Kevin Michael Richardson, Somali Rose, Parker Simmons, Ursula Taherian, Fred Tatasciore, Sean Patrick Thomas, Angela Marie Volpe, Gary Antony Williams, Jenny Yokobori

The episodes that stood out the most for me have to be episodes 2, 3, 4, and 7. Episode 2: “An Animated Short Where Pissed-Off Supes Kill Their Parents”, is hilariously outrageous with tons of violence. I mean one guy has a pair of breasts for eyes. Episode 3: “I’m Your Pusher”, gives a glimpse into what the world is like inside the comics and just how ruthless Billy Butcher can be. Episode 4: “Boyd in 3D”, is a very relevant story that deals with our obsession with social media and need to be perfect. And Episode 7: “John and Sun-Hee” is very cinematic and heartwarming as lovers sacrifice for one another. Finally, I hope that this isn’t the only season we get of this series. It’s a fun way of giving the entire Vought universe life and a peek into what everyone else is going through besides The Seven and The Boys.

See also
‘X-Men ’97’ Episode 5 Recap – Gambit's Sacrifice And A Mutant Future In Doubt 

All 8 episodes of The Boys Presents: Diabolical premiere on Prime Video on March 4, 2022. Stay safe and enjoy.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Rated: 18+

Runtime: 12-14 minutes

Directors: Crystal Chesney-Thompson and Derek Thompson, Parker Simmons, Giancarlo Volpe, Naz Ghodrati-Azadi, Madeleine Flores, Matthew Bordenave, Steve Ahn, Jae Kim

Writers: Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen, Justin Roiland & Ben Bayouth, Garth Ennis, Eliot Glazer & Ilana Glazer, Awkwafina, Aisha Tyler, Andy Samberg, Simon Racioppa

Producers: Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television Studios, with Titmouse, Kripke Enterprises, Original Film, and Point Grey Pictures

Executive Producers: Simon Racioppa, Eric Kripke, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver, Neal H. Moritz, Pavun Shetty, Ori Marmur, Ken F. Levin, Jason Netter, Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson, Michaela Starr, Loreli Alanís, Chris Prynoski, Shannon Prynoski, and Ben Kalina

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYzeTzPDBgU]

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