The Boys just hit Amazon Prime this past Friday and let me say, please dedicate eight hours of your life to watch this show. In this non-spoiler review, I will start out by saying The Boys is probably the best superhero television on TV right now. I rank it up with Daredevil season three and The Punisher series from Netflix. If you know my preferences, you would know that is probably the highest compliment I can give it.
What makes The Boys different from so many superhero shows? It’s not just it’s meta-commentary. We’ve seen that before. It puts the superheroes in a position we aren’t used to seeing; the one where they are egotistical, manipulative, and dirty public figures. Where everything sold to the public is just lies and PR marketing. The superheroes don’t care about you. They want to look good and they want their paychecks. Don’t expect Captain America or Superman to pop up.
Instead, we have superheroes such Highlander and A-Train. We have frauds like The Deep and others. The show does a perfect job in initially setting up everyone to be these omniscient creatures, when they are really corrupt people just like any dirty politician.
If you have seen any trailer for the show, there is a group of those who are wise to the reality of these superheroes who call themselves The Seven. Led by Karl Urban’s Butcher, The Boys are so much more than your average motley crew. Not only was Urban a stand-out as the gruff, ‘better off alone’, Butcher, but the whole team was enjoyable. Jack Quaid as Hughie could have fallen down the cliche trope of the annoying, whiny guy out of his element among the career outlaws. Instead, he stepped up and was endearing, while kicking ass on some occasions.
Laz Alonso as Mother’s Milk and Tomer Kapon as Frenchie were both fantastic. In eight episodes, we learned so much about them and all the other characters. Signaling that you can create a legitimate, fully fleshed out story in that short of time. But, you are going to want more by the end of the season.
Anthony Starr played Homelander so well. He is unhinged and dangerous. You never knew what he was going to do next. Starr commanded the screen in every scene and it was not just his red, white, and blue costume. Erin Moriarty was a delight as Starlight, who could have been one-dimensional as well. But, like Quaid’s Hughie, she continued to surprise and carry the story.
Do not underestimate Dominique McElligott as Queen Maeve. Possibly one of the most interesting characters, she comes from a position of having originally been just as Starlight was when Starlight first joined the Seven. But after years of the corrupt bullshit and seeing the world for what it really is, she’s burnt out. There were so many times I was on the fence with her character, not knowing where she stood between right and wrong. And there’s a scene that is so undeniably tragic that you may walk away a little traumatized from it.
Why The Boys is Worth Watching
Why should you watch The Boys? It is beautifully complex, brutally realistic, socially aware, and tragic when you least expect it. The Boys imagines a world where superheroes are not the good guys. In our world, where we are saturated with everything superhero-related, it’s a new spin that will keep you on your toes and clicking to the next episode.
The Boys is renewed for a second season. So, I can’t wait to see where the craziness goes next.
A girl with too many fandoms to count.