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TV Series Review: The Boys (Season One)

The Boys is a new dark comedy series released on Amazon Prime worldwide, which makes commentary on today’s society and the fascination with superhero franchises. This show is produced and co-produced by the likes of Eric Kripke (Supernatural) and Seth Rogen, and stars Jack Quaid, Karl Urban and Erin Moriarty. In a world where superheroes (known as Supes) really exist, it takes an organisation to promote and keep their bad behaviours out of the spotlight. When Hughie’s (Quaid) girlfriend is killed by a Supe, he goes on a journey to take revenge on him.

The acting for this show all around is spot on. The script is incredibly demanding for a lot of the actors here, and they all do a solid job. I’m incredibly pleased to see Jack Quaid get a major role here and do so well, especially after his smaller role in The Hunger Games. It’s hard to pick a stand out in a show like this that balances several storylines, but I would probably go for Karl Urban in the role of Billy Butcher. Not only is he such a distinctive character, but also one that is subtle in it’s emotional layers, which I appreciate very much.
What makes this TV show stand out in this day and age is it’s bold storytelling and the narrative that they chose. We are in a moment of media where the superhero formula is starting to feel repetitive, and this show pulls a complete reverse on what we expect from a genre like this. It is refreshing, not only in the genre but in terms to media to this day. It seems that companies are becoming safer in their stories, sticking to blockbusters and nostalgia to sell their idea. This show subverts all of your expectations in the best ways possible.
It is clear that a lot of work went in to set up the world of this universe, particularly when it comes to production and costume design. There are clear comparisons to the Supes in this show and other popular superheroes, but they don’t fully cross the line. This is mainly due to the script and how the characters are written in a completely different manner than usually depicted. It was an idea that felt suggested in Brightburn earlier this year, but explored in a much darker and deeper manner, and I appreciate that.
In a show like this, it can be hard to achieve a wide variety of emotions that it tackles. However, due to the nature of the story and the array of storylines that are covered, I actually found the balance to be not only well handled, but necessary. If this show was a full on drama about the death of someone’s girlfriend, it wouldn’t be as entertaining as it was. If this show wasn’t as dark and gritty as it was, then I don’t think the messages that it communicates would hit as hard as they do. If this show was just a comedy, it would miss the heart and the story wouldn’t be as compelling. It is thanks to the blend of horror, humour and heart that this series works.
I was worried that amongst the several storylines, it would be hard to develop seven main Supes in this short eight-episode season, but I actually found them to develop a lot of specific things about them, from their own characters to the relationships between all of them. Sure, most focus is definitely put on Starlight and Homelander, but we do get major character development on all of the heroes, aside from one which I think is going to be further explored in later seasons. 
If I had to point out a small downside to the first season of the show, it is that one story felt way more compelling to me than the other. For me, I wanted to know the background on Vought and delve into the business side of it more. When we went to the “main” storyline, I was definitely invested for sure. However, I think a lot of the appeal of this show in particular is the drama that goes on in the background of a superhero company, and that part had a lot to say about our audience in real life and how much we do suck up to Marvel and DC in particular. I hope we get a lot more of this in season two, which has fortunately already began shooting.
This is the second best thing that has been shown on TV this year, and I am so glad that I saw the hype for this series online. It is refreshing in narrative, dark and gritty in tone and extremely bold in it’s presentation. From the production and costume design to the editing and acting, this is such a fresh show and it makes some great commentary alongside that as well. If we want to keep the comic book/superhero love going in a post-Endgame world, this new take on it may be the way to go. Please go and check this one out if you haven’t already, you will not regret it.
Have you checked out The Boys Season One yet, and what did you make of it? Is there any other Amazon Prime shows that I should check out next? Let me know in the comments below and let’s have a discussion.

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