That Nomad Shad – At a time where superhero fatigue may be felt by many, The Boys puts a spin on things placing heroes in a realistic representation. The show deals with some heavy themes expertly while still retaining a level of humour to add necessary levity to help digest its subject matter. It’s an easy binge with lots of entertainment value.
The Boys is based on the works of Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, which I have not read, and follows The Boys, a group of vigilantes out to keep superheroes in check. Superheroes are the most profitable commodity with the Justice League-esque group, The Seven being the pinnacle of this power pyramid. However, The Seven are less interested in the plight of the innocent and more concerned with their own self-image and publicity. It’s a great commentary on the abuse of power and the façade of the public image, with some of the most popular heroes committing vile crimes for their own self-indulgence.
Karl Urban is great as Billy Butcher, a tough-as-nails ex-CIA operative who is baying for The Homelander’s blood. He’s a man who is desperate to have the justice he deserves in spite of a system, which serves to protect the supes. Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, and Jack Quaid are the stand out performances as The Homelander, Starlight, and Hughie Campbell respectively. The Homelander is the sociopathic equivalent of Superman. Despite being a near-unstoppable demi-god, he displays some mommy issues. It adds a much-needed layer of depth to the Superman character and proves once again that it works better as a villain. Starlight is the newest member of The Seven, who quickly learns of the dark underbelly that is the true identity of The Seven. Her morality and sense of justice is often called into question. Moriarty plays this role to perfection, as she navigates her identity as a member of The Seven. Finally, Jack Quaid nails the meek Hughie Campbell who is catalyzed by the death of his girlfriend at the hands of A-Train. Hughie is forced to toughen up and make the best decisions for himself. We witness his growth from episode to episode, as he goes from mild-mannered layman to a valuable member of the boys.
The show is not however for everyone with its mature tones and stylized hyperviolence. The show does not shy away from the destructive power of the superheroes and the means needed to keep them in check. This may prove off-putting for some.
The Boys is a much-needed twist on the superhero genre. It’s mature themes and graphic violence combined with its twisted humour is a fresh take on how society may take to superheroes. The Boys is definitely worth the weekend-binge.
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