If you’re the person toasting and shouting “NOW IT’S A PARTY” after you’ve experienced the holy trifecta of disgust, delight and despair – this show is perfect for you! The Boys is an Amazon Original with Seth Rogan as executive producer and Supernatural’s own Eric Kripke on board as showrunner. Like Preacher, it is based on the comic by Garth Ennis and presents another fix for impromptu junkies like me. Impromptu meaning the shock-value and diabolical actions which can be way too hilarious. Entertainment that embraces the entire laughing-at-a-funeral-morale. It’s weird, it’s dark, it’s funny and it feels like an anti-cape mouthwash after a looong weekend of smoking the superhero stuff.
The Boys is set in a world where superheroes (“supes”) are embraced and worshipped for saving lifes and making the world a better place. Shame it’s only a huge marketing hoax and they’re actually a bunch of abusive dickheads. Manipulating society and physically overpowering anyone in their way, they are basically unstoppable. But some are brave enough to offer resistance. Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) has a hobby that involves offing supes any chance he can get. It only takes a few supe-caused personal losses to get a whole gang of people who want nothing more than to end the reign of Vaught, the evil corporation behind the entire freakshow. Them boys mean business when they start to hunt down their OP enemies.
Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid), Frenchie (Tomer Capon) and Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso) join the pursuit of a superhero-free world. Although they are a ragged, crazy mix of guys, they do work well together. Their main goal are The Seven, the flagship team at Vaught consisting of Homelander (Antony Starr), Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott), A-Train (Jesse T. Usher), The Deep (Chace Crawford), Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell) and the newbie Starlight (Erin Moriarty). With every disturbing action those seven take, you cheer on the boys even more, want them to win. How ironic that supes are more like nopes.
Elisabeth Shue gives a fascinating performance as the vice president of Vaught, Madelyn Stillwell. A teeth-grinding corporate lady that doesn’t hesitate one second to destroy or end a life. For her, there is no bad publicity, you just have to know how to twist the story. Her icy tongue but motherly touch is a bone-chilling form of power play. And on her side, Homelander, the perfect American hero who enjoys crushing heads with his bare hands on weekends. What will they do next? The unpredictable and twisted nature of the characters is what makes this so hypnotizing.
The show is also perfectly timed with regard to the current trends in cinema and certain societal issues that have dominated international discourse. Between all the gory and ridiculous stuff, they found time to hold up a mirror so damn straight in your face that I can only tip my imaginative hat. One of the big themes is the instant exploitation and corporization of people with special powers or, just in general, something profitable, something that can influence entire cities. Who can argue that we wouldn’t try to make money off of supes right away?
If you thirst for a mint after the wonderful gigantic MCU/DCEU all-you-can-eat buffet, The Boys offers an 8-pack of ultra-fresh drops on any streaming device of your choice. It’s smart, it’s funny, it’s twisted, it’s “fucking diabolical”.
PS: Simon Pegg is not there yet to play a dad to a grown man but we still love him.