With superheroes all the rage in film and television, Amazon’s new show, The Boys, is a fresh take on the genre.
The Amazon Prime original is a dark look at the effects power and greed can have on individuals, told in hilarious and well-executed fashion.
Based on the comic book of the same name, written by Garth Ennis and developed into a show by Eric Kripke, The Boys takes place in a world where the ‘heroes’ are seen as celebrities and dominate the media and their enemies. However, away from the spotlight, these heroes aren’t all as they appear.
The show follows two different groups of characters.
The Seven is a group made up of ‘the world’s best heroes’ run by Vought International. They get away with whatever they want and their true work often goes unseen by the public.
The Boys are a vigilante-esque group bent on taking down Vought and showing the world who they are.
The Boys are led by William “Billy” Butcher, a former CIA member who grew to hate the superheroes or ‘supes’, as called by Butcher.
Butcher’s rage is placed on The Seven’s leader Homelander, played by Anthony Starr, who is thought to have raped and ‘killed’ Butcher’s wife.
Played by Karl Urban, Butcher gives a great performance of a man who has lost everything and is bent on exacting revenge.
The other main member of The Boys, and a guiding light for Butcher, is Hughie Campbell, played by Jack Quaid. Hughie is a tall, nervous, electronics shop employee who ends up joining Butcher after his girlfriend, Robin, is killed by The Seven’s speedster, A-Train.
Hughie’s perception of ‘supes’ soon begins to change, however, when he meets Annie January, a kind woman who goes by the superhero name ‘Starlight’.
Annie, played by Erin Moriarty, shows Hughie that not all supes have the same disregard for others lives and soon chooses to help uncover Vought and The Seven’s dirty little secrets.
The Boys gives a different look to the superhero genre as it gives a more real painting of superheroes as individuals with their own wants, desires, and struggles, instead of the generic idea that see’s superheroes as perfect specimens. Whether it’s drug addiction, mental health, or something even more sinister, The Boys masterfully depicts heroes as also being victim to the human struggle.
Many current social issues are also seen in the show. Whether it’s racism, sexual harassment or another current issue such as the effects of corporate monopoly, as seen by Vought International, The Boys finds ways of incorporating many of these current issues into the show without the viewer feeling as though it is being forced upon them.
The Boys is a violent and vulgar dark comedy which will keep the viewer on their edge of their seat. Just avoid watching if you’re a little squeamish to violence… because there’s a lot.