Warning! Minor Spoilers!
THE BOYS truly is the
answer to superhero fatigue. While some movies like Marvel’s Captain
America: Civil War took some interest in the sheer catastrophic toll all of
these larger-than-life fights would take on society, The Boys forces you
to stop and feel the sheer untouchability superhumans would have over us
average mortals—then asks, what if they didn’t have the best intentions?
Again, we see a take of evil Superman in Justice League, but it just doesn’t hit home nearly as hard
as Antony Starr’s impeccable depiction of The Boys’ equivalent Homelander—the
charismatic virtually indestructible leader of the Seven—whose menace just
feels so terrifying and real. In this not-too-distant America, a pharmaceutical
company called Vought manufactures and markets superheroes, the most elite of
which are held in worshipful adoration as members of the Seven—America’s top protectors
against crime, flashing their sponsors’ products while stringing up the bad
guys just in time for the cameras. Gawky, nerdy Hughie (Jack Quaid) is just one
of the Seven’s legions of fans, convinced they can do no wrong—until one of
them blows through his girlfriend at superhuman speed, leaving
him showered in guts and reality.
For those of us who were Supernatural
fans, the show is especially a treat because of the parade of familiar faces
you’ll see over the course of three seasons as Hughie’s quest for vengeance
takes him deeper into the dark side of the superhero franchise dominating the
country along the likes of no-rules Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) and similarly
disillusioned Seven member Starlight (Erin Moriarty). It’s as if creator Eric
Kripke has found the platform he could take the kid gloves off and really go
all-in with the gore, the WTF moments, and the unmasking of every character
upheld on a pedestal (and when Jensen Ackles shows up as Solider Boy…there may
have been fangirling #sorrynotsorry).
There have been some over-the-top
moments that made my eyebrows disappear into my hairline (yeesh, like the
twisted take on the Deep and his obsession with sea creatures), but from the
beginning, the show is honest that there are very few lines it won’t cross
(fair warning to the faint of heart).
With all the world-building and
character back stories advancing steadily each season, I feel like the end of
Season 3 has prepped Season 4 for a full-on sprint. The set up of Season 3
addresses the political scene of the USA today head-on with narratives around fake news, the lack of consequences for those in power, and the chilling
polarizing rise of Us v. Them: there are those who are superior, those who are
inferior, and middle ground is non-existent.
With just a few minor quibbles
(some slow spots here and there; Stormfront’s initial characterization in
Season 2 felt confusing with her true motivation reveal, and it seemed strange
that someone as shrewd as Stan Edgar would have ever supported her joining the
Seven), The Boys is a modern-day bingeworthy Game of Thrones that
I’m heavily looking forward to, and can’t wait for the Season 4 release date!
In the meantime, watch the teaser trailer here.