THE BOYS REVIEW, CAST, AND REASONS NOT TO MISS THE SHOW!
“The Boys” the subversive and darkly comedic series that took the superhero genre by storm, is making its highly anticipated return for a third season. But this time, it’s coming back bigger and bolder than ever.
With a reputation for pushing boundaries and challenging the conventions of the superhero genre, “The Boys” has gained a dedicated fan base and critical acclaim for its unique take on super-powered individuals and the corporations that profit from them. As the series prepares to launch its third season, fans can expect more of what they love, and perhaps a few surprises along the way.
Let’s see why The Boys is a worth-watching series!
Eric Kripke‘s edgy and irreverent spin on superheroes in “The Boys” has often been compared to a mix of “Watchmen” and “South Park”. It’s a well-worn cynicism aimed at the current state of superhero culture and entertainment, served with generous helpings of graphic violence and adult content. To its credit, the show maintains its unapologetic, over-the-top approach that has made it a favorite on Amazon Prime Video. It also manages to inject some fresh elements into its diverse cast of characters.
However, as the show hits its third season, the novelty is starting to wear thin. The satirical edge appears to be losing some of its bite, and the characters are navigating paths we’ve seen before, making it feel somewhat less impactful.
The last time we saw The Boys and their archenemies, The Seven, a corporate-sponsored superhero group, things were in disarray. The revelation that Stormfront, a new superhero played by Aya Cash, was a Nazi, and her alliance with Homelander, portrayed by Antony Starr, had tarnished his image in the public eye. A-Train, played by Jessie T. Usher, is struggling to reinvent himself after a heart condition hampers his super-speed abilities.
Meanwhile, Queen Maeve, portrayed by Dominique McElligott, has become disillusioned after her identity as corporate interests co-opted a queer woman. Notably, the portrayal of “Queen Maeve’s Inclusive Kingdom” feels like a commentary on the superficial support of LGBTQ+ causes by corporations during Pride Month .
Reviving the Hunt: The Boys’ Quest to Eliminate Superhero Icons
The members of The Boys have gone their separate ways, each yearning for a taste of normalcy. The relentless and gruff Billy Butcher, played by Karl Urban, finds himself entangled in a highly regulated superhero task force that’s drowning in bureaucracy, a far cry from his usual super-hunting escapades. Meanwhile, Mother’s Milk, portrayed by Milk Laz Alonso, seeks retirement in pursuit of being a devoted husband and father once more.
On the other hand, Mute Kimiko, brought to life by Karen Fukuhara, harbors dreams of shedding her superpowers to embrace the world of speech, dance, and song, all with her steadfast companion, Frenchie, played by Tomer Capone, by her side.
As for Baby Hughie, portrayed by Jack Quaid, he’s living the high life, enjoying a very public relationship with Starlight, brilliantly portrayed by C. Starlight’s girl-next-door image might just be the key to redeeming the image of The Seven.
Hughie also unexpectedly finds himself working for a political aspirant bearing a striking resemblance to AOC, Victoria Neuman, portrayed by Claudia Doumit. The twist? We discovered in the previous season’s finale that Victoria is behind the explosive demise of several members of Congress, all in her ruthless pursuit of power.
However, even though the mighty Homelander is down, he’s far from defeated. Billy has concocted a plan to bring an end to the formidable foe: locate the weapon that supposedly vanquished Soldier Boy, played by Jensen Ackles.
Soldier Boy, a super-soldier akin to Captain America and a founding member of Payback, a pre-Seven superhero team from the ’70s, is the target. The aim? To turn the tables on this star-spangled sociopath. Billy’s quest will draw the remaining members of The Boys back together, reigniting their mission to take down renowned superheroes, one caped crusader at a time.
The Boys’ Ambitious Approach: A Double-Edged Satirical Sword
The fact that this comprehensive summary overlooks a significant portion of the show’s major subplots, characters, and comedic elements is both the biggest asset and the most significant drawback of “The Boys”.
The show, produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, deserves credit for wholeheartedly embracing its concept and employing the intricately constructed world it has created to offer critical insights into a broad spectrum of issues. These critiques span from the commercialization of DC and Marvel to The Seven’s self-centered movies, which serve as both a cash cow and a reputation booster.
The show also doesn’t shy away from tackling real-world topics like the increasing prominence of white supremacy and right-wing reactionary politics. The season kicks off with a public backlash against The Seven for admitting a Nazi into their ranks.
As the season unfolds, characters like Homelander become more vocal about their disdain for the public, echoing Stormfront’s sentiments from the previous season’s finale: “People resonate with my message. They believe in it. They just have an issue with the word ‘Nazi.’ That’s all”.
However, the challenge is that “The Boys” attempts to address a multitude of charged political issues without having the time or depth to explore them thoroughly. Instead, it presents satirical reflections on our own world’s surreal sociopolitical landscape with a tongue-in-cheek approach. Some satirical elements work well in isolation, such as the poignant rendition of “Imagine” in response to a mass murder, and A-Train’s comical take on Kendall Jenner’s protest ad against Pepsi.
Nevertheless, the in-universe media creations within the show are more effective than their integration into the narrative. Analogous situations like COVID lockdowns and misinformation from media outlets akin to Fox News tend to become repetitive as the season progresses.
The same holds for the crass and irreverent humor that initially defined the show but has lost some of its novelty this season. While graphic violence and gore still occur with dark humor, it becomes less shocking over time. Even when the series introduces a colossal superheroic orgy in episode six, the response is more of an amused chuckle than a genuine surprise.
The extensive cast only adds to the challenge, with the hour-long episodes feeling overcrowded with characters and plot lines, making it difficult to manage multiple story arcs. Characters like Maeve and Mother’s Milk seem sidelined for a substantial part of the season.
The Deep’s isolated storyline, centering around an exaggerated interpretation of the Aquaman-fish joke, feels overextended, particularly when compared to the brevity and humor with which HBO Max’s “Peacemaker” approached a similar topic.
The cast continues to deliver strong performances, and there are a few new standouts, such as Jensen Ackles as Soldier Boy, who offers a fresh take on an anti-Chris Evans character. However, the show’s inclination for indulgence makes it challenging to let go of certain elements, even if it means pushing them to the limits of absurdity.
Third Season of The Boys
In its third season, “The Boys” has undergone some maturation, but it has also expanded significantly, to the extent that it becomes quite challenging to fully grasp its extensive ensemble of characters and the intricate web of political maneuvering they must navigate. Undoubtedly, this may be a sensation that eases when viewers follow the show every week, as per Prime’s episode release schedule.
However, when condensed into a single eight-hour marathon of misanthropic chaos, “The Boys” can be a bit overwhelming, and the superficial flaws in its superhero and societal commentaries become increasingly apparent.