If there’s one thing I love more than a good superhero tale, it’s all the attempts these days to do something a bit different for the modern age, to find a new angle, or a more believable take. Step forward The Boys, which asks: what if the world had real superheros, celebrities with sponsorship deals – but behind the corporate facade, they’re actually a£$eholes? I mean, great powers doesn’t necessarily come with niceness or the goody-two-shoes-ness that makes some of the stalwarts a bit dull. So what if they were self-serving, totally devoid of moral codes?
The most famous of the ‘supes’ are The Seven, a handpicked group managed by the Vought Corporation. Superheroes are of course big business!
And so we have a superman (Homelander) with a “I get to do whatever the f- I want” attitude. An invisible man (Translucent) who’s unsurprisingly a peeping tom, and a speedster (A-Train) who is far, far more interested in his celebrity endorsements and staying at the top of the pack than anything as mundane as regular people and their woes.
Ooh, it’s dark. And twisted and sweary and *drenched* in blood. And I loved it!
We start proceedings as we mean to go on, with a shocking and quite frankly rather disgusting death. This sets our ‘hero’, Hughie, into the path of Billy Butcher (Karl Urban, mangling a British/Kiwi mashup of an accent, but otherwise on form). Butcher has a grudge with the supes, which we will get the full details of as the series progresses.
I thoroughly enjoyed this show, which sets its world and characters up perfectly and then teases out the various mysteries over the course of 8 episodes. What’s Vought’s real agenda? Will these self-centred supes turn, or implode? Will Butcher get his revenge on an impervious man? Will Hughie ever recover from watching… yeah, no, I’ll leave that one as an early viewer surprise 😉
It didn’t quite hit the same levels of joy that I found in The Umbrella Academy, but it was still a lot of gory fun. Looking forward to the next season in a few months, and more to follow!
First broadcast: July 2019
Series: 1 broadcast so far, second due soon, and a third already announced
Episodes: 8 @ ~55 mins each
My rating: 8.5/10