REVIEW: ‘The Boys’ Smashes It’s Debut Season

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The Boys

Its gory, it’s raw, and it’s a bloody refreshing take on the Superhero genre. The Boys season one was released onto Amazon Prime slightly earlier than originally announced to much fervor. The show is based on the comic book of the same name, first published by Dynamite Comics in 2006, written by Garth Ennis, illustrated by Darick Robertson, with colors by Tony Avina. The show runner is Eric Kripke, who also shares producing credits alongside Evan Goldberg, and Seth Rogen. It stars Karl Urban (Judge Dredd), Jack Quaid (Hunger Games), and Elisabeth Shue (Back To The Future).

The Boys is a visceral look into a world where superhero’s not only exist, but are contracted into Corporate America and molded by marketing campaigns. It’s an interpretative view on what our world could potentially look like if “meta-humans” lived amongst us. The adaptation drills down into the gritty details from the perspective of the everyday citizen that is often glossed over in other forms of adaptive superhero movies and shows.

The Boys

Everything starts and centers around Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid) an average guy, who is content with his lot in life. That is until the day when his girlfriend is tragically stricken down by a freak accident caused by the worlds fastest man, A-Train (Jessie T. Usher). As part of “The Seven,” A-Train represents Vought International, an entity built on the back of the success of their heroes endeavors, movie franchises, and advertising endorsements. This publicly traded company is the machine behind the heroes movement, and the largest singular employer. So, when threatened with a scandal such as the death of an innocent woman by the hands of one of their “supes” they go out of their way to misdirect the media narrative and frame it as an accident rather than accepting responsibility for the murder of Hughie’s girlfriend.

Understandably, Hughie is distraught and vehemently turns down any offer of compensation offered to him from Vought, as it waves his right to prosecute the company for any criminal wrong doing. Enter Billy Butcher, and here is where the show really kicks up into high gear. Billy, as the leaders of The Boys is intent on exposing “The Seven” and by extension Vought, for what they really are: a heaping pile of sweaty boiled trash.

The Boys is as utterly fantastic, as it is inexplicably insane. You will laugh, cringe, groan, be caught with you mouth open in shock as it continually hits high note after high note in an eight episode season. But be warned, it is highly graphic, both in violent content, as well nudity, and sexual situations.

The Boys

As an adaptation, it’s a truly honest representation of what Ennis and Robertson originally created all those years ago. One review from ‘Slash Film’ has heavily criticized the show, stating that the gore and nudity are a base attempt to shock and awe the audience with a bleak and depressing plot, but the reality is that the visual adaptation only scratches the surface on how incredibly deranged the comic was. It was crafted on graphic rebellion against the tropes that all Superhero media is based off of and the new series encapsulates that perfectly.

A lot of the written concepts from Ennis, were elevated by Kripke and the rest of the showrunning team. They fully embraced many difficult topics with an earnest approach and body tackled each of them. Issues like sexual assault, victim shaming, entitlement (in many forms), racism, gender inequality, and many others. The Boys offers you a brutally real view of the world and refuses to pull its punches. At one point we even get to see a support group of citizens whose lives have been negatively affected by the “help” of the superhero community.

One aspect that really drove the story home in a way that lets the show stand separately from the source material was the casting, and the character development. Two highlights for me, was seeing the bond formed between Frenchie (Tomer Capon), and the Female (Karen Fukuhara), as they were able to extract an enormity of emotions from their time on camera. Which is amazing to say, because the Female has maybe only a few spoken lines in the whole show. Truly astounding, and deep character work to convey her feelings using only non-verbal queues.

The Boys

I’d be remiss not to mention Urban, who slays his performance as Billy. A stoic, blunt, don’t take crap off of anyone kind of bloke, and Urban plays him to a T. His presence on each scene carries both charm and humor, while also exuding a feeling of hatred, anger and intimidation. Billy is as much the hero, as he is the villain.

There’s times that Urban’s English accent is a little eccentric, and hard to swallow, but from the opinion of an English reviewer, it’s pretty decent overall. Also, Urban sports a magnificent beard, and I am highly jealous of the main of thick hair that man is able to grow, it’s an unyielding beard.

The plot was adapted extremely well from the comic books, and as a fan of the source material, I feel a great level of satisfaction that what they have reconstructed onto the show still feels at the root of it all and in essence the message that ‘The Boys’ was intended to send. That message is, “Fuck the Supes”.

The Boys
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

The plot was adapted extremely well from the comic books, and as a fan of the source material, I feel a great level of satisfaction that what they have reconstructed onto the show still feels at the root of it all and in essence the message that ‘The Boys’ was intended to send. That message is, “Fuck the Supes”.