The Collegian
Wednesday, October 21, 2020

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“The Boys”: Season Two review

<p><em>Graphic by Carissa Gurgul</em></p>

Graphic by Carissa Gurgul

Editor's Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those of The Collegian.

With its season two finale coming to an explosive end, “The Boys” has undoubtedly become a show to keep on your radar.

“The Boys,” which was first released in 2019, is set against a backdrop very similar to our own society. People debate on social media, technology runs everyday life and politicians scheme for their own political gain. But in this world, superheroes exist.

Now, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. These “Supes,” as they’re labeled in the show, are egotistical maniacs obsessed with their public image and sated by praise and love from the public, which views them as heroes. Supes also vie for how much money they can make with brand merchandising and movie deals. 

“The Boys” features a solid cast, including Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Anthony Starr and even Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito, and any fan of Marvel and DC films should at least give the show a chance. As a bonus, Urban shines as William ‘Billy’ Butcher, a foul-mouthed, violence-crazed character who tells the viewer how the world really is. No spoilers, but nothing brings a smile more than Urban shouting profanities at his fellow characters in his native New Zealand accent while covered in gore. 

“The Boys” is not a kid’s show by any means. It isn’t a casual binge either. It’s an action-filled story full of themes and overtones that go widely unexplored by other media in the superhero genre. Unlike Marvel and DC, which have capitalized on the superhero craze through cinematic universes, “The Boys” doesn’t hold its heroes to the same “with great power, comes great responsibility” cliche by which most superheroes are bound.

Instead, “The Boys” thrives in the background. It shows what our heroes do behind closed doors and the vices they indulge in when no one holds them accountable. What would happen if the Flash was a drug addict? If Aquaman was an aquatic pervert? Or if Superman was a narcissistic psycho with laser vision? “The Boys” gives its answer to these questions. 

The gray and sometimes emotionless world “The Boys” inhabit shows the audience what could happen if someone unleashed the power of gods onto humankind, and what could happen if those gods were more savage than super.

With a 91% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes for season one, season two of “The Boys” picks up right where the first season concluded. Now, the second season, which has only one episode to go, might just top the escapades of season one.

For anyone looking for a new show in the superhero genre, “The Boys” is a great choice. Even with an immense amount of blood and violence, each episode keeps the viewer watching. It’s the first show in a while that’s kept me on my toes after every episode -- I can’t recommend it enough. It was a highlight season one. And season two improved upon the already complex story told through the first eight episodes. 

"The Boys” is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. 

Contact features writer Quinn Humphrey at quinn.humphrey@richmond.edu. 

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