When I write a review of a television show, a comic book, or a show based on a comic, I always try to think of a handful of categories that I can subjectively assess and critique based on how that form of media has moved me one way or another. And I can’t help but feel like The Boys, in an oversaturated market of superhero media, stands out as one of the most fun, most entertaining shows on television with a remarkable cast, outstanding writing, and on-screen chemistry that blows me away
nearly every single episode.
This past Friday, The Boys released its season 2 finale, and while it had its share of cliffhangers, it wrapped up an assortment of loose ends that have me more curious than ever in regards to where this show is headed. But to be perfectly honest, I am more than okay with more of the same. Because The Boys absolutely nails it. Every. Single. Time.
Now, I know that reviews can be convoluted if you haven’t seen it or worse, filled with spoilers. I am going to do neither and just try to sum up season 2 while talking about the show as a whole and including season 1 along the way. Instead, I want to simply highlight what the show does well overall, and really drive home that the second season picks up where the first left off and continues to do so many things better or even perfectly.
Season 1 sets up some fascinating characters that parallel many of DC’s Justice League heroes but with a handful of twists and flaws in their personalities and character traits. Homelander, which mirrors Superman, is a twisted individual with narcissistic tendencies and sociopathic behavior he demonstrates each and every minute he isn’t receiving praise on camera and or from the masses as being the world’s greatest superhero. Among the other members of “The Seven” (pseudo-Justice League), are The Deep (pseudo-Aquaman), Queen Maeve (pseudo-Wonder Woman), Black Noir (pseudo-Batman, sort of), A-Train (pseudo-Flash), and a few others that come and go throughout both seasons, each with their own agendas and subplots that move forward fluidly through season 2, some of which come to a solid close and setup an interesting foundation for the future.
While season 1 does an excellent job of setting these characters up and allowing the audience to see just what massive pieces of sh*t these heroes are behind the scenes, season 2 takes it even further without making the audience feel bored or pushing the audience to think “yeah, okay, we have seen this before so what else?” That thought right there has never entered my mind (outside of writing it down here) while watching the show and I think that alone deserves praise. Considering how many different sources of superhero entertainment we get these days, both on the big and small screens, it certainly is impressive when we get yet another one and then it sticks out as having a near-perfect formula with just enough nuance to keep it fresh while also continuing to deliver episode after episode.
In season 2, The Boys are still trying to take down Vought, the industry that backs “The Supes” or superheroes. Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) calls more people a “cu*t” than ever before, Homelander (Antony Starr) kills innocent people, and you know the rest. But the thing is, I freaking love the hell out of that. I can’t get enough. Every actor or actress on the screen nails their roles as if they were born to play them, and season 2 digs even deeper into the backstory of characters you had hoped to learn more about. You find out why they are so cruel or stand-offish, twisted, or deranged, and it all just fits.
Writing a review can be super difficult, especially when I feel so passionately about this series that I do not want to ruin or spoil any moment for anyone who decides to read this. And with such a wide variety of cast and characters, it is even more difficult than you can imagine paying the respects they are each owed for delivering such phenomenal performances. Jessie Usher (A-Train) and Chase Crawford (The Deep) are some of the most interesting characters on the show due to their current circumstances driving them toward redemption. Not to mention, Crawford’s performance as The Deep, a character that is basically the worst and most embarrassing parts of Aquaman, will crack you the f*ck up constantly.
Season 2, which you probably wouldn’t read much about if you haven’t seen season 1, is exactly what you want out of a new season. It has humor, it has action, some extremely impressive CGI gore and violence, and so much more. It has heart, redemption, origin stories, and it teases endless possibilities for a future that I hope lasts a long time because honestly, The Boys is one of the greatest shows on television. And whether you care for superheroes or don’t, you will absolutely love the hell out of Antony Starr’s performance as Homelander.
Season 3 is currently in pre-production with no confirmed release date. But we do know that Supernatural star Jensen Ackles is joining the cast. And we can’t wait for that.