Coming hot off of its massively successful first season, Amazon’s “The Boys” returned this fall, bigger, badder, and bloodier. For those that missed the first season, let’s catch up without spoilers. After his girlfriend is accidentally killed by a superhero, Hughie Campbell, played by Jack Quaid, joins up with a group of outlaws led by Billy Butcher, played by Karl Urban, whose main goal is to bring down a corrupt team of heroes known as “The Seven,”.
After season one ended on a major cliffhanger, fans were desperate for the story to continue but were met with dismay when it was revealed that the showrunner was going to release this season on a weekly basis. I was among the fans watching the season two premiere, but to be honest, I didn’t mind the weekly release schedule — and that’s for several reasons.
Namely, this was one of the most “hand over the mouth, screaming, laughing and wincing all at once” seasons of a show I’ve ever seen. While it would have been fun to binge, I enjoyed being able to process what the f— just happened after each episode. Much of the fan acclaim behind this story is owed to the fact that there is really no cavern of reality the writers won’t explore. Before it’s a superhero show or a comic book adaptation, “The Boys” is a political satire. It asks the question, “What would happen if superheroes were not only real, but owned, monetized and used as propaganda?” It expresses that answer beautifully. There are plenty of new additions to the cast, including a bigger spotlight on Stan Edgar, played by Giancarlo Esposito, and Stormfront, played by Aya Cash.
Among all of the violence, it definitely needs to be mentioned that every single character, good and bad, is thoroughly fleshed out with their own character arcs. In between the head explosions and people being fried to crisps by laser eyes, there are truly heartfelt moments that could be taken right out of an HBO drama. If you feel desensitized in our modern world ruled by Murphy’s Law, then I think that “The Boys” is both an escape and a satirical reflection of current events. You will inevitably feel like you’re in on an inside joke whenever politics are brought up, as they are modeled after many of our current predicaments, and you will feel heard when much of the hate being spread in our world today is refrained through the mouths of the antagonists. That being said, buckle up for every single reason a show could be rated TV-MA because it’s all here.
Yes, even that.