The Boys: Episode One Review

BOYS WILL BE BOYS…

Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, and The Boys

I was fortunate enough to get to see the first episode of Amazon’s upcoming superhero series “The Boys”. The Boys based upon the Garth Ennis comic of the same name.  The first episode demonstrates the show’s potential as it builds the gritty story of how the world would be if we had superheroes with corporate backing. Amazon’ marketing campaign is sleek and in your face, establishing that this shows a non-typical superhero outing. The Boys present us a world in which not only superheroes are real, but are also adored on the same level as A-list celebs, where their biggest motivators are their wallets, not the desire to be good.  They focus more on PR then careful heroism. The most famous heroes are a part of a group known as “The Seven”. The episode opens up with two boys arguing about who the best superhero is, listing their qualities and powers. When an armored truck speeding through the streets ( hijacked by would-be robbers) is about the hit the boys from the cold open, we see an individual speed by and get in front of the truck. That superhero is Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott). When she jumps in front of the truck she essentially slices into the truck like a hot knife through butter.  The robbers (the two that survived the collision) grab the two boy’s hostages, only to be incapacitated by Homelander (Antony Star), through extremely brutal means.

The Boys Amazon Prime

In spite of their brutal methods, “The Seven” remain the biggest celebrities in the world. Indeed, their exploits can increasingly cause serious harm, as when the hero A-Train (Jessie Usher), runs literally through Robin (Jess Salgueiro), yes you read that correctly; leaving her boyfriend Hughie (Jack Quaid) holding onto her disembodied arms as the rest of her body explodes into a glob of red liquid. This tragedy sets Hughie on his quest for revenge. Revenge, conveniently orchestrated by Butcher (Karl Urban) a mysterious figure whose superpower may be cursing as much as explicitly possible. When the heroes are not “protecting the world” they are selling products, doing press and making appearances for the show’s fictional company Vought. Vought is a terrifyingly real what if situation that can come about if let’s say Amazon and Disney merged into an even bigger company.  

The Boys does a decent enough job in the first episode of world building but it still misses key elements. For all its shock value and violence, it does not present itself with a consistent tone.  It goes from horrifying (violence) to juvenile with the way it presents its nude scenes. Granted this is only the first episode, I really hope the showrunners (Erick Kripke) can find the same spark he found in Supernatural. I am ready to see where this goes let us hope it comes together better in future episodes.

Cast: Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Dominique McElligott, Jessie T. Usher, Laz Alonso, Chace Crawford, Tomer Capon, Karen Fukuhara, Nathan Mitchell, Elisabeth Shue

Executive Producers: Eric Kripke, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver, Neal H. Moritz, Pavun Shetty, Ori Marmur, Ken F. Levin, Jason Netter

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