TV SHOW REVIEW - The Boys: Season 1
Right, so before you all jump down my throat about why it’s taken me so long to watch this show, I’ll have you know I’ve been very busy. But also, I’ve been putting it off because I feel like there was so much pressure and so many people had told me that I would love this show. So without further ado, I present to you my review of Season 1 of ‘The Boys’. Yes, that is what it’s called, let’s not pretend that we’ve not heard worse TV show names before this!
The first season of ‘The Boys’ depicts a world in which superheroes live amongst us and most of them are employed by an organization known as “Vought International”. But more than superhero-ing, most of their employees are in the entertainment business, churning out reality TV shows and films like nothing you’ve seen before. Right at the top of Vought’s leading talent, is “The Seven”, a group of heroes that stand above the rest, led by Homelander and containing the likes of heroes such as Queen Maeve, Black Noir, The Deep, A-Train, etc. Enter Hughie Campbell, a young man who one day whilst out with his girlfriend watches her eviscerated right before his eyes by A-Train, the Seven’s speedster. This sends Hughie into shock and he finds it difficult to process his loss. He is then approached by a man named Billy Butcher who offers Hughie the chance at getting revenge for his dead girlfriend. Billy gets his old team together, consisting of two other members, Frenchie and MM. When Billy explains the purpose of the group, hughie is initially reluctant, but the team collectively take down Translucent, one of the members of the Seven. Billy, believing that this new team now has a chance to take down the ‘Supes’ initiates his master plan. The team’s big win however comes when during a stakeout of A-Train’s flat they discover that he’s been injecting himself with something called “Compound V”. It appears that Vought has been injecting babies with this compound granting them powers. As Billy’s war on the heroes gets hotter, Hughie is having a tough time as he strikes up a friendship, which develops into a relationship with the latest hero in Vought’s arsenal, Starlight, aka Annie January. Can this group of misfits open the world’s eyes to the truth behind Vought’s heroes? And at what price does justice truly come?
You guys know I love my superhero-based TV programmes, and the Boys was no different. I thought the twist of having heroes as bad guys is often a dangerous one, but in the case of this show, it really pays off. The entire time watching this, I had tension coursing through me as to whether or not Billy and his team would get caught and that tension keeps you hooked. I think the backstories given to many of the main characters are compelling and at times you even feel for heroes like Homelander and Starlight. What “The Boys” does extremely well, however, is parody well-known heroes and concepts, like Superman and the Justice League, but portray it in a way that seems so original that whilst you’re watching, you completely forget they’re taking the piss. Some of the parody stuff works very well, for example, The Deep, who is clearly a parody of Aquaman, finds that everyone sees him as a bit of a joke. I’ll be honest, with the entire season, this show is competing at the top for the best show I’ve ever seen. Perhaps this was why I was holding off.
Let’s get to the actors. Karl Urban plays the enigmatic and highly vocal Billy Butcher. Over the years, Urban has played several roles that have required him to be this stoic, quiet character, but with Butcher, he can really let loose and he does a great job. Backing him on his team are Hughie, Frenchie and MM who are played by Jack Quaid, Tomer Capon and Laz Alonso. Quaid is also one of these faces that have started to become a little more familiar recently. I think it’s always a little difficult when we see young actors who have famous parents, and his father Dennis was a highly underrated actor in my opinion. Where Jack’s career goes from here remains to be seen, but his performance as Hughie is awesome. We also have Karen Fukuhara who plays ‘The Female’, a woman who’s been experimented on with Compound V. Despite being a largely silent role, her expressions are excellent and I look forward to seeing her character develop. Over on the other side, you have Erin Moriarty who plays Starlight and Chace Crawford who plays the Deep. Both fit into their roles well, but ultimately are overshadowed by the person who I think has the best acting in the entire show; Antony Starr who plays Homelander. Every scene he’s in, he steals and it’s just some of the best acting on TV I’ve seen for a long time!
Naturally, with Amazon skimping on corporation tax, they must have a pretty decent budget and it clearly shows. The majority of TV programmes that I’ve seen find that they limit their budget on the first season in order to gauge how popular it will be. The Boys is not like that, from the get-go, the graphics are excellent, the costumes are fantastic and the whole way it's filmed looks professional. They knew when they were making this that the show would be a success and the entire show pulls no punches. In terms of the music, it’s used effectively in some of the scenes but lacks from the overall finished product. Unlike other shows or films I’ve seen, this doesn’t particularly detract from the quality of the show!
In conclusion, I have to say that The Boys is one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time. If the quality continues to improve then it’s definitely a contender for the top. I can’t wait to come back and see the kind of trouble that Billy Butcher and his crew get up to against Homelander and Vought Industries!
Story Arc: 17/20
Integral vs filler episode: 15/20