By Dave B.
In The Boys (Amazon Prime) superheroes are real and they’re big business. Like many heroes from companies like Marvel and DC, the heroes in The Boys are beloved by the masses. Unlike heroes from those universes, heroes in The Boys operate with nearly absolute impunity, leaving a trail of well-hidden carnage in their wake as they indulge in their every whim and darkest desire. But not everyone is taken in by the prestige and luster of superheroes and some of these people have decided to fight back.
I’m on the fence about whether The Boys is a great show or merely a good one. The acting is great and the character development is mostly pretty phenomenal. There are many memorable characters, including The Homelander (a Superman/Captain America analogue) who is truly terrifying. The action and special effects are pretty good as well, if occasionally a bit over the top.
My primary possible issue with The Boys is that it’s so dark that it’s difficult to enjoy. It’s easy enough to immerse oneself in the story, but why would one want to? The world of The Boys may not look it, but it’s utterly dystopian and without any real hope of victory for the “good” guys. It’s also EXTREMELY bloody and psychologically dark, with sexual abuse, drug use, and the nearly indiscriminate use of violence as major themes. In and of themselves, these aren’t necessarily bad things and they fit into the plot well, but The Boys is nearly unrelentingly bleak if one gives any thought to it.
So, I find myself in the odd position of unambiguously thinking that a show is of high quality and even liking it a lot, but also being extremely reluctant to recommend it. There is a segment of the viewing audience that will love The Boys and many of them may understandably say that it’s the best superhero creation ever brought to screen. And they may be right in that belief. But there are large swathes of people who just won’t be able to handle a show as dark as The Boys and that’s understandable as well. I’m going to recommend The Boys, with the strong disclaimer that it’s not for the faint of heart nor to be seen without a bit of forewarning about what you’re getting yourself into.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.