The Boys

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
The Boys cast.
The Boys cast.
Photo: Facebook/The Boys


The Boys


Amazon Prime 


3/5 Stars


The Boys is an irreverent take on what happens when superheroes, who are as popular as celebrities, as influential as politicians and as revered as Gods, abuse their superpowers rather than use them for good. It’s the powerless against the super powerful as The Boys embark on a heroic quest to expose the truth about "The Seven," and their formidable Vought backing


As a lover of the superhero genre, I was excited to get into The Boys. Everyone has been raving about it. They loved it. I didn't. I mean, I didn't hate it, but I thought it was just okay and to be completely honest I wouldn't care to watch the second season. But that could only be a me thing and speaks to the type of person I am and what I like to watch.

But let's dissect it a bit and look at it objectively. The Boys comes from the writers and producers of Preacher, so if you're familiar with that show, you'll have an idea of what type of show this is. It's gory, ultra-violent and mocks the idea of superheroes.

Which is not a bad thing really but it turns out the superheroes that the public loves and adores are just assholes behind closed doors. They're not secretly villains like Homelander, but they truly are just human. They're hypocritical, jaded, arrogant and well everything's scripted and has a PR spin.

The acting is fantastic, though. Homelander's ability to switch in his hero persona for the public is almost disturbing. Karl Urban as Butcher is another bright spot despite being such a dark character. He enlists Hughie (Jack Quaid) in his crusade against supers. After a speedster obliterates Hughie's girlfriend, he is rightfully angry and upset at how the whole situation is handled. Like it's an inconvenient mistake that can be solved with a cheque. So Hughie is easily caught up in Butcher's escapades. 

Sidenote: It's crazy how perfectly Jack Quaid is a combination of his parents Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan.

The plot drags sometimes, and it takes a while for Butcher's motivation to be revealed. Sometimes a little mystery can work when you want to keep your audience in suspense, but that just started to get tired, and it seemed like he had no motivation at all. But they soon uncover a huge secret around how supers are made. Everyone was led to believe that they were born that way, but the boys discover how Vought International (who markets and manages the superheroes) has been creating them from newborn babies.

The show does have its hilarious moments, like that whole thing with the dolphin. You really shouldn't laugh, but it's so unexpected and ridiculous, especially when it happens in slow motion and then resumes normal speed. RIP dolphin.

My favourite character would have to be Starlight/Annie January. She goes in all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about being one of The Seven, hoping she can now save the world but is disabused about the whole notion very quickly. She doesn't take it lying down though. She stands out and up for herself, making demands that the head of Vought can't deny her.

Starlight is a representation of how the public revers superheroes but it turns out they're all arrogant cretins, and everything is a PR stunt for TV. It goes against everything I love about superheroes, but maybe it's supposed to make you feel uncomfortable and offended? What if the nice guy Superman was just a front?

I suppose it's a larger comment on how people in power (or in this case with powers) aren't always what they seem, and there needs to be someone who can hold them accountable.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.