‘The Boys’ explores corporatized heroes
Watching “The Boys” is a bit like watching what it would have been like if the mutants from “X-Men” were glorified into celebrities and corporatized. Amazon’s new series “The Boys” is based on the comic books of the same name.
In this reality super-powered people star in movies, promote brands and have all of their moves tracked like reality stars. The Supers are more or less governed by a company, Vought, that profits off the Supers, particularly the elite group known as the Seven.
After a Super blows his girlfriend to bits by running through her, Hughie wants to get justice. After Billy Butcher shows up, Hughie finds himself involved in a plot to uncover the injustices committed by the Supers. After his girlfriend’s death, Hughie meets Annie and they form an instant connection, unfortunately, Annie is also a Super known as Starlight who recently joined the Seven.
As the plot progresses, Hughie and the Boys stumble across unexpected secrets that puts all of them in danger while Annie finds that the superhero business isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
Jack Quaid (yes, Dennis Quaid’s son) stars in the series as Hughie, the grief-rattled boy who can’t quite believe he’s joined a ragtag group of specialists to take down the Supers. Quaid provides a stunning performance as Hughie, who had previously worshipped the Supers until he witnessed one murder his girlfriend. Quaid portrays Hughie’s grief and rage in a palpable manner, but also allows audiences to see that Hughie still wants to believe that good heroes exist. Karl Urban’s performance as the rough and tumble Billy Butcher is great, but because the character is in a perpetual state of rage it can get a bit tedious. Erin Moriarty’s Annie plays into the trope of an optimistic country girl who has her dreams dashed away by the world’s cynicism once she heads to the big city. However, Moriarty plays Annie with a steely backbone that prevents her character from falling into the trope’s bland pitfalls.
“The Boys” has one season on Amazon Prime. Audiences might also enjoy Amazon’s “Good Omens,” a series about a demon and an angel who team up to prevent the Apocalypse.