The Boys (Amazon Prime) w/ spoilers likely

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#1 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7649 posts) -

So, I like many other started watching "The Boys". I looked for anyone making this topic, but I could not find one, so I thought I would start one.

BTW: This discussion will have spoilers. With that said, I would encourage spoiler [/] blocks, so everyone can have fun. I put no spoilers in my take.

The show, based on the comic, has been developing for a while, but I really don't pay attention to 'in development' movies or shows; so it is all new to me. I think the premise is a bit of a well-worn tire, what if superheroes were real; how would it work; they all be asshoels right; who could stop them; and what would our media, movies, and comics be like if they did exist? These are well worn ideas, but I like any anti-superhero tone when it pops up. I do like how after all teh work DC has done to make their Aquaman cool against, this show just dives deep with the "fish fucker" jokes and makes The Deep the most pathetic one.

So far, my early impressions five show in is - it gets better. I think episode 1 & 2 were a bit rough, Butcher, Hughie, Mothers Milk, and Frenchie were okay; but I think around episode #3 all of their characters get some dimensions that an audiences can hold onto. The TV show definitely has some "Seth Rogen" humor injected into it - more slapstick humor than you would think it would/should have. Nevertheless, I do have to say I like where the show has gone. In fact the actor playing Hughie is growing on me, I hope this visibility helps him on "Star Trek Low Decks" because there is something likeable about him. After the first four episode I sort of got a mind spot for where this show fits....imagine the A-Team mixed with Agents of Shield. If there is one failure of the show I think it is that Butcher, Hughie, Mothers Milk and Frenchie are this rag tag A-Team like group instead of being more Agents of Shield...four guys fighting what amount to Justice League, The Legion of Doom, Lex Luthor and an Ironman defense contractor villain (Justin Hammer?) all rolled together. It is not an asymmetrical war; more like a steamroller flattening just four ants on a road.

What do you all think? Like it? Hate it? Want to see where it goes in season 2?

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#2 Posted by Humanity (18948 posts) -

I really enjoyed this show from the very first episode. The ending scene of episode one with Iggy Pop's Passenger was especially well done. Overall the weakest part for me was the rather lame will-they-won't-they romance subplot. Other than that it's a cool take on the superhero genre. If you enjoyed Watchman (as I did) then I think this is similar in many ways.

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#3 Posted by ltcolumbo (178 posts) -

@humanity: ugh...I really liked the show, so I’m not disagreeing with your overall opinion, but saying something is similar to Watchmen is just downright cruel.

Karl Urban is absolutely fantastic in The Boys and really sells his crazy. Actually pretty much everyone, right down to the ultra-leathery Elizabeth Shue does a great job in this. I was not expecting the guy who played Mesmer to pop up (purposely not spoiling that) but was thrilled to see him. They’re already shooting season 2, so hopefully it’s not too long of a wait and they don’t fuck it up.

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#4 Posted by Gundato (331 posts) -

I was skeptical as I positively hated the comic*, but I think the show did an amazing job. Giving Starlight a lot more agency and working in "#MeToo" stuff worked really well.

I think Karl Urban was a genius casting as he manages to capture both the "this guy is pretty fun" aspects of Butcher as well as "this guy is a complete monster and a homicidal maniac" aspects. Same with the Zack Morris looking dude who played Homelander. And I think the actress who portrayed Queen Maeve provided a perfect combination of "above this shit" and "tired of trying".

Speaking of that: I REALLY loved the idea of him being a straight monster. Not sure if they are going to work in the same twist from the comics but I like that there is absolutely no ambiguity as to whether Homelander is a villain or not.

But overall: I think this show is very much an example of an amazing cast holding up poor writing. The premise is awesome and this is the perfect time for it. And the showrunners' tweaks to the source material are spectacular. But the scene to scene is very much held up by the cast. Moriarty is an AMAZING Starlight when she is trying to be a hero in spite of the world. Her and Quaid's kid are a slog when they progress their relationship.

Looking forward to season 2. And I am really excited for what the showrunners are changing. In my mind this is very much a definitive case of the adaptation being better than the source material.

Although, tangential: I keep seeing all of these articles pretending it was an over the top insane show of nudity and sex and blah blah blah. The comics definitely were. Not sure if maybe I am just desensitized after really liking Starz's Spartacus (it is Game of Thrones but good and actually cares about politics... and has blood orgies) but I barely noticed any nudity. Did I somehow luck out and turn on the PG version in Amazon Prime? Or are the various articles full of shit?

*: Found it to be incredibly mean spirited. Not sure if it is just that people can generally only tolerate up to two Garth Ennis books before getting tired of his shit but I REALLY hated The Boys

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#5 Posted by not_a_bumblebee (134 posts) -

I loved that they immediately answered the question what would happen if The Flash hit a pedestrian at full speed. This is how you do a dark superhero drama and make it interesting. Much more entertaining than Zack Snyder's DC movies and those Netflix Marvel shows. Homeland is such a great villain plus you can't go wrong with Karl Urban in nearly anything.

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#6 Posted by acharlie1377 (146 posts) -

I watched this show over the course of a day and really liked it. I was a bit suspicious when I did some research into the source material (the writer of the comic said he wanted it to "out-Preacher Preacher", which was a pretty huge red flag), but the show ended up having a really good balance between comedy and brutality. I sometimes wished the show would be a little more clear about each superhero's powers (Maeve seems indestructible in the pilot, but she broke her wrist saving a bus full of kids? Starlight seems both very dangerous and also just like a glorified Jubilee?), but the show does a great job of painting most of these heroes as both people who have emotions and desires, but also gods who find themselves disinterested in human goings-on. The Vought Corporation is also wonderfully evil throughout, and works really well in the age of mega-giants like Facebook and Amazon.

The first season ends on a tremendous cliff-hanger, so I'm desperate for the second season; it's close to my favorite superhero show (along with Daredevil and Jessica Jones), and almost definitely wins out in terms of how much it has to say about modern life and capitalism.

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#7 Posted by Humanity (18948 posts) -

@ltcolumbo: Hey it's a great graphic novel and I think the movie did a really good job representing it. I know there is a lot of hate for the film out there but I could never really understood why. His later movies sure, but Watchman I've always greatly enjoyed for it's great style. The Boys I think is similar in that it is a hyper stylized "realistic" take on the hero genre. I do agree everyone does a tremendously good job in the show.

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#8 Edited by MonkeyKing1969 (7649 posts) -

@acharlie1377 said:
....

The first season ends on a tremendous cliff-hanger, so I'm desperate for the second season; it's close to my favorite superhero show (along with Daredevil and Jessica Jones), and almost definitely wins out in terms of how much it has to say about modern life and capitalism.

Yes, I think the part of the show I like best is the inescapable "corporate narrative" of everything. I would say the show has so much to unpack about the world that they could not possibly unpack it all, but they hit the oppressive fakeness of the corporate narrative very well. Having not read teh comics I am hooked on the mystery/history of Compound-V.

Not a perfect show, but it is very watchable. And, I like the amount of actors and parts they have had so far. Nice cameos and even the bit parts are well cast. I saw a few panels of the comic, but I think I'm glad I saw the tv show first, but I will try to read the comic now.

Speaking of which..

If your local library, in the United States, has "Hoopla" you can view the comics online with your library card. Yes, folks, libraries are still relevant in 2019.

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#9 Posted by KillEm_Dafoe (2659 posts) -

I fucking loved this show from the beginning. Actually, the first couple episodes are a little slow, but still very enjoyable, but by the fourth episode, shit really starts ramping up and it never stops from there. The casting is absolutely perfect and the performances are great all around. I'm hesitant to say for sure because I'm a big Karl Urban fan, but this might be the best role he's ever had. His wanton use of "cunt" and "twat" is beautiful. I really like Jack Quaid as Hughie, too. He's like Bill Hader's younger brother. Overall the main cast has a lot of charm, especially when most of them aren't really good people. Homelander is one menacing dude.

The show has a very good mix of absurd black comedy and serious drama and it manages to balance those elements much better than a lot of other shows. The writing is just fantastic, too. Fun dialogue, engaging character work, and some very earned surprising plot twists.

There is very little bad I could say about the show. I guess mainly it would be the action. Not that it's a super action-heavy show, but when action does occur, the editing is atrocious. I really hope season 2 isn't the same way. That said, there is some spectacular violence to be seen. What I especially like is any scene involving laser vision. It's the first time I've seen that power portrayed as devastatingly brutal as it would probably be in real life. It is instantaneous destruction of a body, and it ain't pretty. My favorite scene in the show might be when Butcher uses the Supe baby to kill all those dudes in the hospital. Very graphic yet hilarious.

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#10 Edited by Bane (921 posts) -

I had never heard of The Boys until Amazon released a trailer for the show. I ended up spending an entire Saturday binging it.

Maybe the behind-the-scenes, what if superheros being a beacon of light and hope was just a facade thing is a well-worn tire to some, but to me it was new and fresh and fucking awesome.

The scene I come back to in my mind is the airplane. Homelander doesn't really care about the people, he cares about his image. After coldly calculating that he can't save everyone he decides to save no one. Worse than that he ensures everyone dies. My reaction was probably similar to the people on the plane who were overhearing his conversation with Queen Maeve: "wait, what?!" And then his little speech to the press afterwards. Wow. It was such a good scene.

I'm really looking forward to next season.

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#11 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7649 posts) -

Homelander is appropriately fucked up, so it is interesting to watch his story unfold. His Oedipus complex with Madelyn Stillwell (CEO of Vought) should goes somewhere; I hope we see more of his upbringing in the lab with his binky. With that said, some of his petulant toddler antics take away form his menace, you can see he is controllable, moreover he is not very smart. He gets the jump on colleagues because of x-ray vision, his super hearing, and he uses informants more than his brains in most cases.

Speaking of which I have not seen one superhero in The Boys with actually high intelligence or investigative skills, right? From what I have seen 6 episodes in, it does not appear Black Noir has Batman's "detective" traits. There must be a smartone, but we have not seen that yet.

The other interesting thing...they don't spar. They deduce who could take who is a fight, but they really don't know. Everyone seems scared of Homelander,, but is he THAT strong. He certainly didn't think he could lift and fly a plane, or maybe that was more 'nah, I'd rather not'. With that said, I think using their own unique skill set, a few heros teamed up could take him. Starlight cna fly, blind people, and has implied greater than average strength for her size and mass...that seems to imply a decent skill set if used tactically. Its somewhat clear she will eventually join Hughie and Butcher...but I could be wrong...but that does seem like something that will happen in the end.

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#12 Posted by Christoffer (2377 posts) -

I really liked The Boys but like any modern TV show it drags after you "get it". We had Robocop in the 80s.

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#13 Posted by Gundato (331 posts) -

@monkeyking1969: I actually thought Homelander being so manipulable and dependent on his powers made him MORE scary. This isn't a guy who has a master plan that he is going to unveil. This is an impulsive child with disturbing amounts of power that now realizes he has been betrayed by his "parents". This isn't The Plutonian snapping. This is Superman throwing a temper tantrum

As for the strength: The point was more that he couldn't lift a plane while it was descending. I think it was poorly written, but the idea was that he didn't have anything he could push off of to use his strength and his flight alone wasn't sufficient to redirect the momentum of the plane without destroying it. A few comics and books have played with the idea and the showrunners did a poor job of expressing it.

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#14 Posted by jeremyf (409 posts) -

I was turned off from seeing so many ads for it, but there was enough positive word of mouth for me to check it out. I like it overall, pretty much every actor is great. Karl Urban especially gives a great performance. The script is meh at times, but there are enough good ideas to prop it up.

If people want to see this concept animated with copious levels of lore, I would recommend The Venture Bros.

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#15 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7649 posts) -

Well, Episode 7 shoves a lot of happening into its short time. You woudl think A-Train's bones woudl be better suited for impacts. You would think the CIA would do more research and hatch a better plan than confrontation with the CEO? I get that the producers had last two episodes to make things start moving very fast, but this just seems like sloppy & rushed storytelling. Where were Vaught's lawyers, which the CEO would have at ANY interview?

Let's assume baby hospitals were raided and shut down while this interview is occuring....like what was the CIA end game here? The CIA seems to be saying Vaught could continue as always if they just didn't push for being in teh military. How they hell is THAT a good deal for the US Government? Why make a deal at all? And why woudl the second in command at CIA and not the pridenet be making this offer. If Vaught has "Supes" and therefore the US Government thinks they can only get that concession would it be a more elaborate meeting?

I thinks the show bit off more than it could chew for the story in any logical way on a limited budget. At the very least the CIA director would meet with the President, Secretary of State, FBI and the Pentagon Joint Chiefs of Staff first. She woudl lay out what she discovered. After raids on the baby hospitals and the FBI showing up at the Vaught offices would the Vaught CEO be brought in and questioned...or they could attempt to do that.

What is worse the entire thread of the CAI Deputy Director confronting the Vaught CEO is seemingly worthless when she realizes there is a "supe terrorist" which seems to be what they story will now focus on....SO WHY EVEN SHOW that travesty of a story thread? The whole thing makes the US government seem like it run out of the back of a grammar school while Vaught si run out fo teh back of an Apple Store. You don't get the sense of a huge government and a powerful corporation squaring off at all.

Poor Mesmer...I bet he liked his head.