The Boys Thoughts
NOTE: This contains A LOT of spoilers and references sexual assault. Continue at your own risk.
Earlier this year, I discussed the premise of a superhero show where the heroes aren’t public servants, but narcissist self-serving assholes who relish far too much in having power. Basically, US politicians, but with super powers!
I was quickly informed that something of this nature exists, and it’s called The Boys!
Unless you’ve lived under a rock, you’ve probably noticed the absolute dominant prevalence of Super Hero movies in the past decade or so. I don’t want to get into the intent of these movies, but you’ve probably also noticed the ginormous marketing, monetization, and rabid fan bases of these movies — or characters also.
There’s no problem with this fanaticism compared to any other media, but sometimes, the tweets worry me.
This is relevant cause I think a premise like The Boys is a good thing. People blindly idolize super heroes with questionable politics and I don’t know…I think to an extent it can be a problem. Especially when we know a company like Disney is involved politically and on the brink of owning every media ever created at this point. It’s actually a little scary.
Anyway, tweets and MCU dominance and worship aside, here’s a bunch of loose thoughts I had while watching The Boys:
- Black guy so fast and powerful that he murders white dude’s girlfriend. Bad optics! Wow I really hope this guy becomes a villain uses this backstory as an excuse to be a racist vigilante.
- Damn though, I’d be mad too.
- Oh. This incredibly lame and boring character with nothing to offer? He’s the protagonist. Damn.
- The very first episode there’s heavily implied sexual assault. Whenever this show covers sexual assault, it feels like the same day the episodes were filmed, someone asked the writers to write something about sexual assault in the show somewhere and they scrambled to do it all of a sudden, this shit gets goofy. The Deep /instantly/ takes his pants off and the pacing and writing of the scene is almost like the scene was written to be a joke. But you quickly find out it’s not and it’s meant to be taken serious.
- This show and world are extremely cynical. Every “hero” is completely fine with committing murder and psychopathic. Which isn’t a good or bad thing, just something I’ve noticed.
- The biggest homophobic character in the show is secretly gay. The “homophobes are usually secretly gay!” trope/joke is lame! The joke of it is like “What if Trump secretly had some Mexican blood?”
- Alright. So I know it’s a super hero show. But how realistic does this sound: By chance, a guy’s girlfriend gets killed by a super hero who runs really fast. Then, also by chance, he meets the new conventionally attractive super heroine on a bench in the park. (THEN DATES HER LATER AND THEY HAVE SEX)
- Speaking of luck, this protagonist is a fucking idiot. Did I mention or imply that already? When he goes to blackmail the secretly gay homophobe hero, he lets the phone he was gonna use to blackmail him get submerged into water. Ok. But somehow, he blackmails the guy with no pic or anything.
- I really like the “Should Heroes be allowed in the military” plot idea. Though, it kinda feels like at times it’s like “well these heroes will make the military industrial complex inhumane, unlike its current humane state!”
- I was explaining The Boys to a woman and she implied it’s a sausage fest going by the name. I was like “yeah kinda but there is a female character. Her name is…The Female. Also she doesn’t talk ever” and wow that sounds really bad when you’re explaining it to a woman.
- If you’ve played/heard of Metal Gear Solid V you’ll remember Hideo Kojima making Quiet, a similar problematic character. She doesn’t talk, seemingly exists to serve Snake like The Female’s relationship with Frenchie, is naked. Idk. Just an uncomfortable premise, man! I love Kojima, but he was wilding with her.
- I can’t tell if Homelander’s acting is good or not, but that guy terrifies me. He’s really capable of some terrifying shit.
- Going back to my note about this show being cynical, I think it could have mixed in some of the true heroic moments of the heroes just so we can understand the double lives the heroes live a bit better. In the vacuum the show presents, they really just spend all their time being awful pieces of shit.
- The protagonists are like the smartest and dumbest people alive. I’m assuming besides the main protagonist from the beginning, these are all highly trained people. Frenchie has all kinds of ways to avoid getting arrested and all these clever ways of avoiding police. So I really wonder why he and the rest of crew constantly make these boneheaded moves. “Let’s recruit this psychic hero and let him read minds and know all of our plans. He definitely won’t tell homelander!”
- Seriously. Extremely boneheaded moves. Why the fuck did they leave footage of them going to that woman’s apartment and blackmailing her in her house for someone to find it? What?
- Hey, does race exist as a concept in this show? I mentioned the somewhat uncomfortable optics of a black A-train killing white dude’s girlfriend and him becoming a vigilante….and that’s not exactly a problem. But damn, race isn’t addressed at all except the hilarious part where Vought proposes a black superhero for Detroit named Nubian Prince. I thought they were trying to address race in that one scene where the security guard seems like he’s profiling A-train, but nah, it was just A-train being a dickhead again.
- Remember when I said this show is kinda weird about how they handle sexual assault? The Deep exposed in a MeToo-esque speech by Starlight and sent to work in a small town. Then, there’s this extremely uncomfortable scene where a woman assaults him. The fact they make this scene happen to someone you can’t really have much sympathy for makes me think this was their edgy way of being like “haha now he knows how it feels.”
- I’m not an expert on sexual assault in media or anything, but damn just let Starlight beat his ass instead of all this wacky convoluted shit.
- More weird assault stuff: the hero who has an appearance like a hot woman and fucks a politician on camera then turns into a man. I don’t know man. I won’t get into that much.
- Let’s talk about realism again. I know it’s a super hero show so I shouldn’t expect the most realistic shit. But let’s talk. The Boys (including The Female) get captured by a mercenary group. They pick the lock because Captain Dumbass Dumbshit Protagonist gets rewarded for being a fucking idiot yet again and they escape. Sure. No idea why they weren’t just guarding the cage at all times, but whatever. Anyway, there’s later a part where they give this guy who just worked at an electronics store all his life an assault rifle and somehow he takes out a trained soldier with it. He’s never shot a gun in his life and he does that. SURE. FUCKING SURE DUDE.
- The show’s finale is a lot. I saw one of the showrunners say it was done that way to kill the “guy motivated by dead girlfriend” trope that Butcher has, but man. I have no idea where they plan to go with that. I’m not upset at it though, I like the mindset behind that idea.
That’s all for my thoughts. I know it seems like I hated it, but I didn’t. It was a mostly fun watch. But the writing is terrible and the premise and broad concepts carried the entire show, in my opinion. Despite all my ranting, I’ll watch Season 2 of The Boys whenever that comes out.
Thanks for reading.