The Boys Season 2 is back on Prime video-on-demand and bringing us the right amount of cynicism to spark joy in this trash fire of a year that is commonly known as 2020. So let’s roll on with exploding heads, gratuitous curse words, and all of the utter madness we’ve come to expect from this brilliant show. Now it is worth noting as there’s been a lot of confusion online, the show has dropped three episodes, with the following episodes to be aired once a week. Season One however dropped in its entirety to binge in a fell swoop. This is a new move for Amazon Prime, and we’ll have to see how if it works as intended, but for now, this review will cover episodes 1-3 only.
Previously, we were introduced into a world were not only superheroes exist, but are contracted as employees by a mega-corporation known as Vought, Inc. The Seven is the elite team of heroes that represent the company, and while they reflect honor and justice to the public, behind the scenes they are the scourge of the planet. Now it’s the job of The Boys to expose these corrupt “supes” and completely defund their operation. It was one of the most highly-rated shows of 2020, with season 1 being a rousing success, with flying dolphins, babies with laser eyes, and more exploding body parts than any of us could have imagined.
Now in season 2, the bar has been set, and the creative team has pushed the limits even further. The first three episodes touch base with each member of both ‘The Boys’ and ‘The Seven’, with the former living in the basement of a pawn shop in order to avoid the eyes of the law.
There’s actually a brilliant moment during episode one when Hughie passes a wall of the Seven comics. What’s brilliant is that the comics are clearly in the art style of Darick Robertson with credits on the page for Tony Avina, Simon Bowland, and Joe Rybandt, who were the artist, colorist, letterer, and editor for the original comic run through Dynamite Comics. Hughie and Annie aka Starlight are secretly in contact and they’re attempting to go after evidence in order to bring down Vought. Meanwhile, Vought has gone full steam ahead by contracting with the United States military to allow Super-humans to serve amongst the ranks.
The show continues to push particularly insane physical special effects limit. Without going into any specific detail, episode 3 the crew creates a huge silicone whale that the deep rides atop of. In episode 2 the Deep’s gills get more airtime with Patton Oswalt having one of the most bizarre cameos I’ve ever seen recorded. It was honestly the most ridiculous filming sequences, and how Chace Crawford was able to keep a straight face is beyond me.
This season also sees the introduction of a new member of the Seven, from a female supe called Stormfront, played by Aya Cash. Stormfront is written excellently, as she presents as a rebellious, and disinterested, too cool for school supe. As we delve further into season 2 however, I believe we’ll learn more about Stormfront’s involvement as Nazi. In the comics, the character of Stormfront was fully depicted as a German superhero now re-branded under Vought as an American hero, but with an absolutely horrific past. It’ll be interesting to see if the TV adaptation of the character will rival Homelander as the most despicable character on the show.
Its a really interesting added dimension, as the effect Stormfront has on Starlight is noticeable. Encouraging Annie to stand up for herself and develop her own identity. The show uses this dynamic early on to place the newest female hero as a potential mentor for Starlight. The part I find most interesting however is that given Stormfront is a horrendous racist, what influence will that have on Starlight. The whole energy is just a really uncomfortable contrast, as you squirm in your seat wanting Annie to see through the female empowerment speech the Stormfront leverages to suit her own online brand.
Meanwhile, Homelander continues to be an utter lunatic. Antony Starr continues to portray the character we love to hate, but oddly his villainous tendencies really add so many extra layers to the show. His character embodies the absolute worst traits of humanity, from racism to sexism, homophobia, body shaming, and classicism. His view of the world is the classic fifties white America, where everyone else is living in the 21st century.
The Boys Season 2 hits the runway at high speed, but with one of the surprising elements that the creative writing team adds into the tv adaptation versus the original source material is a colossal amount of emotion and heart. There are moments in these first episodes that really make you evoke strong feelings. While people often credit the show for its cynical view of superheroes, and ridiculously raucous scenes (like with the dolphin), at the base of the show it’s about people who’ve lost something. Overall, this show has hit our screens at just the right time. Judging from these first three episodes and how utterly upfront it’s been already, we’re in for quite a ride for the remainder of the season.
The Boys Season 2 is available exclusively on Amazon Prime now.
The Boys Season Two
The Boys Season 2 hits the runway at high speed, but with one of the surprising elements that the creative writing team adds into the tv adaptation versus the original source material is a colossal amount of emotion and heart.
Aaron is a contributing writer at But Why Tho, serving as a reviewer for TV and Film. He is also the co-host and social media manager of the Nerds Social Club podcast.
Hailing originally from England, and after some lengthy questing, he’s currently set up shop in Pennsylvania. He spends his days reading comics, podcasting, and being attacked by his small offspring.