REVIEWED: SEASON 2 (ALL EPISODES) | WHERE TO WATCH: PRIME VIDEO | RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 4TH
The Garth Ennis-penned comic book The Boys started out as a subversion of superhero story tropes, exposing the four-colour world of capes and villains to the grim realities of capitalism and fame. The heroes were self-serving monsters and it was up to a rag-tag special unit of thugs called ‘The Boys’ to keep them in line. Season 1of the TV show took the basic premise and characters and made something more interesting, replacing Ennis’s polemic on the comic book industry with an actual plot.
Season 2 improves on the previous, with The Boys on the run from pretty much everyone and beginning to fall out with each other. Beloved superhero team The Seven tighten their grip on America as their influence and control continues to expand, with Antony Starr continuing to nail it as the insane super-man, Homelander. The series also introduces a new ‘hero’ in the form of the extremely unsubtle ‘Storm Front’, played by Arya Cash. Despite the obvious evil overtones, Cash makes her character more likeable than she has any right to be, making some of the show’s darker moments all the more engaging.
Though Karl Urban scowls his way through another role as a stereotypical tough guy, it’s Jack Quaid and Erin Moriarity who steal the show as Hughie and Annie. The dynamic of ‘lost but still fighting’ hammers much of the show’s pathos home. Season 2 is far more confident in both its tone and level of spectacle, with thrilling fights scenes and appropriately stunning special effects.