The Boys: Season 2
Karl Urban, Antony Starr, Jack Quaid, Aya Cash, Erin Moriarty, Giancarlo Esposito, Karen Fukuhara, Laz Alonso
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It’s business as usual, certainly, but business is good and for fans of Ennis or subversive pisstakery in general, The Boys is an absolute treat.
The Boys comic book series, by writer Garth Ennis, seemed destined never to be adapted for the small screen. Unlike some of his other works that include Preacher, Hitman and Punisher MAX, The Boys was simply too violent, too misanthropic and, frankly, too disgusting. The ultra-controversial series ran from 2006-2012 and in that time pretty much managed to offend everyone on earth, with its mixture of profane humour, savage superhero satire and bloody ultraviolence. It was also, it has to be said, daks-browningly hilarious and like much of Ennis’ work, contained a lot of heart, particularly in its excellent conclusion. It’s pleasing then, not to mention surprising, that The Boys has ended up being the best representation of Ennis’ work thus far – certainly much better than the ungainly Preacher adaptation – and while it plays fast and loose with the comics, it captures Ennis’ subversive spirit shockingly well.
The Boys season two (with a third already confirmed!) picks up where we left off in the previous season. The Boys are on the run, Butcher (Karl Urban) is nowhere to be found and Homelander (Antony Starr) continues to be an absolute mad bastard with the power of a living god. Super powered terrorists (aka “super villains”) are popping up all over the world and The Seven have a new member in the form of Stormfront (Aya Cash), whose sly wit masks the fact that her powers might even match those of Homelander himself. Meanwhile, poor wee Hughie (Jack Quaid) has to try and keep his troubled relationship with Annie January (Erin Moriarty) aka Starlight alive. Oh, and Vought CEO Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito) takes centre stage, setting up a conflict that starts nasty and only gets bloodier from there.
Season two continues to do the things you loved about the first. The superhero satire is back, Karl Urban’s accent – that somehow makes him sound like he’s from nowhere and everywhere simultaneously – makes a triumphant return and the gore that made you chuckle guiltily the first time around is enthusiastically prolific. Episode three, in particular, really showcases the bloody best this series has to offer, with a mixture of slapstick, eye popping gore and the kind of language that is likely to make people who use words like “problematic” come down with the vapours. It’s business as usual, certainly, but business is good and for fans of Ennis or subversive pisstakery in general, The Boys is an absolute treat.