In some ways, one could say that the superhero genre today is in a similar state to that of the Western genre a few decades ago: prolific, exhausted and oversaturated — some might even say bloated. With the sheer volume of superhero content available, it’s difficult for a franchise to really stand out from the crowd as something special — yet “The Boys” manages to leave a lasting impression all the same.
The second season of Amazon’s hit show brings back everything fans of season one loved, and more. After revelations at the end of the first season seemingly turned everything on its head, “The Boys” season two does an excellent job of expanding upon and explaining the intrigue surrounding the Seven and Vought International. Mysteries build upon mysteries, sucking viewers in alongside Hughie and The Boys as they struggle to bring corrupt heroes to justice.
Just like season one, Anthony Starr puts on a delightfully disturbing performance as the not-so-heroic Homelander, and Karl Urban plays excellently off of the titular Boys as Billy Butcher. While old characters continue to grow and develop, the show makes room for new additions as well. Newcomer hero Stormfront (Aya Cash) acts as an excellent foil and complement to Homelander, and silent enforcer Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell) takes a much larger role than his background appearances in season one, managing to extrude chilling, intimidating efficiency without saying a single word.
In terms of tone, season two also manages to continue the remarkable balance of laughs, thrills and horror that season one established so excellently, all while exploring themes of hate, vengeance, greed and acceptance that hit especially hard in our current circumstances. Just like the first season, I recommend Amazon’s “The Boys” season two as a perfect quarantine pastime.