Hugh Campbell is perfectly happy living a quiet, unassuming life. He works his boring job, lives with his awkward, deadbeat dad, and, of course, cheers on the superheroes protecting the city. But when his girlfriend dies at the hands of one of those very same “heroes,” Hughie finds himself pulled into a dark web of secrets, corruption and revenge.
With this plot, Amazon’s hit series “The Boys” turns an otherwise generic setting into a thrilling and funny look into not just the superhero genre, but elements of our own culture — from the cycle of revenge to religion to corporate greed.
“The Boys” is a masterclass in television writing: the plot is original and engaging every step of the way, and always leaves me wondering what will happen next. The writers manage to address several controversial topics without seeming heavy-handed or preachy which is no easy task. Each character is three-dimensional and has complex flaws and emotions.
From the technical perspective, the show is equally well-executed. The acting performances are excellent on all fronts, assisted by well-written and organic dialogue. I was particularly impressed by the leading performances of Antony Starr (Hughie Campbell), Jack Quaid (The Homelander) and Erin Moriarty (Starlight). The cinematography, while not quite Oscar-worthy, is far from boring and is used well to frame serious scenes and capture the energy of the moment.
I would be remiss, however, if I did not issue a warning as well: this show is not for the faint of heart. It pulls no punches, both figuratively and literally, including graphic depictions of gore and sex. If these do not bother you, however, I highly recommend Amazon’s “The Boys” (and its upcoming second season).