We’ll see how fresh the latest season of “The Boys” from Amazon is in my mind. That freshness factor is also one of the main problems with the show’s sophomore effort. The boys season two is a glaring example of not getting out of your own way.
Let’s start with the good.
The actors did a phenomenal job with what they were given. Which generally speaking wasn’t very much. The first three episodes that were initially released were a snooze fest. Nevertheless, I was hopeful that even with the problems, it could lead somewhere fantastic. In that sense, the actors did a good job of getting me on the hook.
Season 2 of The Boys would have looked like some bargain bin directly to DVD pre-pandemic type of product without the cast shining in every scene. That’s how bad it was, as in the characters literally had nothing to do unless you consider turning “compound v” into a MacGuffin that goes nowhere doing something.
This leads us to the bad. And oh did it get bad.
In The Boys’ first season, everyone accepted the wonky power-levels between the supes and normal people. We all did this because of how novel the show was, and they did a good job of leaving enough ambiguity between the powers of supes themselves. In essence, despite the supes Godlike powers, the stakes still seemed high.
In season 2, the stakes always felt low. We could all figure out that the main characters were always pretty much going to walk away from any situation completely unscathed within the first few episodes. Season 2 doubles down even, where Black Noire can have the boys cornered, and they blackmail him and walk away. Or when Homelander has every reason and opportunity to kill someone, he definitely wants to kill but gets easily emotionally manipulated out of it.
It’s like the writers of The Boys have already run out of new things for characters to do. With the reason being, they wrote themselves into a box with these power levels that don’t work. Halfway through the series, I screamed to get some main characters to take Compound V and fix this show’s mess. It never happened, though, maybe in Season 3, if anyone still cares enough to watch it. We all probably will, because it’s still something to watch.
We need to talk about the show’s gratuitous violence. They clearly went overboard, especially considering the great characters built up in Season 1. The Boys has these amazing actors and a strong foundation of character development, and they have them graphically slaughter some fools.
Graphic violence can serve a good storytelling function, but in this case, the violence acts as a mask because these characters have nothing to do. For example, in one of Stormfronts opening scenes, she destroys a bunch of humans, but if I remember right, she didn’t even get slapped on the wrist by Voight.
In regards to Stormfront, and the lead into her Nazi reveal, it was cringeworthy, and I don’t cringe. It wasn’t that jarring or surprising, the ending felt rushed, and flaccid. Like it was thrown in as a cheap gimmick. This is another example where the show could have gotten out of its own way, and used the Nazi reveal as a golden opportunity to be more than a bargain bin comic book.
The finale ended with Homelander turning into a parody of himself, which isn’t anything new to the show. Look, I could go on for hours about all the missed opportunities season 2 of The Boys offered. When you have such a talented cast, you need to do something with them; I mean, nobody wants to see Homelander doing things to himself. We all get that the guy has serious psychological issues, but the show takes glee in making fun of it.
Hopefully, the third times the charm with “The Boys.” With all the MacGuffins and dead-end storylines, it ends up being too predictable. We can chalk that up to the not so subtle foreshadowing, or call it as it looks, laziness. It’s like they put a lot of effort into everything but the payoffs, which will only lead to viewers and fans being let down.