So I watched the first four episodes of The Boys, and I still dunno what I think of it, but I am apparently still watching it.
It’s a show based on a 2006 Garth Ennis comic book series, which if you’re a comics fan probably tells you exactly what it’s going to be like. It’s extremely Garth Ennis. hyper-violence, sex, excessive gore, a lot of swearing and intentional crudity.
The show grim, brutal, unpleasant, and starts with a fridging so fridgey I’m surprised they haven’t lampshaded it, when the everyman/audience character’s girlfriend gets turned into a red mist by an errant speedster (a Flash-equivalent). Said speedster turns out to be a member of the Justice League equivalent, but this being Garth Ennis, the Justice League equivalent is basically an extremely cynical corporation, look to essentially hire out its heroes, manage their publicity and so on.
And no punches are pulled about how corrupt and unpleasant they are, both on an individual level, and as an organisation.
Obviously we then get we were all waiting for, Karl Urban’s character, who has some sort of unspecified beef with “The Seven” as they are called, and links up with the everyman character (I cannot remember his name) to enact unspecified revenge on them.
So far, so predictable and I won’t spoiler things too much other than to say, wow, this is definitely Garth Ennis. This is very definitely the same mind that gave us Preacher.
So it sounds kind of awful. And it is, on many levels, kind of awful, and predictable in a very Garth Ennis-y way, but, somehow, it actually works. It really manages to stick to its ghastly vision and to avoid pulling punches, and when the characters are humanised, it feels fairly real (something Ennis has never been bad at), and overall, it seems like a decent show, so long as you can tolerate Ennis’ style, and don’t mind seeing superheroes really ground into the dirt (which I certainly do not, I’ve always been slightly vexed by the concept of them - if such being really existed, they’d be no better than anyone else - worse, in that power corrupts).
It helps that the main gang of reprobates (the titular boys) are fairly likeable, and it really helps that they cast Karl Urban, because he is unfailing, even with his transatlantic accent, which sort of has elements of British, American and Australian in it. I’d find it hilarious if it wasn’t for the unfortunate fact that it is extremely similar to my accent (I’m bit more RP but still), which is a result of a similar transatlantic situation. In a strange way for me it’s more plausible than if he had a perfect British accent (but also somewhat distracting - and now I’m wondering if my accent distracts people IRL!).
Anyway, rather against my will liking this show so far. Well, liking is the wrong word. Continuing to want to watch it, for sure.