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The Boys - new superhero show from Amazon

wheloc

He's trying real hard to be one of the good guys.
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The "Starlight talks to her church's youth group" scene is what won me over to the show (and to Erin Moriarty). The subtle (and then less subtle) changes to her expression as she realizing that her church isn't going to let her give good advice to those teens.

Beyond that, I like almost every change they've made from the comic. Having "the boys" in the comic be superpowered from the beginning made them pretty clearly hypocrites, which is not something the comic ever really addressed. Giving Hugh some actual skills to bring to the team was a nice change too. I'm ambivalent to Stillwell being a woman, but Elisabeth Shue did a fine job of selling the character (through I am annoyed that she died an the end of season one - she was a face of Vought and I have a hard time imagining anyone else is that role, though I'm willing to give Giancarlo Espositoa shot).

Is it actually good? That harder for me to judge. I had fun with the first season, because it is a fun concept, and it's not as bogged down with a bunch of Ennis-isms as the comic. That said, as people in this thread have pointed out, it's not exactly free of problematic content. My long-term enjoyment of the series is going to depend on how it juggles "superheroes are the real problem" with "megacorporations are the real problem" (with maybe a dash of "human nature is the real problem" on the side).
 

Lagos

Harry...
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I disliked what I read of the comic quite a bit, but I have to say the show is much better. A lot more depth, much less cartoonish.
Curious, was the reveal at the end of the first season of the show in the comic?
 
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Kurt McMahon

Academic Ninja
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I disliked what I read of the comic quite a bit, but I have to say the show is much better. A lot more depth, much less cartoonish.
Curious, was the reveal at the end of the first season of the show in the comic?
No. Some elements of that subplot do appear in a six issue miniseries that covers Butcher’s backstory (Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker), but in a wildly different fashion.
 

wheloc

He's trying real hard to be one of the good guys.
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I disliked what I read of the comic quite a bit, but I have to say the show is much better. A lot more depth, much less cartoonish.
Curious, was the reveal at the end of the first season of the show in the comic?
The big Becky/Homelander reveal in the comic was Becky was actually raped (and murdered) by Black Noir, who was a clone of Homelander for reasons, and Homelander himself was innocent (of that).
 

Lagos

Harry...
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No. Some elements of that subplot do appear in a six issue miniseries that covers Butcher’s backstory (Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker), but in a wildly different fashion.
The big Becky/Homelander reveal in the comic was Becky was actually raped (and murdered) by Black Noir, who was a clone of Homelander for reasons, and Homelander himself was innocent (of that).
Interesting. Thanks.
 

Senex

Gunboat Diplomat
Validated User
I have watched Epsiode 4 yesterday and I needed a literal 10 minute laugh break. I was sitting there and was giggling like a deranged lunatic to something total inappropriate.

That doesn't happen very often too me. So well done series well done. So far I have far more fun with this then I expected.
Would that be the Deep's ill-fated jailbreak? I loved that scene, not least because of the Bob Newhart-esque monologue which makes it clear that it's the dolphins which keep coming onto him. Which is sort of accurate, as I understand dolphins.
 

Sankarah

Not Quite a Grognard
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Apologies for not having read the whole thread, but, having seen the first four episodes, I wanted to offer some thoughts.

If I had to come up with one word for this show, it would be “dated.” By that I mean that it would have been edgy and intriguing some 10-15 years ago (when the book was published), but in the here and now it really shows its age. Some examples:

  • Fridging the MC’s girlfriend. This was practically de rigueur a decade ago, but even mainstream audiences find it tiresome these days.
  • The Deep’s sexual harassment of Annie. Yeah, this happens – obviously – but in the wake of #MeToo it’s joined rape as one of the topics I just don’t want to see onscreen. I understand it’s actually addressed directly in later episodes, which is good, but it’s still something that comes across as tone deaf given the times.
  • Homelander’s name. Back in the day it would have been edgy and subversive, but now it’s just dumb.
  • The Deep’s inadequacies. In the days of Adult Swim this would have been great material, but in the time since DC’s rehabilitated Aquaman’s image in a big way and the parody just falls flat as a result.
  • Branding without substance. Two decades ago, when social media was new and we were only just becoming aware of the pervasiveness of celebrity monetization, this would have made for a good pastiche. But now, when we’re used to the idea and already cynical about it, it rings hollow; no matter your brand you have to produce. Athletes gotta play, performers gotta perform, actors gotta act. Just having powers isn’t enough; they have to be shown using them (and I mean using them competently, not the bullshit we see in the show) to make the whole enterprise work.
  • ”Edgy” deconstructions of powers. So A-Train can break the sound barrier without turning himself into a bug on a windshield, but he can’t avoid people in the street? Yeah, he was juicing, but even so I call bullshit. Same with Homelander’s line about being unable to lift a plane. You can fly, dude. You can literally shoot laser beams out of your eyes. Don’t give me some “dark” bullshit about the laws of physics when you’ve long since thrown them out the window. Seriously, Homelander, what are you even good for?
  • Acting like a bill authorizing the militarization of supers would somehow succeed or fail on its merits. This was plausible back in the early 00s, back when Congress was kinda-sorta functional, but we all know that, in the here and now, it would fail due to you-know-who in the Senate. Remember, this is the Congress that couldn’t accomplish anything even when the same party controlled both chambers; acting like it’s a functional body in contemporary TV just comes across as charmingly naïve.

All of that aside, the show also has some considerable strengths. The pacing is good, the humor works, and Karl Urban and Erin Moriarty are fantastic. Tomer Capon, Elizabeth Shue, and Laz Alonso are also very good. The effects are great, I love the fact that most of it takes place during the day, and there are a ton of details that just make it feel right. It’s a rich setting despite its flaws. I just wish it felt like it was told in the here and now rather than during the heyday of the Bush administration.
 
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awesomeocalypse

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The Deep’s sexual harassment of Annie. Yeah, this happens – obviously – but in the wake of #MeToo it’s joined rape as one of the topics I just don’t want to see onscreen. I understand it’s actually addressed directly in later episodes, which is good, but it’s still something that comes across as tone deaf given the times.
I don't know how you could do a show these days about abusive powerful people being enabled by late stage capitalism and not deal with sexual assault. It would feel like a bizarre and glaring omission in 2019 to make an R-rated show about all the ways in which powerful people--particularly powerful men--abuse their position and not deal with the reality that a huge percentage of those shitty, powerful elites are rapists. A beautiful young women from small-town America being taken to NYC to get a once in a lifetime job opportunity from a bunch of scumbag celebrities is very likely to come out of that experience with some #metoo horror stories, and I think it would feel dishonest for this show to touch on all the other horrific shit these assholes do but omit the abuse of women that pervades nearly every corner of powerful men in America.

Same with Homelander’s line about being unable to lift a plane. You can fly, dude. You can literally shoot laser beams out of your eyes. Don’t give me some “dark” bullshit about the laws of physics when you’ve long since thrown them out the window. Seriously, Homelander, what are you even good for?
Superpowers exist, but the laws of physics otherwise apply normally. Doesn't seem like a stretch at all tbh. No amount of superstrength is going to enable a person-sized object or being to lift a plane in mid-flight without wrecking it. It'd be as absurd as, say, flying to catch a falling person at terminal velocity and not having them just splatter or rip apart. If you keep superpowers in the setting but get rid of all the physics kludges that let them do shit like hold up massive objects that should logically just fall apart around them under their own weight, this seems like a pretty likely result.

As for what Homelander is "good" for, killing people pretty much. Which strikes me as a pretty realistic projection of how a Superman-like being would be able to function in a world where physics otherwise operated normally. Fly too fast to save someone? You probably just splatter them and damage the surrounding area? Try to catch a falling building or plane? Congrats, you're now holding a piece of it as the rest of it collapsed around your superstrong body. A human-sized indestructible object moving at ungodly speeds is in nearly all cases going to be a destructive force rather than something that prevents destruction, and that's even if the superbeing is well-intentioned, which Homelander decidedly is not
 
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petros

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As for what Homelander is "good" for, killing people pretty much. Which strikes me as a pretty realistic projection of how a Superman-like being would be able to function in a world where physics otherwise operated normally. Fly too fast to save someone? You probably just splatter them and damage the surrounding area? Try to catch a falling building or plane? Congrats, you're now holding a piece of it as the rest of it collapsed around your superstrong body. A human-sized indestructible object moving at ungodly speeds is in nearly all cases going to be a destructive force rather than something that prevents destruction, and that's even if the superbeing is well-intentioned, which Homelander decidedly is not
Season 2 might have a montage of these kind of disasters, I'd bet the Homelander and Becca's kid tries to save people in these situations and fails miserably, and the montage with some ironic music would be the way they show it.
 

Gogmagog

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I do remember th comic scene where HL tries pushing on the tail and just breaks the plane. Having time was also a factor. HL might have been able to figure something to save the bridge (maybe pushing on the nose to angle it away) but combination of no time and dumbness made everything fail
 
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