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The Boys Season Two – Review

Gordon Lipton

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The Boys Season Two image
Amazon Prime

We all love superheroes, right? The Boys season two is, now streaming on Amazon Prime, this is our review. It presents an inverted – and really perverted – take on the traditional superhero story.

In Season One…to put it one way, things got real. In Season two? Things get more real. And crazier. But ultimately more real. Hughie and Starlight’s relationship gets more intense. Then it breaks off. Then it gets back. A-Train wins but pays the price, then ultimately loses. The Deep…his life just keeps sucking, and then he finds salvation in a cult. And then that cult decides he isn’t worth it.

And Homelander? Well, Homelander keeps on doing his Homelander thing.

So let’s get back into the swing of things, dear reader. Let’s take a dive into Amazon Prime and its standout Season Two of The Boys.

SPOILERS: Just in case you aren’t sure: there are spoilers here. If you don’t want to know what happens, turn away now.

What happens? What’s it all about?

Guys…Homelander is a massive dick. Like for real. He is seriously the worst.

Homelander was supposed to be the best of all of us. He stood for truth, justice, and the American way! Or he was supposed to do that, right?

Well I mean…The Boys is essentially a satire. It’s a satire on superheroes, but even more so on the American Exceptionalism that pervades the milieu of the current world environment. And in that sense, he is what America is to so many other countries. We as Americans think we’re the great purveyors of peace and justice. We make things right. As such, Homelander also thinks he makes things right and what thinks is right is what’s best for everyone. But really he just pushes his agenda on everyone around him, sometimes to an incredibly violent and crazy extent. And as such, he – like the country he claims to defend and represent – is just a little bit of an asshole.

Sorry there. Went a little bit too far into the commentary piece. And besides, Homelander is getting his own article soon enough…so let’s backtrack.

Long story short, Homelander showed his true colours at the end of Season One. He and Maeve could have saved a plane full of civilians from a terrorist attack at the end of Season One, but because he couldn’t save everyone he decided to save no one. And he made Maeve save no one with him. Because of that, everyone on board the plane died…but Homelander spun it into a narrative that made the victims look like American Martyrs and turned the hijackers into the worst kind of terrorists. But the fact is, Homelander could have potentially stopped them but sacrificed the lives the many for the glory of the few. And by “the few” I mean “Homelander.”

But that’s not the only time he did that.

At the end of Season 1, we learned that Billy Butcher was right. He thought that The Seven were the villains and that Homelander was behind the disappearance of his wife. People thought he was crazy to believe that, but Homelander didn’t think twice about proving that he had kidnapped Billy’s beloved Rebecca and hidden her behind enemy lines with their son (!!). No one would believe that Homelander would have done something to destroy someone’s life as he did with Billy Butcher. But you see, he did. He destroyed Madelyn’s life by killing her off (and stealing her baby) when she didn’t serve a purpose for him. Just like he destroyed anyone who opposed his reign of terror and iron grip he had over The Seven and Vought Enterprises….

Who almost steals the spotlight from Homelander?

…but in Season Two, Homelander met his match in the form of two characters.

The first is Stormfront. She is the newest addition to The Seven and…basically just the worst. Like even worse than Homelander. She is essentially Donald Trump but less subtle and with a worse haircut and more charismatic. If Hitler was a pretty girl, it would be Stormfront…or as she was previously known, Liberty. Except she tests well with the public and threatens Homelander’s standing as America’s most popular superhero.

So of course, she and Homelander hook up. Like a lot. And even when she threatens his standing as America’s Favorite’s Superhero, they still keep going at it. Because she keeps drawing ratings and bringing up money, even if she’s a horrifying person who espouses divisive racial ideology. She tests well with the audience, she brings in money for Vought, and Homelander can’t keep his hands off her. And for that, she is essentially the second biggest villain in Season 2 of The Boys.

We’ll get to Threat #1 soon enough, though. But let’s focus on Stormfront for a little bit longer. As Season Two goes on, we learn that she is essentially in charge of a secret program to train new super…people. Not heroes, necessarily. But super-people. If they don’t meet the criteria she sets out, they’re destroyed by the recently-retired-but-somehow-still-active Lamplighter (who was replaced by Starlight in The Seven). When Stormfront and Lamplighter can’t contain the new supes after being confronted by The Boys…well, one thing leads to another, and Lamplighter kills himself in Vought Towers in front of Hughie. Hughie eventually saves the day and negates Homelander’s awful influence but…does he really?

Because we haven’t talked about Mr Edgar yet. He is the ultimate bureaucrat, yet evil. He is the man in charge of Vought, and he is played by the inimitable Giancarlo Esposito. If you don’t know who that is, watch Breaking Bad all the way through and tell me your thoughts about Gus Fring and “El Pollo Loco.” Giancarlo Esposito is, at this point in his career, a cheat code for “horrifying sociopath villain who doesn’t seem like it.” And he is the same way in Season Two of The Boys.

No one other than Mr Edgar is able to contain the danger that is Homelander. Mr Edgar is the ultimate terrifying bureaucrat. He gums up the system for superheroes to make an impact but gets results nonetheless. When he is on screen, you know that danger is afoot…but you don’t know all the details, because that’s in the paperwork and it hasn’t all been fired yet.

Superheroes may be all-powerful and can save the world…but if they don’t meet the approval of those in management, they can’t do anything. And that leads to the ending scene of Season 2 of The Boys, perhaps one of the most hilariously satirical moments in recent TV history. Homelander stands atop a building, like the Batmans and Supermans before him, stating his dominance. But he has no real dominance because Mr Edgar hasn’t approved it yet. And so all he can do is…jerk off into the night sky, proclaiming his dominance over nothing but his own member.

Are there any real negatives?

No. Season Two is essentially perfect. Maybe there could be less focus on the bureaucratic nature of being a superhero? Is all the red tape getting into the way of the crime-fighting? But really, that’s the point of this season: if superheroes were real, they’d abide by the same rules as the rest of us. And that’s what makes it both great and terrible.

A summary and rating

Season 2 of The Boys gets top marks. It’s amazing, satirical, full of action, but most importantly it focuses on the human side of the job. And in so doing, it makes someone like Homelander seem like a combination of sociopath and disgruntled employee: he wants to save the world, but only on his terms. But only if those terms are approved by management.


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 10/10


Thank you for reading our review of The Boys Season Two. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


Catch our review of The Boys season one HERE.

Read IMDB information about The Boys HERE.

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What Harry Potter Can Learn From Popular TV Adaptations?

Victoria Newell

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Harry Potter character image
Warner Bros.

With the announcement of a Harry Potter universe TV show, fans are alive with excitement and a little bit of concern. Will it live up to the hype? There are already concerns about TV adaptations, with all information about the Avatar: The Last Airbender have been extremely disappointing. People are worried that this show could be underwhelming out there. But there are several examples of shows that exist within a massive fandom that have seen large-scale success. Some of these big budget, large fan-base tv shows over the past decade include Game of Thrones, WandaVision, and The Mandalorian. So what can the Harry Potter series learn from the successes and failures of other popular TV adaptations?

Game of Thrones

For a decade, Game of Thrones ruled the silver screen. One of the most critically acclaimed and financially successful shows of all time, it had a massive following. But Game of Thrones had an overwhelmingly disappointing finale; and that’s what Harry Potter can learn from them. The writing in Game of Thrones was phenomenal in the early seasons because they pulled from the book. Even though Game of Thrones did not always stay true to the book’s plot, they stayed true to the character’s adaptations and development. Furthermore, they were staying on the basic plot line and end goal. When they ran out of books to adapt, the show began to take a decline. A great example is Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion, who’s character’s intelligent and witty writing plummeted after the writers couldn’t pull from the books anymore.

Author G.R.R Martin told the showrunners that they would need several more seasons to end the show the way the books will eventually end. But the showrunners were ready to only give it one more season. As a result, the last season was rushed and half-baked, throwing out all of the character development of the last ten years.

Where Harry Potter can learn from this is that they need to have a clear vision. Even if they don’t pull from books directly, if any characters from the books are making an appearance in the show, they need to be consistent with their portrayal in the books. For the story to be successful, they need to have a vision for the ending and work towards that ending for a good final pay-off. Where Game of Thrones was just adapting as they went without an end in mind, Harry Potter has the opportunity to start preparing for a great pay-off now. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a perfect example of preparing for a great pay off early, laying down the ground-work for a finale a decade later in Iron Man. Today they are starting a new arc, kicking off the next Marvel run with a tv show;WandaVision.

WandaVision

*SPOILERS*

The current phenomenon WandaVision is still entertaining Marvel fans, and is set to end in two weeks. The first Marvel TV show to blatantly connect to the MCU, WandaVision is an amazing example of a show that expands on a fictional universe. The show follows Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch) as she creates an alternate universe for her to live out her sit-com suburban fantasies with the dead corpse of Vision. It’s a darker turn for the MCU, and is sparking an entire online discourse full of fan-theories and speculation. While the ending to WandaVision is still a mystery, it’s becoming clear that it will set up the Multiverse, and perhaps the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and the Young Avengers. It has serious and exciting implications for the future of the MCU.

This Harry Potter series has potential to do the same thing. It could expand upon the Harry Potter universe and add new content to the greater world. What makes WandaVision so exciting is how it is enlarging the MCU for the next decade. The Harry Potter show is perfectly poised to do the same thing. It’s important to note that this seems to be what Fantastic Beasts is attempting to do. But where Fantastic Beasts fails is where WandaVision succeeds. WandaVision has familiar (previously minor) characters with established emotional weight at its center (Wanda and Vision). Fantastic Beasts has mostly strangers at its core. If Harry Potter wants to seriously expand the universe, it would be in it’s benefit to have some familiarity at its center (such as the Marauders or the Blacks).

The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian does somewhat the opposite of WandaVision, and is another direction for Harry Potter. Star Wars spin off The Mandalorian places new characters in a fairly familiar setting. Star Wars has a lot of lore, and Mandalorian is an episodic show that just explores that lore. It doesn’t introduce a lot of new content, and has a lot of familiar faces in and out, such as Ahsoka Tano and Boba Fett. However, it centres on new characters with different roles.

Harry Potter too has a lot of lore attached to it, just hang out on Pottermore for a few hours, and the series could take a Mandalorian approach. Give us new characters in a familiar world with a new role. Such as a person who works in the Ministry of Magic, or Hogwarts from the perspective of the professors. While Mandalorian provides more depth to the events after Return of the Jedi, it doesn’t add a lot new to the story. Almost everything has been introduced somewhere else. Harry Potter doesn’t have to put a lot of pressure on it’s tv show to introduce a lot of new things, but can simply exist within the universe in an episodic fashion.

Wrapping up

There are plenty of directions that this Harry Potter show could take, and that’s what makes it exciting. Learning from these three very successful TV shows that exist within a large fandom, Harry Potter has a lot to take away from them. A clear story arc is the most important thing this show can learn from all three of these examples. Whether it adds more to the universe, or exists within the pre-existing Harry Potter sandbox has yet to be seen. Whatever they do, it is sure to bring a little more magic into our lives.


Thank you for reading our article on what the Harry Potter TV series can learn from other popular shows. What would you like to see in it? Let us know in the comments below.


Read about what the Harry Potter TV series could be about HERE.

Read IMDB information on Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone HERE.

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