The Boys (2019)

A meta-cynical kryptonite to CBM-totalitarian 2010s popculture, blüd punk rock anarchy requiem, & Justice League TV-Series in a hyper-realistic world, The Boys darkly exposes the evil our ‘heroes’ would be [/are]: marxism, politics, hedonism, sex|racism, carnage, megalomaniacism, etc. 9.6/10.

Plot Synopsis: Superheroes are often as popular as celebrities, as influential as politicians, and sometimes even as revered as gods. But that’s when they’re using their powers for good. What happens when the heroes go rogue and start abusing their powers? When it’s the powerless against the super powerful, the Boys head out on a heroic quest to expose the truth about the Seven and Vought, the multibillion-dollar conglomerate that manages the superheroes and covers up their dirty secrets. Based on the characters of DC Comics.

*Possible spoilers ahead*

CLC’s Best #TheBoys Episodes: 1. What I Know, The Name Of The Game, Over The Hill With The Swords Of A Thousand Men, Butcher Baker Candle Maker, The Female Of The Species, The Self-Preservation Society, The Bloody Doors Off, Get Some, You Found Me, The Innocents Good For The Soul, Cherry

S1 – 9.6/10 / S2 – 10/10 /

Official CLC Review – The Boys, Season 1

The Perfect Anti-Comic Book TV Series

A World Where Every CBM Makes Billions, Studios Get Lazier, & Quality Suffers By Franchises; Cinema In Search Of Kryptonite

Photograph Courtesy Of: Amazon Originals

$100 Billion. That is the next milestone on the horizon for comic book media: one that is comparatively-ludicrous to even contemplate coming from the 10c Action Comics #1 that introduced Superman and started it all back in 1939 and is likely to be reached within the next 5-10 years. Mass-franchising, nine-figure budgets per blockbuster, wide-spread PG13 audience appeal, advanced CGI, nostalgia, and the intoxication-allure of hopeful escapism in the midst of a depressing real-world that surrounds us have only fueled the overgrowth – and it is, unequivocally, the pop culture phenomenon of this era. The films and TV series, though, have been steadily declining – akin to the same evils of franchises where box-office receipts and comfort become the negative reciprocal of quality and effort. Many, like me, now see cookie-cut boredom & fast food where we once saw our favorite caped crusading costumed champions reign – and it makes me sick to my stomach every time a new one gets announced seeing 5+ released per year. The perfect dosage of anti-superheroicism is here to counteract the symptoms of superhero sickness – and the antidote couldn’t have come at a better time; there is life yet to be found in this dead genre, and (bizarrely) it’s a newcomer to the streaming wars and biggest global retail corporation that brings it to us! A meta-analysis of the CBM-totalitarianism over pop culture & heavy social themes plus a Justice League TV-Series set in a hyper-realistic world painting what ‘heroes’ would be like in real life (far from the romanticized lens we expect of their powers), The Boys is a visceral, savage, genre-diverse hard-R masterpiece dosage of anti-comic book cynicism.

A Hyper-Realistic Vision Of Superheroes

The Most Diverse Project Of Its Genre – A Genre-Blending Masterpiece Of Heavy Social Theme Exposition By Comedy/CBM’s

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The Boys might be the best comic book TV series ever made. The project is one of the most diverse I’ve ever seen come out of the genre, wildly succeeding in each of the multitude of categories it impossibly-blends into a seamless mercilessly-bingeable mixture; it’s like The Office of CBM’s. If you want hard-R comedy whizzing savage one-liners that make Deadpool comparatively look tame, here you go. If you want blood-splattered ultra-violence straight out of a Tarantino movie painted by top-notch VFX out of a big box-office blockbuster, it has that too. Romance in boy-meets-girl love-story, complex (magnificently-acted) character study, power dynamic-horror, plucky classic-Kansas/John Wayne americana-superheroicism, & anti-capitalism/narcotics crime drama are but only a few of the other modes The Boys takes on – and the finesse required to blend them all into a cocktail smooth and clockwork as it is to watch is pure television wizardry. That’s nothing compared to the thematization of heavy social issues the series ambitiously waxes on through the brilliant lens of our favorite pop culture phenomenon: superheroes. Through this comfortable eyepiece of spandexed crimefighters powing bad guys and flying throughout the sky, the show weaves a rich meta-cynical analysis of the world around us – and how broken our civilization is.. by shockingly painting our modern mythology in a hyper-realistic world wherein they’re just as corrupt and morally-bankrupt as we are. The machine of capitalism is the show’s biggest theme – showcasing by hyper-realism how comprehensively corporations and shareholder conglomerates would stick their claws into superheroes in real-life: theme-parks, movie-contracts, big egos, billions of dollars, and superstardom that would no doubt be prevalent if superheroes were real.

The Action & Breathtaking VFX

A Jaw-Dropping CGI Package & The Best TV Action Of Late-2010’s – Thanks To Clever Cinematography & Deep Pockets Of Bezos

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A concept lightly-touched on in most other genre-entries, the series builds an elaborate and brilliant world by mixing the idealization of comic book heroes we dream and the reality of movie studios and everything awful about corporatized big business into the scariest product possible. That’s before the series goes further – ripping out our souls by painting our beloved heroes worshipped as gods and benevolent idols.. as more evil and depraved as the rest of us. The fairy tale fantasy of a being as strong/unstoppable as Superman being a goody two-shoes farm boy from Kansas who never once exploits his powers might be good as escapist content (he was created as a boy’s dream-intervention to stop the armed robbers who killed his father and superheroes are majorly popular today, we would argue, because of how broken & dark the world is right now), but not very realistic. The Boys rebukes all the pretense and children’s tales and paints superheroes how they would be: a totalitarian/authoritarian hierarchy wherein they corruptly abuse their powers for fame, $$$, sex, drugs, and a whirlwind of all of the above – and it’s easily the most refreshing subversion of CBM’s. The pure comedy and fun it has with the horror/childhood-ruined-concept: underground casinos where supes can let free of the public image and get into some ‘diabolical sh*t,’ pre-solved crimes scripted for maximum social media engagement, performance enhancing drugs trafficked to create new supes, murder, politicization of plane tragedies for bill gain, and creation of terrorism by juicing up jihadis are jaw-droppingly savage – made even more ultimately-shocking by the fact that we see them through a lens of a plucky farm-girl who actually does want to be a classic superhero and save the world: Starlight.

The Weighty Social Theme Injection

From #MeToo To Racism To Police Brutality To Capitalism To Christianity To Drug Abuse To LGBTQ+ Rights To Gun Control

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Other heavy social themes explored through the brilliant and wildly-ambitious series are Harvey Weinstein’s terrorizations, #MeToo movement, child-star fame, police brutality and racism, #BlackLivesMatter, the hateful and outdated side of Christianity in modern contexts, religious/atheistic exposition, LGBTQ+ rights, privatization of war, opioid/drug abuse, human trafficking, patriarchy, misogyny/objectification, and gun control. My goodness, any show in general that tackled and conquered so many relevant and dramatic modern themes plaguing our civilizations in today’s world deserves an Emmy – but for a comic book TV series to do so when no one expects superhero products to be anything more than dumb/cheesy escapist hopism blockbuster exploitation is downright breathtakingly-impressive. The show might be one of the most thematically-diverse and heaviest of any in the past few years – something I never thought I’d say given how almost nothing else in its genre tries any of this (besides a couple of more intellectualized DC films like Joker, The Dark Knight, Watchmen, etc.). Make no mistake though: The Boys is far from just an avant-garde intellectual exercise it doesn’t even feel like it is unless you stop & analyze: it sugarcoats them in a package of striking VFX action, soundtrack flair, and hard-R comedy so drenchable, it’s probably the biggest entertainment value I’ve witnessed such a pedigree of weighty themes. The latter will be addressed later, but I want to give singular respect to the VFX & cinematography. The Boys is beautiful visually – from its opening bank-heist truck-smash slow-mo scene, you can feel that Amazon put their [limitless] money where their mouth is and funneled a massive budget you can only dream about seeing on TV never given the financial resources of their blockbuster counterparts. All of the action and wildly-ambitious action scenes from slicing lasers through planes to super-speed race-of-the-century to invisible fist-fights to gut/blood-splatters of running through a girl are breathtakingly-rendered with some of the best CGI available on the small-screen to add visual spectacle to the canvas – as it introduces the stars of the show: The Seven.

The Seven – The Not-So-Justice League

A Brilliant Direct-Subversion & Satirization Of DC’s ‘Big 7’ Twising Each For Maximum Entertainment & Comedy/Horror Value

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The Seven are clearly a direct satirization of DC’s ‘Big 7’: The Justice League. Homelander is Superman down to the blue texturized suit, red laser vision, clean-cut flying eagle-thematized Americana, and flag cape: a weaponization of America’s greatest icon/hero to bravely expose its evils. Queen Maeve is Wonder Woman down to the Greek Mythological design touches, dark red armor, tiara, high boots, and pantheonic super-strength able to smash trucks with her bare hands. Black Noir is Batman being the badass black-suited vigilante who broods wordless, throws batarang-shaped projectiles, and brutalizes through combat anyone foolish enough to get in his way. A-Train is The Flash down to the super-speed and ‘Fastest Man Alive’ byline and race/athlete aesthetic directly lifted from the comics (the show also makes use of the CW’s Patty actress and synthetic superpower compound from S2’s Zoom), The Deep is Aquaman down to the fish jokes, green-and-orange suit, and litany of aqua-conversations, Lamplighter is Green Lantern utilizing a mystical object in a green suit as superpowers. Translucent is the one non-obvious one: comics veterans will recognize he is roughly-based on Martian Manhunter since MM can become anything by shapeshifting or becoming invisible, but the difference seems more a ploy to avoid copyright infringement since the others are so unequivocally based on DC’s Justice League – a fact even more proven by the fact that the comics-writers worked at Wildstorm, a division of DC Comics. Oh, and their white marble roman-columned base deploying satellites and having sit-down table meetings is the Hall Of Justice if I’ve ever seen it. The other heroes featured are mostly-DC too: Starlight is Supergirl down to the plucky blonde hopeful girl-next-door, (furthering the dark America exposition with her cousin as a fellow star-spangled icon here turned into a crux of religion themes: a prototypical small-town Christian girl whose faith and belief in the good of the world/people and benevolence/existence of God is shattered as she realizes the evils lurking underneath the church verses and singalongs), Ezekial is Plasticman being able to stretch/contort fantastically, & The Atom featured by super-small stature; There are some Marvel ones featured too for good measure in Doppelganger being Mystique-like, Popclaw being a claw-retractable Wolverine, and Nubian Prince being clearly-based on Black Panther. Each hero is brought to life by magnificent performances owning their character-spin for a career-making cast of strong actors/actresses – but they all bow just as their heroes do hierarchically to Anthony Starr’s Homelander.

The Anti/Protagonists & Performances

A Canvas Of Complex, Multi-Dimensional Characters Brought To Life By Lifetime Performances Led By A.S.’ Epic Homelander

Photograph Courtesy Of: Amazon Originals

The performances and characterization are what elevates the show into altitude rarely-traversed in CBM’s. The complex human characters are just as compelling, multi-dimensional, and richly-scripted as the [not-so]-superheroes: Karl Urban’s tough grit as hilarious (Deathstroke-reminiscent) politically-incorrect Australian supe-hunter Billy Butcher, Jack Quaid’s teddy-bear charm twisted into a dark/bloody journey trying to get justice ironically against the people supposed to be supplying it Hugh, Karen Fukuhara’s forced-terrorist with a good side Kimiko, Frenchie, Mesmer, Mother’s Milk, Ann Cusack’s frigid stage-mother living through her child’s pageantry, Esposito’s strong police captain Raynor, and Elizabeth Shue’s smug corporatized businesswoman Madelyn Stillwell. The antiheroes are mythically-acted as well: J. Usher’s performance-enhanced drug-clinging athlete A-Train, Crawford’s constantly-bullied fake-environmentalist Deep taking out his insecurities on women, Nathan Mitchell’s perfectly-brooding Black Noir somehow getting the character’s nuances & badassness without even saying a single word all-season, Shaun Benson’s hypocritical ‘pray-the-gay-away’ Ezekial while he himself is one, Alex Hassell’s pretentious and pervy-yet-lonely Translucent, Dominque McElligott’s strong morality-torn Queen Maeve packing every bit of feminine firepower that could’ve been a fantastic Wonder Woman as well, Erin Moriarty’s career-making role as wide-eyed Iowa girl-next-door Stargirl whose big dreams to save the world are decimated by reality and thrown to the wolves/fire for a masterclass of character development the entire season cruxes around, and: Anthony Starr’s Homelander. The TV villain-of-the-century and most fascinating and deliciously-evil one I’ve seen since Mads Mikkelsen’s Dr. Hannibal Lecter on the batsh*t-crazy opposite wavelength, Starr’s Homelander packs some of the best duality-acting I’ve ever seen in my life. Playing with kids on the playground or tossing a baseball one scene with a clean-cut John Wayne Americana masculine charm enough to melt the hearts of girls and ranchers across the Midwest then laser-slicing planes with congressman and their children or bragging about juicing jihadis up on superhuman drugs so that they enact carnage on millions of people and only The Seven can stop them, he is Superman-on-acid and balances the ’78 Reeve charm with the horrors of Gunn’s groundbreaking 2019 Brightburn with surgical precision.

Flaws

A Weak Ep. 2, Few Minor Gripes, & The Distraction Of Starlight’s [Omnipotent] Social Justice Cues From A True Self-Arc

Photograph Courtesy Of: Amazon Originals

A god-complexed, neglected, motherless, power-hungry, biolent misfit whose freudianism and visceral need to be in-control of his narrative cements Starr’s Homelander as the TV superhero/villain on top of the leaderboard – a fitting alpha squadron leader for this band of antiheroes/villains to flex. Flaws in The Boys S1 largely-center on Starlight. Maybe they should’ve called her Social-Justice-Girl; every line she even says through the entire first 2/3 of the season is a checkpoint off a political agenda. Now, the difference between these and most of the others (you know how we feel at CLC about forced performative-activism/virtue-signals in cinema where they do not fit, or shelter hateful narratives against any group) is that the whole existential point of the show is to paint the terrors of our real-life society through the lens of how superheroes would be in the real-world. Thus, it makes sense that something as depraved/twisted as Harvey Weinstein allegation-references or corporate corruption-exposition would be on-screen: the show means to shine a mirror on us by hyper-realizing how superheroes would reflect our evils in modern contexts. While it’s completely-understandable thematically and nicely-scripted on ~all of its points tightroping nicely not to offend or vex very often, the sheer frequency of its shotgunned presence almost every other scene is one of the few (if only) detractors from an otherwise-legendary S1 – along with a couple of minor gripes like A-Train’s suit not being red for a color-pop and more accurate Flash-satire, more Martian Manhunter-parallels for Translucent to finalize The Seven’s JL connection, and more superhero-v-superhero showdowns [although there’s plenty of time for that in what will easily go 6+ seasons if the breakout viral success and universal great reviews are any indications].

The Savage, Hard-R Meta-Comedy

One Of The Funniest TV Series I’ve Ever Seen: Genitalia, Gore-Splatters, One-Liners, Meta-Deconstruction, & Competition-Jabs

Photograph Courtesy Of: Amazon Originals

Now, before we wrap up the review: we MUST give special celebration of the comedy. The Boys might be the funniest TV series and comic book projects ever released. Genitalia galore, shrink-heroes jumping miniaturized into panty regions, the inherent lameness of Simon Garfunkel-fanboy/chai latte-jerkoffing/pizza roll-hating Hughie, foot fetishes, The Deep’s fish conversations and therapist meetings of decades of being laughed at as ‘just the fish guy, baby supes (highlight of S1, YES! The definitive baby sidekick; Baby Yoda who?!), and Butcher’s constant one-hit wonder irreverent lines given by godly comedic screenwriting evoke more laughs than I can remember in any modern film or TV show – or CBM’s like Deadpool and Shazam. The show takes jabs at all its competition like The CW, MCU, DCEU, & Snyderverse – while also meta-deconstructing the comic book movie concept as well with hilarious setups like Queen Maeve’s brooding in the rain while hair-flowing-in-wind and The Deep/Starlight’s set-up drug-bust by the docks only to show from behind-the-scenes how awkward and staged both are to create. The soundtrack is also worth consideration on its own packing all the youthful energization of Sex Pistols-era punk rock and grunge that fits the grime overtone of the series well – juxtaposed by a slew of diverse soundscapes from french boom-bap to soft orchestral sequences to k-pop to r&b to match whatever its context is gracefully.

Conclusion

The Best Comic Book TV Series Ever

The Perfect Dosage Of Anti-Superheroicism To Antidote CBM-Sickness; A Wildly-Entertaining, Genre-Diverse, Complex Eschewal Of Pop Culture’s Biggest Obsession

Photograph Courtesy Of: Amazon Originals

Overall, The Boys might be the best comic book TV series ever made – avant-garde since it goes against type and everything we could ever expect/want from a CBM. The project is one of the most diverse of its genre, wildly succeeding in each of the multitude of categories it blends into an impossibly seamless smooth and emphatically-bingeable mixture – hard-R comedy whizzing one-liners that make Deadpool look comparatively-tame, blood-splattered ultra-violence straight out of a Tarantino movie painted by top-notch blockbuster VFX on an Amazon budget, romance in boy-meets-girl love-story, complex (magnificently-acted) character studies, power dynamic-horror, plucky classic-Kansas/John Wayne Americana-superheroicism, & anti-capitalism/narcotics crime drama. The series goes beyond the magnificence of comedy, action, and antiheroicism it could’ve absolutely succeeded just from to tackle heavy social themes that elevate it into a new level of intellectualized cinema one could not expect from its premise or dichotomization of tones. Through the comfortable lens of our idolized crimefighters, the show weaves a rich meta-cynical analysis of the corrupt real world around us: the machine of capitalism, Harvey Weinstein’s terrorizations, #MeToo movement, child-star fame, police brutality and racism, #BlackLivesMatter, the hateful and outdated side of Christianity in modern contexts, religious/atheistic exposition, LGBTQ+ rights, privatization of war, opioid/drug abuse, human trafficking, patriarchy, misogyny/objectification, and gun control are all on the docket it paints (though over-frequently as one of its only [minor] gripes) with exceptional poise and execution. The performances are magnificent led by Starr’s villain-of-the-century Homelander and The Seven a direct satirization of DC’s ‘Big 7’ Justice League in all the best and most sadistic/twisted ways. The Boys comes at the perfect time: the antidote to comic book media-sickness from overpopulation and laziness of studio construction to highlight our flaws through the era’s biggest franchise phenomenon it eschews and brings to reality: superheroes. A meta-analysis of the CBM-totalitarianism over pop culture & heavy social themes plus a Justice League TV-Series set in a hyper-realistic world painting what ‘heroes’ would be like in real life (far from the romanticized lens we expect of their powers), The Boys is a visceral, savage, genre-diverse hard-R masterpiece dosage of anti-comic book cynicism.

Official CLC The Boys S1 Score: 9.6/10

…….

Official CLC Review – The Boys, Season 2

The Age Of Trump

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America. 2016-2020 was one of the darkest eras in the history of the nation: one no longer able to galavant as the land of the free and home of the brave thanks to the [orange] face representing our flag. President Donald Trump and his GOP legions reversed centuries of progressivism and brought the evils of nazism, misogyny, racism, xenophobia, white supremacy, hatred, etc. back into American households – all by a social-hacking/radicalizing campaign of targeted manipulation delivered personally via the touch of fingertips to vulnerable demographics on social media. The subsistence of the fanbase proved the victory celebration and ‘happy ending’ after the war of 100M+ civilians from 30 countries fighting with nuclear firepower culminating in Eisenstaedt’s famous ‘sailor kissing the nurse’ photograph on the at V-J Day in Times Square, NYC, 1945 was nothing more than smoke in mirrors: the exact same principles and hatred crawled back into the sewers only to fester beneath the surface of society waiting for metempsychosis under a new body/name [one it didn’t even need to hide much in for easy rebirth: the demographic in-question trading in their red-and-white Nazi swastikas for red-and-white MAGA hats to a platform the exact same even down to the the bad-hair figurehead, loud toxic yelling rallies, and four-letter name.]

From Nazis To MAGA, Red-And-White Swastikas To Hats, And The Same Principles Of Xenophobia, Racism, Sexism,Groupthink, Fear, Power, Manipulation, Etc. From Crowds To Online

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Growing up college students x cinephiles in these once-a-century political circumstances made us know there would be legions of projects analyzing what just happened (ironically, the title of impossible 2016 loser Hillary Clinton’s novela post-mortem), and the USA-catalyzed growth of franchise happy-go-lucky Comic Book Movies/TV [hereby abbreviated: CBM’s] in pop-culture/box-office made sense – giving people a giggly MCU-antidote to the inexorable nightmare of real-world life every day, the exact raîson-d’être and foundational principle superheroes were created upon when Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster began the genre through the America-symbolizing archetype of Superman in the 1930’s. What CLC never could’ve expected is the greatest psychoanalysis of the entire fever dream reality would be tackled through the lens of the exact genre/characters meant to distract/nostalgia-smile/fantasyize people away from the issues; God Bless The Boys. A meta-cynical kryptonite to CBM-totalitarian 2010s popculture, blüd punk requiem, & Justice League TV-Series in a hyper-realistic world, The Boys darkly exposed the evil our ‘heroes’ would be [/are]: marxism, politics, hedonism, sex|racism, carnage, megalomaniacism, etc. in a wild, twisted, expletive-laced NSFW splatterfest comedy horror sci-fi action drama orgy satirizing with F*** You anarchy everything the gen. populace viewed as pure-and-sacred about superheroicism.

America, Deconstructed Through Its Creation Of Zenith Importance And 2010’s Pop-Culture: CBM’s

Photograph Courtesy Of: Amazon Originals

S1 was already a bonafide masterpiece TV season establishing Amazon Prime’s newest hit as the bedrock a world-competitive streaming platform could be built on and viral crowdsource phenomenon easily amongst the best projects on air, even in the 2010’s Golden Age Of Television. We’ve always lived-and-died by the apothegm at CLC: TV Shows Are Made-Or-Broken In S2 (TM). The crew has witnessed all-time great projects in S1 fall apart and die in a fiery plane crash of cancellation/five-minute-fame-expiration like Homelander’s pilot victims in the pilot, or critically-panned and fan-maligned dark horses with terrible S1’s fix themselves completely and become 100+ ep decade-running legends by the power of the opening flickers of an S2 [The Office, anyone?]. What was The Boys going to be; would the ‘evil superheroes’ schtick lead to more batsh*t crazy TV-MA fun or grow old, clichéd, and tiresome? Not only does Season 2 of The Boys improve upon the original and give fans everything they could’ve wanted/expected from a follow-up sequel, but it’s an Ep. V: The Empire Strikes Back oeuvre of tragedy, guts, masculinity, social media, politics, manipulation, performative activism, and rage that may just very be one of the Greatest Seasons Of Television Ever Made.

A New Villain: Yt Women, Through Lens Of A Villain For The Ages Able To Psychoanalyze The Demographic Just As Responsible But Absolved Of Blame/Complicity In Historical Evils – Stormfront

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The inspirations and themes analyzed in S2 of The Boys are wide-spanning and hyperdiverse: the perfect amalgamation and time-capsule encapsulation of everything wrong with America in the late 2010’s. The biggest target the writers take a sniper rifle aim towards and comprehensively OHKO is Trump, [Modern] GOP, and the MAGA crowd: Religion, Mega-Churches & The Commercialization/Politicization Of Faith, School Shootings, White Supremacy, Boy/Fatherhood Indoctrination, Social Media, Etc. TBS2 doesn’t (eye-rollably) make it obvious their fundamental political affiliation or even once feel like they’re on agenda payroll by Democrats; they simply analyze every possible layer of the cake and architectural foundation to de/reconstruct with surgical precision what, how, who, where, when, and why MAGA happened – even doing so through heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, wildly-dark/sadistic scenes without even the need for action or superheroes in them like the masterpiece prologue of Ep. 7 ‘The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlemaker’ showing an ordinary kid get radicalized by the propaganda Trump & co. spew – handled through a Homelander whom is further nightmare-Americanized but perfectly fits the toxic yt masculinity archetype for satirization, and a new supervillain for the ages: Stormfront.

5K Soldiers > 50 Million Fans: The Dangers & Exploitability Of The Social Media Age

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The real villain of the entire season is not whom you’d expect, just because it’s taboo and socially-frowned upon to give the demographic any blame or condemnation for their historical sins: White Women. The Boys S2 shines an unflattering light revealing what POC like us always knew but mainstream media pugnaciously refused to admit out of faux-feminist absolvation of accountability for their actions just because of their gender: White Women are ~just as responsible for the evils of their race as their husbands were. Stormfront literalizes this allegory; she’s actually more evil than Homelander: manipulating him as her bf/husband into racist Nazi agenda he didn’t even necessarily agree with personally beforehand (there’s little-to-no evidence he was so back in S1; it could’ve been underneath but definitely wasn’t as prevalent or dominant as now, likely grown by love and sex and wanting normalcy into going along with her agenda) just as she manipulates the entire world through gaslighting, misdirection, fear, propaganda, and memes [a dark commentary on the groupthink psych.-fueled dangers and radicalization possible in The Social Media Age the world saw firsthand in the Twitter-catalyzed rise of Trump from Reality TV to The White House, a landscape wherein ‘5K loud soldiers > 50M fans’ in stirring up anger and disrupting the status quo into chaos/anarchy/rage and how Hitler and The Holocaust could’ve happened just the same today, for all our technological advancements still the same or worst as people].

Thoughts And Prayers: Corporations, Politicians, Misdirection, Fear, Rage, And Woke Performative Activism

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Make no mistake: Trump and MAGA – as well as *~any* white crimes like slavery, holocaust, racism, genocide, etc.- could not and cannot happen on a mass scale without the support of white women; they get to play victim like there was nothing they could do such as Queen Maeve on the plane, but don’t even try or actively fuel patriarchal dominatrix fantasies just to justify their own race > sex ideologies (literally viewable in the 2016 election: they voted against their own gender and the first woman president in the history of the United States of America who was a shoe-in every remote poll/statistical model said was impossible to lose just for Trump and his yt supremacy platform) – able to rule and pull strings while living lavishly as queens from the sidelines without actually getting the full gamut of blame themselves. Allegorical brilliance, handled through a career performance by Aya Rachel Cash (whom CLC loved back in the 2015 FX dark comedy You’re The Worst) crafting a character whose refreshing early brazen, unfiltered, genuine, non-PC authenticity of voice becomes a worst nightmare thundercloud of toxicity, disfunction, racism, and genocide the same color and destructiveness as her lightning powers [clearly based on Storm from the X-Men; yet only one of the A+ Comic Book Heroes/Villains brought into the show’s worldbuild: Sage Grove Asylum being a makeshift mutation-creation Xavier School for X-Men knockoffs led by a Magneto x Stranger Things E11even bald girl, Lamplighter being Green Lantern, Eagle being a Green-Arrow/Hawkeye, and Stan Edgar being a Lex Luthor x Kingpin figure as the CEO of Vought for maximum CBM fandom service].

Ep. V: Darkly Pushing Every Character To Limits

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The Boys may lean [easy, since let’s be honest: the other party, despite its shortcomings on certain issues, doesn’t actively fuel hatred or oppose rights against the good for society as a whole] left, but isn’t all progressivism though; it’s celebratorily neutralized and points out flaws in modern Democrat culture too: woke performative activism. Just like Homelander, the sad patheticism of yelling online for social justice only so it boosts your like count and feeds your ego by making people think you’re a good person instead of knowing you are one through means like charity denotes a fundamental need for external validation and love amongst the cold confines of sterile social media boards – a complete 180 in social dynamics from previous generations the show humorizes by Queen Maeve they want to advertise as an LGBTQ+ full-lesbian hero by product placement when she’s really bi but ‘not woke enough’ by their checklist diversity Gen. Z standards, and one that can be easily weaponized just like religion by power-hungry, selfish, greed-centric, narcissistic powers just like it is in The Boys S2. Congresswoman Neuman – brilliantly a reference and in-show version of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez [AOC] – claims and is narratively presented to be the savior archetype running on a platform of anti-Vought/supe power and leftist woke ideology fighting for the average human (allegorically parallalable to minority demographics in real-world), but is revealed to hypocritically be one herself with just as high a body-count as any villain on The Seven in even a more sadistic way by blowing up the heads of people, even ruthlessly her own staff and innocent people to cover the tracks of a hidden agenda being potentially a mole for Vought or neo-Stormfront manipulator-woman tricking everyone in a plot-twist cliffhanger amongst the most epic and dark we’ve seen in years to show no politician is 100% pure and genuine, no matter the party.

Marvel: X-Men, Storm, Magneto | DC: Lex Luthor, Green Arrow/Lantern

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As much a villain as white women are corporations: Vought being the symbol for all of them. Perhaps scariest in the canvas in the fact that the entire plot and goals of our Butcher-led troupe means absolutely nothing on the reveal of Compound V: misdirected and trapezed around until the bombshell news break matters nary at all and barely makes a negative tick on Vought’s stock. The language and writing is f*cking brilliant: using real-world buzzwords and empty platitudes like ‘thoughts and prayers’ on tragic corpse-lined coups [like Stormfront’s killing of 100+ people in the apt building they shift blame onto the ‘yellow’ minority to use as a talking point for why they need more Compound V: the demonization of minorities again paralleling Trump rhetoric about building the wall and post-9/11 terrorism fears/division being overpronounced and hypocritical when white people commit real terrorism killing far more people in the USA every year via methods like school shootings they even spoof with the ad for supervillain/terrorist drills in schools, complete with hilariously arming teachers with AK’s to show how silly and ridiculous their farcical conservative talking point is] they put in motion just to show the major lack of empathy and compassion for human life they harbor below the woke affront they put on with carefully-constructed (false) pre-written scripts before the news. Masculinity is deconstructed alongside femininity as well – showing boys through the lens of the increasingly-important character Ryan (basically a Jon Kent, even the most powerful god-like character being fragile and gentle) are not inherently evil or aggressive or any of the militant demonizing plot points misandrists characterize them as, only being turned into them by bad parenting again a concereted dual-gender effort women and mothers are responsible for towards by the vast difference in coming-of-age trajectory by the parenting styles of Becca vs. Stormfront.

Not Just All IQ/Allegory, Plenty Of NSFW Guts, Blood, And Spit-Take Comedy

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The Boys S2 is the Empire Strikes Back Ep. V of CBM TV: dark not only by these tragic real-world implications/analytics, but by what it does to its characters. Every single damn person in the series is given 10x more intensive backstory exposition and fleshing-out as characters: pushing them to their absolute limits and even testing the very spirit and mettle of them to figure out who they are in shifting landscapes when everything they know/love is put to the test. Homelander is definitely the star of the season: the most fascinating character and perfect casting in the history of CBM/TV (only rivaled by Ledger’s Joker in ’08’s The Dark Knight), used as a prismatic analytical lens for the America he was dreamed as a gooey nostalgia Golden-Age ’40’s/’50’s icon for but flipped to reveal the dark side of how far we’ve devolved as a nation into blood-soaked and nazi-manipulated evil while also fringed with Citizen Kane tragedy and psychocomplexity: the most powerful being in the world, developmentally-stunted and a kid just wanting to be loved at heart and feeling powerless, alone, rejected, and metaphorically and physically impotent unable to jack off atop skyscrapers overlooking the world he screams is his and feels entitled to by manifest destiny but has now lost – trying to make amends for everyone he’s hurt and raise the son he views as himself the right way like he never was in cold labs alone, even falling in love by actual kindheartedness and puppy love he’s deprived of by the cruelty of fate/God. Butcher is the flip-side of the coin, yet given equally-if-not-more a tragic writing arc: having grown up in a household of domestic and child abuse losing the only canary-tether of innocence in his brother by suicide he’s reminded of by Hughie, further losing his sole motivation and reason for existence by a Becca who chooses her son > him, having to look at the rape monstrosity of cuckhold frankenstein Homelander put on him with apathy but feign love to get his real one from his wife he lost metaphorically but loses physically by the end. Holy f*cking shit, that’s dark – and magnificently acted by Karl Urban hitting every heartbrteaking note and cue perfectly.

The Best Meta Of All-Time: The Process, Clichés, And Corporatism Of Franchise Blockbuster [CBM] Moviemaking

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Starlight goes from Christian Girl-Next-Door to athiest alongside a perfect will-they-or-won’t-they execution with twink puppy dog whom grows to confront his past demons and motherhood abandonment to forge his own path Hughie, A-Train has to learn who he is w/o the ability to run due to heart palpitations, The Deep confronts his own toxic masculinity through disability exposition and self-fullfilling projection onto women he rejects and maligns before they do so to him, Karen and Frenchie are given complete (tragic) backstory [Karen: a parable of anti-colonialism so dark it stopped her from speaking as she even loses her only family left right before her eyes and has to go on a soul-searching hitwoman arc to find her own humanity and revenge against Stormfront for killing her brother; Frenchie: a narcotics dealer with a heart who loved his friends he’s reminded of by Karen and realizes the Lamplighter who ruined his life and he hated wasn’t all-bad after all] before being artfully remixed into a cheerable ship-romance, Mother’s Milk gets to go home to his kids and we learn of his reason for fighting in what Vought did illegally to his lawyer father, etc. The Boys S2 isn’t all highbrow IQ-heavy exposition on complex themes and PhD-level esoterica, substance > entertainment value; oh boy, there’s plenty of that too. There’s plenty of NSFW comedy/gore, from giant dicks to faces ripped off or acid-burnt to criminals’ brains smushed while coming after a handjob to coup-missions ripping people in half to people’s heads blown off with blood spurts. There are epic scenes for each of its heroes/villains experientially, from Noir being Batman in Kazakhstan to The Deep summoning a Jaws x1000 colony of sharks to hunt a guppie yacht off the coast – and A+ meta-comedy amongst the funniest we’ve ever seen in the season’s spoof of the making of Comic Book Movies: incel manchild dudebro directors ‘jacking off to transformers movies’ making destructoporn michael bay dumb blockbusters with endless cgi and ugly filters with cringeworthy lines the writers even literally connect to the MCU they clearly satirize/reference with lines like ‘this new Joss rewrite really sings, huh?’ [Joss Whedon, director of Avengers 1/2 whom ruined 2017 Justice League by making it an MCU movie]. Epic. The Boys S2 is thus one of the most perfectly-balanced/executed seasons in the history of television – fueling and amplifying an already-masterpiece TV show with more guts, meta, IQ, and allegory than it ever had a right to have, true to the spirit/aesthetic/ideology of sequels, but better in every way. Bring on S3!

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Official CLC The Boys S2 Score: 10/10