The Boys—Season 1

the boys poster season 1 review
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun series

Treads the line of being simply about shock value

the boys season 1 title card review episode guide list

Get ready to get dirty!

Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid) sees his life ripped apart right in front of him…literally.  When A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) of the Seven tears through his girlfriend Robin (Jess Salgueiro), Hughie learns he is just another human face of collateral damage caused by superheroes.  Recruited by a man named William “Billy” Butcher (Karl Urban), Hughie learns that Billy’s group “the Boys” are intent about taking the Seven and their leader Homelander (Antony Starr) down.  Meanwhile, Annie January (Erin Moriarty) aka Starlight is just finding herself as a member of the Seven after years of dreaming about it, but dreams aren’t always what they seem.

The Boys—Season 1 is a superhero action-adventure fantasy series.  The series is based on the     comic book series by Garth Ennis which ran from October 2006 to November 2012.  It premiered on Amazon Prime and received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Sound Editing for a One Hour Comedy or Drama Series (“The Name of the Game”).

the boys season 1 episode 1 the name of the game homelander anthony starr

A perfect smarmy hero-villain

I’ve always been on the fence about Garth Ennis.  I like some of the stuff he does, but I also think he uses swearing as a crutch and a means for shock.  Both with this series and Preacher, I think the filter of time and a TV script aids Ennis’s writing and helps bring out the strength he does have…while still being a bit juvenile and funny.

The “superheroing” is hardcore and violent…but we rarely see anything really happening (and scenes like the airplane show it doesn’t turn out well).  The idea develops during the season that there is no reason for these superheroes because there are no super villains…which of course poses a problem.  It also creates more time for the personal issues of the flawed heroes to get in the way.  It leads to a bit of season cliffhanger which questions the future of the Seven in society.

the boys season 1 episode 4 the female of the species the deep dolphin chace crawford

Poor, the Deep…and his fish powers

The cast is good.  Karl Urban is a perfect and unreasonable ass as Billy Butcher.  He is shattered, but his psyche clouds his vision and creates a weakness.  Jack Quaid as Hughie is the “good guy”, but it also feels like a story of corruption with him enjoying being a “villain”.  The same can be said of Erin Moriarty’s Starlight, and it feels like she is headed down a path of ruin.  Laz Alonso (aka Mother’s Milk) and Tomer Capone (Frenchie) are the characters caught in the middle of the Boys.  Antony Starr’s Homelander proves to be an interesting character with a lot to explore while each member of the Seven has the challenge of showing that they are not just a one-trick pony/joke.  I’m always a fan of Elisabeth Shue who plays a weirdly corrupting-manipulating leader who doesn’t realize where the real danger is.

the boys season 1 episode 8 you found me elisabeth shue killed eyes

The Boys might be too much for some people’s eyes to handle

The show looks good.  The show doesn’t have a lot special effects in general considering it is a show about superheroes.  There is a bigger focus on the human characters.  When the superheroes are the focus, the effects are movie quality.  With the rise of super villains, it could become more special effect-ladened in future seasons.

The Boys–Season 1 is a fun start to an interesting series.  It intentionally takes “good taste” and trashes it for the reason of exploring the weaknesses of the “hero” characters, but it also plays with the idea of heroes and villains in general.  It is easy for The Boys to offend, and in offending, it does run the risk of losing potential audience.  I will be visiting The Boys again and look forward to see where it is going…and how far it will push the boundary.

The Boys—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

the boys season 1 episode 1 the name of the game hughie robin killed jack quaid

“The Name of the Game”

1.1       The Name of the Game Release Date:  07/26/19

Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid) finds himself seeking to avenge his girlfriend Robin (Jess Salgueiro) when a superhero named A-Train (Jessie Usher) runs her over.  The Vought brings in a new member of the Seven in Annie “Starlight” January (Erin Moriarty) but an encounter with her teammate the Deep (Chace Crawford) shows Annie that being a hero isn’t all she hoped.  Hughie finds himself contacted by Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) to help bring down the Seven.  Madelyn Stillwell (Elisabeth Shue) tries to keep Compound V under wraps.

the boys season 1 episode 2 cherry translucent captured


1.2       Cherry Release Date:  07/26/19

Hughie learns that Billy isn’t all he might say as they try to cover up their fight with Translucent (Alex Hassell).  Homelander (Antony Starr) has taken the mayor of Baltimore’s plane down and is reminded by Madelyn that he is the face of the Seven…which leads to tension with the Deep.  Starlight’s first mission with the Seven doesn’t go as expected.  Frenchie (Tomer Kapon) tells Hughie why he’s involved in trying to stop the heroes.  Starlight stops an attack on a woman which could cost her identity.  Madelyn gets a Senator Calhoun (David Andrews) in her pocket through using Doppelganger (Dan Darin-Zanco) as Homelander searches for Translucent.

the boys season 1 episode 3 get some race of the century a train jessie usher

“Get Some”

1.3       Get Some Release Date:  07/26/19

Starlight finds the stopping of the rape is poling well and that she needs to capitalize on the moment.  Translucent is dead, and Billy realizes he must use it to his advantage.  Billy tries to bring Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso) back into the fold…but Billy forgets to mention Frenchie (Tomer Capone) is working with him.  Hughie moves out of his home and finds a means for Butcher to spy on A-Train while learning more about Robin’s death.  Homelander worries about the disappearance of Translucent and worries that it could be something more.  A-Train races Shockwave (Mishka Thebaud) and worries about keeping his position in the Seven.  Hughie discovers Annie is a member of the Seven but learns that he might have a chance with her.  A-Train’s girlfriend Popclaw (Brittany Allen) has her own problems that could get her in trouble with the Boys.

the boys season 1 episode 4 the female of the species kimiko karen fukuhara

“The Female of the Species”

1.4       The Female of the Species Release Date:  07/26/19

Billy meets with his contact Susan Raynor (Jennifer Esposito) and learns that he could get funding if he can prove the use of Compound V by the Seven.  A mission to find evidence of the Compound V has Hughie, Mother’s Milk, and Frenchie accidentally freeing a killer (Karen Fukuhara).  The Seven try to push their legislation and realize a hijacked jet could help their argument…but the discovery of the death of Translucent is creating problems.  Hughie finds his own actions are being dictated when Billy orders him to go on a date with Starlight.  The Deep’s attempt to expand his brand and help dolphins goes wrong.

the boys season 1 episode 5 good for the soul believe expo starlight speech erin moriarty

“Good for the Soul”

1.5       Good for the Soul Release Date:  07/26/19

A-Train has to clean up the mess by Popclaw and he might find a big clue on the Boys’ identities.  Homelander is using the crash of Trans-Oceanic Flight 37 to push for the Seven’s access to government clearance, and Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) isn’t happy about it…and his new “popularity” puts him at odds with Madelyn.  The Believe Expo gives the Boys an opportunity to make their move on finding the Compound V, and Hughie has to use his connection to Starlight to get close to Ezekiel (Shaun Benson).  Starlight makes her Believe Expo premiere, but her doubts have her making a big decision.  Frenchie has been made and his only hope could be the woman he’s trying to protect.

the boys season 1 episode 6 the innocents mesmer mothers milk haley joel osment laz alonso

“The Innocents”

1.6       The Innocents Release Date:  07/26/19

The discovery of the infusing of children with Compound V could be the key to bringing down the Seven if the Boys can make the connection.  The Seven are working on their image campaign and trying to make a video to show their stories.  Starlight’s speech at Believe Expo has the public and media questioning her…and drawing attention from other members of the Seven.  Frenchie and Mother’s Milk seek out Mesmer (Haley Joel Osment) for answers about the superhuman woman they’ve found.  Hughie learns why Butcher hates superheroes as he tries to remind him who the enemies are.

the boys season 1 episode 7 the self preservation society billy butcher karl urban

“The Self-Preservation Society”

1.7       The Self-Preservation Society Release Date:  07/26/19

Butcher remembers his first meeting with Homelander with his wife Becca (Shantel VanSanten) and how it changed his entire life.  Hughie and Annie take their relationship to the next level, but Butcher has concerns.  The Deep is transferred to Sandusky after his forced admission of guilt and discovers he’s been shut out of the Seven.  Homelander learns of the Boys and takes his concerns to the Seven…and seeks answers about Becca from Stillwell and Dr. Jonah Vogelbaum (John Doman).  The Boys have been made, and it is all coming crashing down for the Boys.

the boys season 1 episode 8 you found me homelander kills madelyn stillwell anthony starr elisabeth shue

“You Found Me”

1.8       You Found Me Release Date:  07/26/19

The appearance of a superhuman terrorist have created a stalemate with the Pentagon and Vought International…and the Boys are considered fugitives.  Butcher is forced to go to meet his former CIA contact Grace Mallory (Laila Robins) for help.  Frenchie, Mother’s Milk, and Kimiko are kidnapped and Hugh has to try to mend his relationship with Annie to find them.  A-Train tries to get over his injury and faces off against his brother Nathan (Christian Keyes) over his drug use.  Homelander has a secret and reveals it to Madelyn Stillwell.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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