The Boys – Super zeros

Pop trash and dark show about superheroes, The Boys is a real success
thanks to Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Holllywood’s most creative tam?

By Quentin Moyon

Reading time 3 min.

The Boys


Acerbic, ironic and clever… The show The Boys, produced by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Eric Kripke (author of the comics), inites us to discover a world where super powers and then superheroes do exist. It’s a sort of quirky Avengers in which masked avengers are replaced by “The Seven”. “Super” as powerful as tyrannical.

A tackle to Marvel
and its strategy of exploitation.

Because what lies behind this “brotherhood” of supheroes is actually pretty gross: Deep, half-fish, half-man, takes advantage of his position to sexually assault Starlight, the newcomer who soon realizes she has to forget about her dreams of justice. Drugs and orgies are commonplace. And the only thing that really matters to these superheroes are to manage their own image. A tackle to Marvel and his excessive strategy of exploitation of superheroes’ universe , along with a suffocating marketing positioning, resulting in tasteless and boring films.

After the “accidental” death of his girlfriend, literally blown to pieces by A-Train the fastest man on earth, Hughie (the true hero of the show) seeks revenge. He meets a former CIA’s agent, Billy Butcher, who is also mad at the superheroes. With two other guys as crazy as skilled, Mother’s Milk and Frenchie, they’re going to create “The Boys”, sort of anti super heroes’ commando.

If The Boys is a success, it’s because of the experience of its two producders. Seth Rogen abd Evan Goldberg are coming from Judd Apatow’s group who deeply renewed American comedy (The 40 year-old virgin ; Knocked up…). Direction, scriptwriting, production (and also comedy for Rogen), they learn from Apatow as SuperGrave (2007) demonstrates, a crude and schoolboy film, which gave a taste a their future cinema. In This is the end (2013), they mix comedy and fantastic (and laugh at christians fundamentalists as in The Boys). Whereas The Interview reveals a quirky look at the news and a commitment by irony. Preacher, a show they wrote, unveils their attachment to pop culture, because it was adapted from a comics with the same name. A success that will encourage the duo to produce a new parodying sci-fi show: Future Man, that clearly opens the way for their new production.

The right combination of all these themes gives The Boys its funny but also scary and trash dimension. A post #metoo piece of work, which deals with sexual harassment at work, multinationals’ and marketing’s excess, and it also destroys the myth of the hero (an idea barely evoked by Marvel). Without sparing American imperialism in the footsteps of Watchmen (Netflix annunces a show). The Boys has a double positioning, both praising and criticizing pop culture.

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