The Boys (2019 TV series)

The Boys
The Boys Title Card.png
Genre
Based on
Developed byEric Kripke
Starring
Composer(s)Christopher Lennertz
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes13 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Hartley Gorenstein
  • Gabriel Garcia
Production location(s)Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Cinematography
Editor(s)
  • David Trachtenberg
  • Nona Khodai
  • David Kaldor
  • Cedric Nairn-Smith
  • William W. Rubenstein
  • Jonathan Chibnall
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time55–68 minutes[1]
Production company(s)
DistributorAmazon Studios
Release
Original networkPrime Video
Picture format4K (UHDTV) HDR
Audio format5.1 Dolby Digital
Original releaseJuly 26, 2019 (2019-07-26) –
present (present)
External links
Website

The Boys is an American superhero web television series developed by Eric Kripke for Prime Video. Based on the comic book of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, it follows the eponymous team of vigilantes as they combat superpowered individuals who abuse their abilities.

The series premiered on July 26, 2019.[2] Ahead of the premiere, Amazon renewed The Boys for a second season, which premiered on September 4, 2020 and is running episodes weekly.[3][4] A third season has also been ordered.[5]

Premise

The Boys is set in a universe where superpowered individuals are recognized as heroes by the general public and work for the powerful corporation Vought International, which markets and monetizes them. Outside of their heroic personas, most are arrogant and corrupt. The series primarily focuses on two groups: the Seven, Vought International's premier superhero team, and the titular Boys, vigilantes looking to bring down Vought and the corrupt superheroes.

The Boys are led by Billy Butcher, who despises all superpowered people, and the Seven are led by the egotistical and psychotic Homelander. As a conflict ensues between the two groups, the series also follows the new members of each team: Hughie Campbell of the Boys, who joins the vigilantes after his girlfriend is killed by one of the Seven; and Annie January (whose superhero name is Starlight) of the Seven, a young and hopeful heroine forced to face the truth about the heroes she admires.

Cast and characters

Main

  • Karl Urban as Billy Butcher, the leader of the Boys and a former SAS operative who distrusts all individuals with superpowers. He has a particular hatred towards Homelander, who he believes is responsible for the disappearance of his wife.
  • Jack Quaid as Hughie Campbell, a civilian member of the Boys who joins the vigilantes after his girlfriend Robin is killed by A-Train.
  • Antony Starr as John / Homelander, the extremely powerful leader of the Seven. Beneath his public image as a noble hero, he is arrogant, sadistic, power-hungry, and cares little about the well-being of those he professes to protect.
  • Erin Moriarty as Annie January / Starlight, a light-emitting superhero and member of the Seven. One of the few superpowered individuals sincere in helping the public, Starlight questions her loyalty to the Seven after she learns of their true character, and becomes a double agent, loyal to The Boys, particularly Hughie, with whom she forms a romantic connection.
  • Dominique McElligott as Maggie Shaw / Queen Maeve,[6] a veteran member of the Seven with enhanced physical strength. Although she once wanted to protect innocent lives, she has become disillusioned and suffers from burnout and post-traumatic stress disorder. Secretly, she is still romantically attached to her ex-girlfriend, who acts as her confidant. Homelander outs her on network television, in an attempt to intimidate her.
  • Jessie T. Usher as Reggie Franklin / A-Train,[6] a speedster member of the Seven. He is determined to maintain his status as the fastest speedster, resulting in him becoming addicted to Compound-V. After a heart attack leaves him unable to maintain his speed, he is ousted from the Seven.
  • Laz Alonso as Marvin T. "Mother's" Milk (MM), second in command of the Boys responsible for organizing and planning the vigilantes' operations. He continually promises to leave the group for the safety of his family, in part due to his frequent clashes with Frenchie, but finds himself lured back by Butcher, his closest ally. He has a complicated, scarred past, which has led him to becoming obsessive-compulsive.
  • Chace Crawford as Kevin / The Deep, a member of the Seven who possesses the ability to communicate with aquatic life and breathe underwater. He is looked down upon by the other members of the Seven due to his status as the group's token aquatic hero. Motivated by his feelings of inferiority, he rapes[7] Starlight, which she exposes publicly, leading him to be ousted from the Seven for the sake of public relations. After being reassigned to Sandusky, he joins "The Church of the Collective" in hopes of rejoining the Seven and rehabilitating his image. Patton Oswalt voices Deep's gills.
  • Tomer Capon as Serge / Frenchie,[6] a member of the Boys and international arms trafficker skilled in munitions, ordinance, infiltration, and communications. Frenchie has a tendency to not follow the team's plans, which puts him in repeated conflicts with Mother's Milk. He has a strong emotional connection to Kimiko, and breaks rank to rescue her, facilitating her membership into The Boys.
  • Karen Fukuhara as Kimiko Miyashiro / The Female,[6] a mute, feral member of the Boys with enhanced strength and regenerative healing. Involuntarily injected with Compound-V as part of a scheme to create superpowered terrorists, she joins the Boys after they rescue her. When her brother, also injected with Compound-V, arrives in America, she disobeys Butcher's orders to kill him and instead attempts to convince him to join her.
  • Nathan Mitchell as Black Noir, a silent member of the Seven who possesses superhuman strength and agility and conceals his physical appearance behind a dark costume.
  • Elisabeth Shue as Madelyn Stillwell (season 1; guest season 2), the charismatic, scheming vice president of hero management at Vought International.
  • Colby Minifie as Ashley Barrett (season 2; recurring season 1), a publicist for Vought International and later the company's vice president.
  • Aya Cash as Stormfront / Liberty (season 2), a social media influencer and member of The Seven with electrokinetic abilities. While she publicly presents herself as supporting gender equality, Stormfront is also secretly a white supremacist who enjoys murdering people of color. Her popularity with the American public threatens Homelander's sense of superiority, which leads them into repeated conflicts.

Recurring

  • Simon Pegg as Hugh Campbell Sr. (season 1),[8] Hughie's father. He cares deeply for his son, but does not believe Hughie has the confidence to stand up for himself. Pegg was the visual inspiration for Wee Hughie in the comic book series from which the series is drawn.[9]
  • Jennifer Esposito as Susan Raynor (season 1; guest season 2), the deputy director of the CIA.
  • Shaun Benson as Ezekiel (season 1), a homophobic Christian superhuman with elastic powers who is secretly gay himself and leads an evangelical campaign called "Capes for Christ", which held events that Starlight attended as a teenager.
  • Christian Keyes as Nathan Franklin (season 1), A-Train's older brother and trainer.
  • Brittany Allen as Charlotte / Popclaw (season 1), an actress and superhero in a secret relationship with A-Train.
  • Jordana Lajoie as Cherie, Frenchie's girlfriend and a weapons specialist.
  • Shantel VanSanten as Becca Butcher, Butcher's wife who went missing eight years prior to the events of the show, and is being held prisoner by Vaught in a high-security compound, built to resemble an ordinary American town.
  • Nicola Correia-Damude as Elena, Queen Maeve's ex-girlfriend.
  • Giancarlo Esposito as Stan Edgar (season 2; guest season 1), the CEO of Vought International and Stillwell's superior.
  • Parker Corno (season 1) and Cameron Crovetti (season 2) as Ryan Butcher, Becca and Homelander's son. Becca attempts to raise him as a normal boy, but his superpowers arise when he gets angry after Homelander throws him off the roof of their house.
  • Laila Robins as Colonel Grace Mallory, the former deputy director of the CIA, informal founder of the Boys, and Butcher's mentor.
  • Mishka Thébaud as Shockwave, another speedster, who participates in a race against A-Train, so that he could take his title as fastest and his position in the Seven. Even though he loses the race, later, when A-Train is removed from the Seven due to complications from his heart attack, he replaces him anyway.
  • Jessica Hecht as Carol (season 2), Eagle the Archer's "teacher" and therapist who recruited him into the Church of the Collective and works on indoctrinating the Deep.
  • Ann Cusack as Donna January, Starlight's mother. She groomed Annie to be a superhero since childhood out of a vicarious Princess-by-Proxy mentality.
  • Malcolm Barrett as Seth Reed (season 1; guest season 2), a Vought Public Relations writer.

Guest

Introduced in season 1

  • Alex Hassell as Translucent (season 1), a member of the Seven who can turn invisible by changing his skin into a diamond-hard carbon meta-material that warps light around him.
  • David Reale as Evan Lambert, a Vought Public Relations writer alongside Seth.
  • Jess Salgueiro as Robin Ward (season 1), Hughie's girlfriend who was killed by A-Train in a high-velocity impact in the pilot episode. She periodically makes appearances as a hallucination seen by Hughie due to a combination of PTSD and survivor guilt.
  • Dan Darin-Zanco as Doppelganger (seasons 1–2), a shapeshifting Supe that works for Vought and was used by Stillwell to blackmail Senator Calhoun to allow Supes to enlist in the military. After Stillwell's death, he is held prisoner by Homelander, who forces him to shapeshift into Stillwell's image so Homelander can roleplay his sexual fantasies.
  • John Doman as Jonah Vogelbaum (season 1), the Vought scientist who created and raised Homelander in a sterile laboratory.
  • Haley Joel Osment as Charles / Mesmer (season 1), an ex-superhero and former child-star who can read minds via skin-to-skin contact.
  • Jim Beaver as Robert Singer, the US Secretary of Defense. Beaver's name is a reference to his character Bobby Singer on the Kripke-created series Supernatural.
  • Alvina August as Monique (season 1), Mother's Milk's wife and mother of their daughter, Janine.
  • Nalini Ingrita as Janine (season 1), the daughter of Mother's Milk and Monique.
  • Brit Morgan as Rachel (season 1), Becca's sister and Butcher's sister-in-law.
  • Jackie Tohn as Courtenay (season 1), a Vought production assistant.
  • Débora Demestre as Isadora (season 1), Vought's suit designer.
  • Brendan Beiser as Jeff (season 1), a Vought operative who oversees Deep's sabbatical in Sandusky.
  • Krishan Dutt (season 1) and Samer Salem (season 2) as Naqib, an Arab super-terrorist with explosive-based powers, akin to suicide bombing.

Jimmy Fallon, Mike Massaro, Billy Zane, Seth Rogen, and Tara Reid appear as themselves.

Introduced in season 2

  • Claudia Doumit as Senator Victoria Neuman, a young congresswoman.[10]
  • Langston Kerman as Eagle the Archer, an archery-themed superhero operating out of Cleveland who bails the Deep out of jail and introduces him to the Church of the Collective.
  • David Thompson as Gecko, a former superhero with regenerative abilities and technician at Vought who profits off his powers, allowing people to chop off parts of his body for money.
  • Chris Mark as Blindspot, a blind superhero with super hearing who tried to join the Seven before having his eardrums burst by Homelander, making him deaf as well.
  • P. J. Byrne as Adam Bourke, a film director helming a movie starring the Seven.
  • Katy Breier as Cassandra, a member of the Church of the Collective who marries The Deep.
  • Adrian Holmes as Dr. Park, the head of the compound that Becca is being held prisoner in.
  • Abraham Lim as Kenji Miyashiro / The Male, Kimiko's younger brother who possesses telekinetic abilities.
  • Goran Višnjić as Alistair Adana, the charismatic and shadowy leader of the Church of the Collective.[10]
  • Shawn Ashmore as The Lamplighter, a former member of the Seven. In episode 5, he is credited as Man in Scrubs.
  • Barbara Gordon as Judy Atkinson, Butcher's aunt, who takes care of his dog, Terror.

Seth Rogen, Chris Hansen, Maria Menounos, Nancy O'Dell and Katie Couric appear as themselves. Greg Grunberg appears as an actor in a film starring the Seven.

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast released
18July 26, 2019 (2019-07-26)
28[11]September 4, 2020 (2020-09-04)October 9, 2020 (2020-10-09)[4]
Short film[12]September 10, 2020 (2020-09-10)

Season 1 (2019)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"The Name of the Game"Dan TrachtenbergEric KripkeJuly 26, 2019 (2019-07-26)
Hughie Campbell suffers mental trauma after his girlfriend Robin is killed in a high-velocity impact with celebrity superhero A-Train. Lawyers offer a $45,000 settlement, which Hughie hesitates to accept. Aspiring superhero Annie January auditions as "Starlight" and is accepted to join the superhero group The Seven, following the Lamplighter's retirement. Arriving at Seven headquarters, she is greeted by the Deep, who blackmails her into performing oral sex on him.[7] Vigilante Billy Butcher offers Hughie a chance to expose superhero corruption, taking him to a secret "Supes Club" to show him security footage of A-Train laughing about Robin's death. Butcher asks Hughie to take the settlement money and to secretly place a bug at Seven Tower, but Hughie initially refuses. In Central Park, Annie meets Hughie by happenstance and they motivate each other to stand up for themselves and face their challenges. Hughie plants the bug, but Translucent discovers it and confronts Hughie alone at his place of work at an electronics store. Butcher arrives and helps Hughie incapacitate Translucent by using an electrical wire on his carbon skin. Elsewhere, Homelander destroys the Mayor of Baltimore's plane while in flight, killing all passengers including the mayor's son, in response to the Mayor's attempt to blackmail Vought about Compound V.
22"Cherry"Matt ShakmanEric KripkeJuly 26, 2019 (2019-07-26)
Butcher and Hughie take Translucent to Frenchie, who makes a meta-bullet to pierce the hero's diamond-hard skin, but it fails to kill him. Butcher turns to CIA Dept. Director Susan Raynor for the "Mallory files", but she refuses. Vought VP Madelyn Stillwell tells Homelander about the evidence Deep found, incriminating him for the plane crash, so she handles it while he talks to Deep. The night Starlight teams-up with the Deep, she promises to kill him if he ever tries to sexually assault her again. Stillwell blackmails Oklahoma Senator Calhoun into allowing a vote that could enable Vought to contract superheros to the military upon enlisting the shapeshifting Supe Doppelganger. Annie stops a rape, unaware she is being recorded. Her agent, Ashley, rages at her because of the negative exposure and legal implications. While Homelander searches for Translucent, Frenchie decides to place C-4 explosives in Translucent's colon, who then fearfully reveals A-Train was with his girlfriend Popclaw before he killed Robin. The Boys learn Homelander is nearby, so they cannot risk killing Translucent with an explosion. Frenchie and Butcher create a distraction elsewhere with another explosion. Translucent escapes and convinces Hughie to let him go, but Hughie changes his mind and detonates the explosives, killing Translucent.
33"Get Some"Philip SgricciaGeorge MastrasJuly 26, 2019 (2019-07-26)
As Frenchie and Butcher clean up Translucent's remains, Hughie leaves his home after finally telling his father how he truly feels. Starlight gains positive publicity for stopping the rape. She subsequently learns Stillwell wants her to wear a revealing costume. She declines, but Stillwell forces her to wear it or lose her job. Butcher brings in his former friend, Mother's Milk, to run surveillance on Popclaw. Hughie installs spyware on her computer, and they learn that A-Train takes a performance-enhancing substance known as Compound V. Butcher wants to expose them before supers can be allowed into the United States Armed Forces, but he needs a vial of Compound V from A-Train's upcoming race with another speedster, Shockwave. Beforehand, Hughie meets Annie as Starlight, inviting her to lunch. The two open up to each other, and they exchange phone numbers. A-Train uses a vial of Compound V to win the race. He publicly announces he is single, breaking his promise to Popclaw. With MM deducing Popclaw swiped some vials, they find her heartbroken, high, and in the midst of killing her landlord during hypercharged sex. Butcher uses this opportunity to blackmail Popclaw as an informant. At Vought headquarters, Homelander reveals Translucent's remains to Stillwell along with Butcher's message "Coming for you."
44"The Female of the Species"Frederick E.O. ToyeCraig RosenbergJuly 26, 2019 (2019-07-26)
Following Popclaw's tip, the Boys find a Triad hideout which holds an imprisoned Japanese woman called the Female; whom Frenchie frees. After she kills her guards and runs off, MM finds evidence the Female was a test subject. When Hughie meets Starlight while bowling, Butcher has him bug her phone. With the Compound-V supply compromised, A-Train has Popclaw go into hiding while he searches for the Female. Stillwell sends Homelander and Queen Maeve to save the hijacked airliner Flight 37. When the rescue plan fails due to him accidentally destroying the controls, Homelander unapologetically abandons the plane and its passengers, forcing Maeve to abandon them and leave with him. The Female then visits a nail salon and kills a woman associated with her captors. Frenchie finds evidence leading to Penn Station. He makes a momentary connection with the Female but loses her in the crowd. They corner her on the tracks, where A-Train arrives and tries to kill her. Frenchie attracts a crowd to distract A-Train, allowing the Female to escape. The Boys corner her again, and Frenchie tries talking to her. She attacks them, so Butcher uses knockout gas. Stillwell is pleased to see Homelander use the tragedy to push for militarized supers, rousing the crowd with a heartfelt speech while Maeve grieves for those she allowed to die.
55"Good for the Soul"Stefan SchwartzAnne Cofell SaundersJuly 26, 2019 (2019-07-26)
At the "Believe Expo", Starlight talks with some teens while being quietly directed to push the Vought agenda while Butcher has Hughie meet Ezekiel, the Expo host and their next lead. Maeve feels guilty for letting Flight 37 crash and visits her former romantic partner Elena, but leaves before explaining herself fully. Butcher takes time to talk with Rachel, his sister-in-law, over putting a tombstone to Becca. A-Train kills Popclaw for betraying him and finds surveillance footage of Frenchie. After Homelander exits a meeting with Ezekiel, Hughie extorts the latter for information about Compound-V. Homelander rallies the crowd with an impromptu hardline speech. Starlight breaks script to speak candidly on Christianity, her sexual assault, and the compromises she made for her corporate employer. Hughie later comforts her and sympathizes with her plight by telling her about Robin's death. Butcher and MM discover that Vought is using Compound-V on infants in order to manufacture supers where they use one with laser eyes on some guards. Frenchie discovers Black Noir is looking for him. Attempting to escape, he is told to leave the Female behind, but releases her out of sympathy. She seemingly dies protecting him from Black Noir, but then awakens and her wounds immediately heal.
66"The Innocents"Jennifer PhangRebecca SonnenshineJuly 26, 2019 (2019-07-26)
Now informed, the Boys know Vought has used super charities to smuggle Compound-V disguised as vaccines and make super-babies since 1971. Annie learns that Ashley was fired, and Stillwell demands she comply with her designed image. Annie refuses, remarking that firing her after reporting a sexual assault would hurt Vought. Aware it was Deep, Stillwell has him apologize publicly and transfers him to Sandusky, Ohio, for a sabbatical. Butcher brings Hughie to a collateral damage survivors support group, but leaves after yelling at them for doing nothing to get justice. Alone, Butcher explains to Hughie that Homelander raped his wife, who went missing shortly afterward. Frenchie and MM get help from Mesmer, a telepath, to see into the Female's mind, learning her name is Kimiko and that she was kidnapped by the Shining Light Liberation Army terrorist group. They also learn that Vought is making Compound-V boosted terrorists to push their agenda to militarize supers. Butcher tells Raynor, but when she refuses to target Homelander, he calls off the deal. After calling child services to have them watch over his daughter, Mesmer gives Homelander surveillance photos of the Boys. Hughie and Annie share a kiss, but Butcher finds out, warning him not to fraternize with the enemy and threatens to tell her about Translucent.
77"The Self-Preservation Society"Dan AttiasCraig Rosenberg & Ellie MonahanJuly 26, 2019 (2019-07-26)
Hughie and Annie book a hotel room, where they have sex and he agrees to introduce her to his father. Deep finds his transfer to Sandusky, Ohio dull after Vought's representative Jeff. He brings a fan to his apartment, but she puts her hands in his gills while developing a fetish for them. Homelander holds a meeting to discuss Hughie killing Translucent, extorting Ezekiel, and A-Train killing Robin. He angrily accuses Starlight of co-conspiracy, but Maeve defends her. When A-Train calls Hughie, claiming he is holding his dad hostage, the Boys realize Mesmer betrayed them; an enraged Butcher later murders Mesmer at the terminal. Hughie obtains some Compound-V to distract A-Train and allow Kimiko to cripple him. Homelander asks Vought scientist Dr. Jonah Vogelbaum about Becca Butcher, who informs him she was pregnant with his child, but both died and Vought covered it up. Questioning the revelation's timing, Vogelbaum expresses regret raising him in a lab, calling Homelander his "greatest failure". Butcher asks Raynor to protect Hughie's and MM's families in exchange for evidence. As Raynor charges Stillwell and Vought, she learns of the superhuman terrorist "Naqib". Annie confronts Hughie, who explains Vought's use of Compound-V before Butcher arrives to exfil him and shoots her.
88"You Found Me"Eric KripkeAnne Cofell Saunders & Rebecca SonnenshineJuly 26, 2019 (2019-07-26)
The Pentagon classifies Compound-V as a controlled substance and lists the Boys as fugitives while Annie confronts her mother. Deep is told by Jeff that Stillwell has denied his return to the Seven, causing him to suffer an emotional breakdown. Angry at being racially profiled while out of costume, an injured A-Train rebounds to Compound-V. Butcher takes Hughie to Mallory, who refuses participation, but informs them about Stillwell and warns Hughie about Butcher's craving for vengeance. Hughie leaves to ask for Annie's help, but she refuses out of distrust. Maeve opens up and asks Starlight to be herself again. Homelander privately confesses to Stillwell that he secretly made the super-terrorists and they have sex. At a black site, Hughie helps Frenchie and MM free Kimiko. Starlight rescues them and when A-Train arrives, she and Hughie fight him until the speedster suffers a heart attack. Hughie applies CPR, but Starlight takes over so he can escape. Butcher takes Stillwell hostage and fits her with explosives to bait Homelander. After revealing he tortured Vogelbaum for the truth about Becca, Homelander kills Stillwell himself, saves Butcher from his suicidal explosion, and shows him where Becca has been secretly raising Homelander's son, stunning both Butcher and Becca as Homelander meets his son.

Season 2 (2020)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title [13][a]Directed byWritten by [13]Original release date
91"The Big Ride"Phil SgricciaEric KripkeSeptember 4, 2020 (2020-09-04)
The Boys become wanted fugitives, with Butcher framed for Stillwell's murder. In hiding together, Hughie, MM, Frenchie, and Kimiko learn that a superpowered terrorist with telekinetic abilities is on the loose. They attempt to inform Raynor, but she is killed by an unknown assassin. Against Hughie's wishes, Frenchie contacts Butcher to again lead the Boys in facing the new threats. Hughie and Starlight extort Vought test subject Gecko into stealing a Compound-V sample. Homelander's power over Vought is challenged when CEO Stan Edgar has superhero Stormfront join the Seven without his approval. When Homelander fails to intimidate Edgar, he returns to Becca's house to see Ryan. The Deep joins the Church of the Collective in an attempt to regain favor with the Seven.
102"Proper Preparation and Planning"Liz FriedlanderRebecca SonnenshineSeptember 4, 2020 (2020-09-04)
Butcher, who woke up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, arranges a deal with Mallory to capture the superpowered terrorist in exchange for Mallory finding Becca's location. The superpowered terrorist is revealed to be Kimiko's younger brother Kenji, whom the Boys manage to subdue. A-Train threatens to expose Starlight's involvement with the Boys when he awakens from his coma, but Starlight keeps him quiet with the knowledge that he murdered Popclaw. Becca is revealed to be living a secluded facility with her son, which Homelander forces himself into to become a father figure for Ryan and teach him about his powers. Drugged by the Church of the Collective, the Deep hallucinates his gills encouraging him to value himself. Maeve reveals her fear that Homelander will kill Elena if he becomes aware of their relationship.
113"Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men"Steve BoyumCraig RosenbergSeptember 4, 2020 (2020-09-04)
Homelander pushes Ryan into using his powers, which culminates in Ryan attacking Homelander to protect Becca. Using the sample she acquired from Gecko, Starlight secretly leaks the knowledge that Compound-V is responsible for giving superheroes their powers. Frenchie learns from Kenji that Kimiko's sign language was what they invented when they were young. Edgar responds by sending the Seven after Kenji when he is spotted by the police. The Deep assists them upon being dispatched by Carol on Alistair Adana's behalf. The Boys attempt to bring Kenji to a CIA safehouse, but the arrival of the Seven results in Kenji escaping. Disobeying Homelander's orders, Stormfront kills Kenji, calling him a "yellow bastard" while doing so, slaughtering 51 civilians in her pursuit, framing Kenji for their deaths. Edgar uses the destruction to argue that superheroes are necessary to prevent such incidents, while casting Compound-V as the work of rogue scientists led by Stillwell. Stormfront's actions earn her the ire of Kimiko and Homelander.
124"Nothing Like It in the World"Fred ToyeMichael SaltzmanSeptember 11, 2020 (2020-09-11)
Mallory provides Butcher with information on a superhero known as Liberty and Becca's location. Butcher infiltrates the facility, but Becca refuses to leave because Butcher will not accept Ryan. Black Noir discovers Butcher's infiltration. Threatened by Homelander, Starlight joins Hughie and MM in investigating Liberty. The three learn that Liberty is Stormfront, who committed a racially-charged murder in the 1970s. Starlight leaves Hughie, fearing that they are becoming comfortable with the danger surrounding them. Growing more unstable from Stormfront usurping his popularity, Homelander puts A-Train on medical leave from the Seven, outs Maeve on live television during an interview with Maria Menounos, and kills Doppelganger when he tries to seduce him using Homelander's own face instead of Stillwell's (per their arrangement). Meanwhile, the Church of the Collective enters the Deep into an arranged marriage.
135"We Gotta Go Now"TBAEllie MonahanSeptember 18, 2020 (2020-09-18)
TBATBA"The Bloody Doors Off"TBAAnslem RichardsonTBA
TBATBA"Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker"TBACraig RosenbergTBA
TBATBA"What I Know"TBARebecca SonnenshineTBA
  1. ^ Future episodes are currently ordered based on the "credit date" on the Writers Guild of America West website.

Short film (2020)[edit]

TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
"Butcher: A Short Film"[14]Liz Friedlander[12]Rebecca Sonnenshine[12]September 10, 2020 (2020-09-10)[14]
On the run after being framed for Stillwell's murder, Butcher seeks help from his old friend Jock.

Production

Development

Between 2008 and 2016, a film adaptation of The Boys had been in various stages of development at both Columbia Pictures and Paramount Pictures.[15]

On April 6, 2016, it was announced that Cinemax was developing a television series adaptation of the comic book. The production was being developed by Eric Kripke, Evan Goldberg, and Seth Rogen. Kripke was set to write the series while Goldberg and Rogen were set to direct. Executive producers were reported to include Kripke, Goldberg, Rogen, Neal H. Moritz, Pavun Shetty, Ori Marmur, James Weaver, Ken Levin, and Jason Netter. Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson were set as co-executive producers. Production companies involved with the series included Point Grey Pictures, Original Film, and Sony Pictures Television.[15]

On November 8, 2017, it was announced that Amazon Video had given the production a series order for a first season consisting of eight episodes. The series had reportedly been in development at Amazon for a number of months preceding the series order announcement. It was also reported that the previously announced creative team was still attached to the series.[16][17][18]

Kripke wanted to retain a sense of reality to the show, and to keep the writers disciplined decided "Anything that comes out of this drug is viable, and anything that doesn't we're not allowed to do". He did not want to fall into the overused convention of killing off female characters to motivate the heroes and also saw an opportunity to surprise readers of the comics by changing the story of Butcher's wife Becky.[19]

On April 30, 2018, it was announced that Dan Trachtenberg would direct the series' first episode. He replaces Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg who dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.[20]

Ahead of the series premiere, on July 19, 2019, it was announced that Amazon Video had renewed the series for a second season.[3] The eight scripts for the second season were completed by November 2019.[13]

Ahead of the second season premiere, on July 23, 2020, Amazon renewed the series for a third season at the aftershow hosted by Aisha Tyler for San Diego Comic-Con@Home.[5]

Casting

Filming of the series at Pecaut Square in Toronto

On December 18, 2017, it was announced that Erin Moriarty has been cast in the lead role of Annie January/Starlight.[21] On January 17, 2018, it was reported that Antony Starr, Dominique McElligott, Chace Crawford, Jessie Usher, and Nathan Mitchell had joined the main cast.[22] In March 2018, it was announced that Laz Alonso, Jack Quaid, and Karen Fukuhara had been cast in series regular roles.[23][24][25] On April 5, 2018, it was reported that Karl Urban had been cast in the series' lead role of Billy Butcher.[26] On May 16, 2018, it was announced that Elisabeth Shue had been cast in the series regular role of Madelyn Stillwell.[27] On June 25, 2018, it was reported that Tomer Kapon had joined the main cast in the role of Frenchie.[28] On August 30, 2018, it was announced that Jennifer Esposito had been cast in the recurring role of CIA Agent Susan Raynor.[29] On October 5, 2018, it was announced during the annual New York Comic Con that Simon Pegg had been cast in the role of Hughie's father.[30] According to the artist Robertson, Hughie was drawn in the comics to resemble Pegg after he saw Pegg in the sitcom Spaced, but Pegg thought he was too old to play the role of Hughie in the TV series.[31]

On September 5, 2019, Goran Višnjić and Claudia Doumit were cast in recurring roles for the second season.[10] A month later, Patton Oswalt was announced in an unspecified role.[32] Aya Cash was confirmed to be portraying superheroine Stormfront in March 2020 following contract negotiations that began when the second season was announced.[3][33] On August 10, 2020, it was reported that Shawn Ashmore was cast as Lamplighter for the second season.[34] A week later, Jensen Ackles joined the cast for the third season as Soldier Boy.[35]

Filming

Principal photography for the first season began on May 22, 2018, in Toronto, and was scheduled to last until September 25, 2018.[16][20][36] Principal photography for the second season took place from June 17 to November 13, 2019, in Toronto.[37] Filming for the third season is scheduled to begin in 2021.[38]

Music

The score for The Boys was composed by Christopher Lennertz.[39]

All music is composed by Christopher Lennertz.

No.TitleLength
1."Translucent Alive"1:15
2."Truck Robbery"1:34
3."Butcher"2:39
4."Starlight"1:17
5."On the Trail"0:55
6."Homelander and Stillwell"2:16
7."Race of the Century"1:04
8."Boys Arrive"1:19
9."Hughie Stalls Starlight"1:23
10."Maeve Spars"0:37
11."Start the Race"2:00
12."Popclaw Climaxes"0:56
13."Hijacking"2:45
14."Kidnapping Translucent"1:10
15."Ass Bomb"2:42
16."Translucent Explodes"4:06
17."Hughie Trashes Room"1:29
18."Translucent Visits Hughie"1:13
19."Planting Bug Plan"0:51
20."Dock Patrol"1:50
21."I'm the Hero"3:15
22."Vought"1:14
23."Starlight Teams Up"0:43
24."Frenchie's First Kill"1:35
25."Homelander's Speech"1:42
26."Butcher's Pep Talk"2:28
27."Rescue the Female"1:35
28."Frenchie Lost Female"1:46
29."Dead Shooter"0:57
30."Hospital Shootout"1:12
31."Graveside Sledgehammer"2:24
32."Maeve's Girlfriend"1:57
33."NICU"0:51
34."Tent Confrontation"1:22
35."Starlight's Speech"2:13
36."Come In"1:50
37."Black Knight Not"1:07
38."Kimiko's Backstory"1:20
39."Subway Chase"1:01
40."Mesmer and Homelander"1:36
41."The Mesmerizer"0:30
42."Butcher Tells Hughie"1:53
43."Hughie Kisses Starlight"1:03
44."Robin's Memory"2:02
45."SBS"2:09
46."Always a Choice"2:39
47."Supe Terrorist"1:36
48."A-Train Shows Up"1:34
49."Shoot Out"2:49
50."I Got Teddy"2:40

Release

Promotional poster depicting the members of the Boys, based on the cover for The Boys Volume 1

On September 26, 2018, the official poster for the series was released.[40] On October 5, 2018, in tandem with the series' panel at the annual New York Comic Con, a teaser trailer for the series was released.[41] On January 24, 2019, another teaser trailer was released via Seth Rogen's official Twitter account.[42] The series premiered on July 26, 2019, after another teaser was released.[2] On July 22, Slipknot released a new single called "Solway Firth" with an accompanying music video which featured clips and audio from the show.[43][44] On June 26, 2020, it was announced that season two will debut on September 4, 2020, with the first 3 episodes available and the rest debuting on a weekly basis.[4] The second season's official trailer was released on August 4, 2020.[45]

A companion short film titled "Butcher" was released on September 10, 2020.[12][14]

Reception

Critical response

Season 1

On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds an approval rating of 84% based on 101 reviews, with an average rating of 7.65/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Though viewers' mileage may vary, The Boys' violent delights and willingness to engage in heavy, relevant themes are sure to please those looking for a new group of antiheroes to root for."[46] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 74 out of 100, based on reviews from 19 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[47]

Christopher Lawrence of the Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote: "Irreverent, deliciously cynical, The Boys follows the greed and corruption behind the superhero industrial complex."[48] Matthew Gilbert of Boston Globe wrote: "The cast is fine, particularly Shue, who is icily effective; Quaid, whose neurotic but brave fumblings are endearing; and Urban, who is Hughie's gonzo guide."[49] Kristy Puchko at IGN gives the first episode a score of 7.2/10 and appreciates how the story comes from the comics but with clever changes. Puchko praises the cast, particularly "Moriarty brings a nuance to her performance that refuses to let Starlight feel like a two-dimensional damsel. She's not naïve. She's hopeful. And she's a fighter. The Boys makes all of that clear in short order." She concludes "The Boys could still be a thrilling ride as it subverts the expectations of the family-friendly genre, with dark twists and unapologetically graphic scenes of sex and violence. The premiere ep has a lot of heavy lifting to do in exposition, yet Kripke works in some stunner moments, jolts of fun, and stellar action sequences."[50] Liz Shannon Miller of AV Club wrote: "Karl Urban proves to be a thoroughly committed performer as Billy Butcher, whose dedication to taking down "supes" of course has a personal edge, but then again, when you see what men like the blatantly fake and evil Homelander (Antony Starr) are getting up to it makes sense that he's devoted his life to taking down the cause."[51]

Season 2

On Rotten Tomatoes, the second season holds an approval rating of 98% based on 80 reviews, with an average rating of 8.11/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Boys comes out swinging in a superb second season that digs deeper into its complicated characters and ups the action ante without pulling any of its socially critical punches."[52] On Metacritic, the season has a weighted average score of 81 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[53] On Amazon the series saw initial review bombing with 49% of 1400 reviews left by September 6, 2020 providing a one star rating, most of which praised the available episodes while voicing criticism of the season's staggered release schedule.[54]

Eric Deggans of NPR described the second season as "a wonderfully subversive, cynically entertaining piece of work".[55]

Audience viewership

In October 2019, Nielsen announced it had begun tracking viewership of Amazon Prime programs. It said The Boys had attracted 8 million total viewers in its first 10 days of release, making it one of the most successful original programs on Amazon Prime.[56]

References

  1. ^ "The Boys". Amazon. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Petski, Denise (April 17, 2019). "'The Boys' Trailer: First Look At Amazon's Superhero Drama Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Petski, Denise (July 19, 2019). "'The Boys' Renewed For Season 2 By Amazon; Aya Cash Closes Deal As Stormfront". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Gelman, Vlada (June 26, 2020). "The Boys Gets Season 2 Premiere Date". TVLine. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  5. ^ a b White, Peter (July 23, 2020). "'The Boys' Renewed At Amazon For Season 3, Streamer Sets Aisha Tyler-Hosted Aftershow – Comic-Con@Home". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d "Watch The Boys - Season 2". Prime Video. Archived from the original on September 6, 2020. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  7. ^ a b Herviou, Nicole (July 23, 2019). "The Complicated Role of Sexual Violence in THE BOYS". ComicsVerse. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  8. ^ Radish, Christina (March 17, 2020). "Simon Pegg on New Indie 'Lost Transmissions', Plus 'Star Trek' & 'Mission: Impossible' Futures". Collider.com. Retrieved May 28, 2020. Are you a part of Season 2 of The Boys, at all? PEGG: No. They got me out of the way. I did my little bit. It was very fun to do that show. I was pleased to be a part of it.
  9. ^ Johnston, Rich. "Simon Pegg, The Inspiration For Wee Hughie in The Boys, Will Play His Father". BleedingCool.com. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  10. ^ a b c Petski, Denise (September 5, 2019). "'The Boys': 'Timeless' Alums Goran Visnjic & Claudia Doumit To Recur On Season 2 Of Amazon Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  11. ^ "Shows A-Z - boys, the on amazon". The Futon Critic. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  12. ^ a b c d Weintraub, Steve "Frosty" (July 7, 2020). "Exclusive: Eric Kripke on 'The Boys' Season 2, Giancarlo Esposito's Role, and a Billy Butcher Short Film". Collider. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  13. ^ a b c "The Boys". Writers Guild of America West. Retrieved February 17, 2020. Episodes with a credit date in 2019.
  14. ^ a b c @TheBoysTV (September 10, 2020). "Wondering what Butcher's been up to? Check out "BUTCHER: A Short Film" while you wait for tomorrow's new episode 👀" (Tweet). Retrieved September 12, 2020 – via Twitter.
  15. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (April 6, 2016). "'The Boys' Drama Based On Comic Book Set At Cinemax With Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Eric Kripke, Original Film & Sony". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  16. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (November 8, 2017). "Amazon Orders 'The Boys' Superhero Drama Series Based On Comic From Eric Kripke, Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  17. ^ Turchiano, Danielle (November 8, 2017). "Amazon Greenlights Eric Kripke's Superhero Drama 'The Boys'". Variety. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
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  19. ^ Romano, Nick. "'The Boys' showrunner unpacks THAT cliffhanger, surprise cameos, and season 2 plans". Entertainment Weekly. Kripke wanted to also avoid 'fridging,' which sees women being killed off as motivation for male heroes.
  20. ^ a b Petski, Denise (April 30, 2018). "'The Boys': Dan Trachtenberg To Direct First Episode Of Superhero Drama Series For Amazon". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  21. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (December 18, 2017). "'The Boys': Erin Moriarty Cast In Amazon's Superhero Drama Series Based On Comic Book". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  22. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 17, 2018). "'The Boys': Antony Starr, Chace Crawford, Dominique McElligott & Jessie Usher Cast In Amazon's Superhero Drama Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  23. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 6, 2018). "'The Boys': Laz Alonso To Co-Star In Amazon Superhero Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  24. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 6, 2018). "'The Boys': Jack Quaid To Star In Amazon Superhero Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  25. ^ Petski, Denise (March 21, 2018). "'The Boys': 'Suicide Squad's Karen Fukuhara Cast In Amazon's Superhero Drama Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  26. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (April 5, 2018). "'The Boys': Karl Urban To Play Lead Billy Butcher In Amazon's Superhero Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
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  30. ^ Patten, Dominic (October 5, 2018). "Simon Pegg Joins Amazon's 'The Boys'; Makes Surprise On-Stage Appearance – New York Comic Con". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  31. ^ Longridge, Chris (July 26, 2019). "Why *that* cameo in Amazon's The Boys is more significant than it looks". Digital Spy.
  32. ^ Yang, Rachel (October 18, 2019). "Patton Oswalt joins Amazon's The Boys season 2 in secret role". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  33. ^ Romano, Nick (March 9, 2020). "Stormfront strikes The Boys in exclusive season 2 first look". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
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  35. ^ Webb Mitovich, Matt (August 17, 2020). "Jensen Ackles Joins The Boys Season 3 as 'The Original Superhero'". TVLine. United States: Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on August 17, 2020. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  36. ^ "In Production: Toronto and Ontario". What's Filming?. Archived from the original on July 17, 2018. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
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  38. ^ "Current Productions". IATSE 873. Archived from the original on August 7, 2020. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
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  43. ^ "Watch Slipknot Debut A Heavy-Metal Anthem For Amazon's 'The Boys'". UPROXX. July 22, 2019. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  44. ^ Slipknot - Solway Firth [OFFICIAL VIDEO]. Retrieved September 29, 2019 – via YouTube.
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  48. ^ Lawrence, Christopher (July 24, 2019). "New series 'The Boys,' 'Pennyworth' showcase comic books' versatility". Las Vegas Review-Journal.
  49. ^ Gilbert, Matthew (July 24, 2019). "In 'The Boys,' there's no saving these narcissistic superheroes". BostonGlobe.com.
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External links

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