Season Two of The Boys, released on Amazon Prime this year, showcases how superhero art can still be of high quality in a fatigued genre.
Although, similar to other high watermarks for this type of art such as Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, the best aspect of The Boys is that it’s much more than just a superhero show.
Instead of being a bland money-maker for Disney, this show functions as a great satire not just of the Marvel movies of the last decade, but of capitalism and American show business and culture as a whole.
While it’s not exactly subtle (there’s a Nazi superhero literally called Stormfront), the arcs taken by the character Homelander with the company Vought, this season showcased the link between the American hyper-capitalist right-wing and 1930’s fascism excellently.
It’s also a very funny show, which might be due to having Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg of Superbad fame as executive producers. More importantly, though, the writers and the mostly not unknown actors in the show sell the comedy brilliantly.
Ironically, the fact that you have to be an Amazon Prime subscriber to watch the show does lend itself to the satire. At a time, when Amazon attempts to win a military contract with the United States government and continues to exploit workers worldwide, it’s amazing the creators got this show on their platform.
More subtly this time, Amazon’s military aspirations through the JEDI program seems to be parodied by Vought’s attempts to profit from the United States military-industrial complex.
The ending, however, of the season does make you worry about the potential direction of the next season. If the show does make the character which seems to be based on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a villain, you hope it’s more subtle than the typical “both sides bad” South Park commentary.
Even if that happens though, the show is entertaining enough without being completely politically right. After all, we go to television first for entertainment and political ideology conforming to your own beliefs isn’t the main goal of art.
Nevertheless, the politics of the show is also one of the reasons the previous two seasons of the show were so interesting. Finding the balance in this is always important.
Overall, The Boys was one of the best seasons of television released this year.
Image Credit: IMDB