Some television shows are hidden gems and The Boys belongs to that lesser-known yet completely fabulous genre. Based on a comic created by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, the show is based on superheroes but that shouldn’t daunt those who don’t follow DC or Marvel. One doesn’t need to be a nerd to follow The Boys, which is basically a satire on the lives of superheroes.
It takes it a notch further by showcasing that there are millions of superheroes and a whole industry exists which propels superheroes to success and helps in image management and brand-building through endorsements, public appearances, movies, shows, books etc. Superheroes are shown living their best lives. What’s not to like? It goes a notch further by showcasing a corporation called Vought International that does all the leg work for them, however only the best are chosen to form an elite group called The Seven—Homelander, The Deep, Translucent, A Train, Starlight, Black Noir, Queen Maeve—who protect the world against crimes and accidents. Of course, not everyone becomes a star, there are failed superheroes as well who live hermit’s life and only emerge to sign autographs.
In this alternate universe, mothers dream for their children to be superheroes and train them to tune into police radios or lift weight or eat like superheroes would need. However, power often breeds corruption and The Seven are no different. A group of vigilantes called The Boys, who are led by Billy Butcher (Karl Urban), step up to fight and bring out the corruption that The Seven has been spreading. The eight episodes show how the so-called superheroes are lonely and desperate.
The fame has gotten the better of them so they resort to drugs, sexual abuse, perversion and apathy. The leader of the group—Homelander, who looks like a Captain America clone—lets an airplane crash and spins the story to emerge as a saviour. The dark side of the glamourous champions are shown to perhaps drive home the message that even those we idolise live in glass houses. The Boys is largely a parody on corporates, on public relations and the show business, and how a common man may find it shiny from the outside but the issues are layered and one needs to look deeper.