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‘The Boys’ Takes Aim at Media Culture?

Thank the television Gods, I found my next series obsession. The Amazon original, The Boys, is a new series that premiered last week based on the comic book of the same title created by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson.

When I heard the announcement for this show I immediately ran out to buy myself the first volume trade paperback. To say I loved it is an understatement. The series has done a FANTASTIC job of not just capturing the (often comical) gore, but sticking to the spirit of the story while tweaking it for a new age.

Primarily, I would need to focus on the adjustments made to the character of Starlight played beautifully by Erin Moriarty. In the comics that opening sexual assault is actually much worse… it involved Homelander, A-Train, and Black Noir. The Deep isn’t even involved! Furthermore, Starlight’s abuse and ultimately spiritual murder, is much worse in the first volume and often comes across as intended comedy within the pages.

The series not only wisely down-played the gratuity of the assault, but created a deeper narrative that lends itself to the greater cultural conversation we’re having regarding it. They chose to take this character who feels often completely “victim” and give her some REAL power; no, I don’t mean the flashy lights.

She stands up in front of that entire expo and tells her truth without fearing what she could lose. She bravely expresses what I think a lot of people feel?

“I believe in God, I love God so much but…honestly its just how god damn certain everyone is around here. Tickets start at 170 bucks so these people can tell you how to get to heaven. How do they know? How does anyone know…..? Here’s the truth, anyone who tells you they know the answers is lying. I know I’m supposed to be this hero, idol, symbol whatever,  but I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. I’m just as scared and confused as the rest of you. I’m done pretending and I’m doing taking anymore shit.”

It’s a series that feels as if it’s supposed to be the anti- superhero show, but ironically, it did deliver a hero with Starlight. Not through her powers, but through her human ability to practice courage.

Now, afterwards we find, like the episode of Black Mirror with the talented Daniel Kaluuya, that even a person’s raw honesty to go against the system is ultimately just used to serve it!

The series touches on so many questions, issues, and serves as a wonderful satire of the superhero genre, but what catches me most is how it highlights a world obsessed with superficiality, brands, and image.  Are we more complex than this? Is there- should there- be more to us than the image we now control of ourselves for people to see?

If you haven’t gotten yourselves over to Amazon Prime to catch this series, PLEASE do so. It’s an experience you don’t want to miss.

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