Text: Dina Klyucharyova, author of the telegram channel One Oscar For Leo
Last Friday on Amazon streaming the series "The Boys" was released - a black comedy about superheroes and, perhaps, the most human depiction of people with supernormal abilities, and in the worst possible sense. Superheroes in "Boys" only create the appearance of embodied virtue and piety, while in fact they care about their own ratings much more than saving those in trouble. Let's talk in more detail about the series, which even before the start was extended for a second season, and in the very first days of screenings it caught up in the rating on IMDb with Fargo and Black Mirror.
"Seven" - the main brainchild of the corporation "Vout": an elite New York squad of superheroes ("soups") who fight crime in the city. X-ray-Sighted Strongman Homelander (Anthony Starr from Banshee), Female Warrior Queen Maeve, Invisible Man Transparent, Amphibian Man named Deep (Chace Crawford from Gossip Girl), Silent Mnemonic Black Noir and Super Speed Runner A-Tray - real celebrities. Each of them has their own brand and their own marketing team that arranges interviews for them, sells the rights to their services and images, writes speeches for them and thinks of images in accordance with the expectations of fans. The naive and devout Annie, nicknamed Starlight (Erin Moriarty from Jessica Jones), enters the service of the "Seven", capable of causing bursts of energy. She is full of illusions about the lofty and bright mission that awaits her in the "Seven". However, Annie's idealistic notions are shattered on the very first day in a new place - when the hero of her childhood, instead of "welcome to the team", unambiguously unbuttons his pants and turns on Harvey Weinstein. The further - the more: she soon finds out that the brave deeds of the members of the "Seven" are staged by the same marketers, and she herself does not even have the right to vote when choosing a suit.
The only outlet in her new tightly regulated life is getting to know Hugh (Jack Quaid), a simple and charming guy from an electronics store. However, Hugh has his own sad story and a reason not to like superheroes. The chain of events of the series launches the accidental death of his beloved Robin from the hands (or, more precisely, the legs) of A-Train, who literally blows up the girl, sweeping through her body and leaving only her amputated palms in Hugh's hands. Hugh's Revenge Quest is the show's main story arc. The grieving guy is picked up by Butcher (Karl Urban) - a gloomy bearded Briton who introduces himself as a secret service officer. Butcher has his own reason to take revenge on superheroes, and he is determined to put together his team of dashing "boys" who will help him expose a gang of unprincipled and cynical villains with superpowers.
Visual aesthetics and an abundance of profanity and frank and violent scenes "Boys" not coincidentally resemble "The Preacher" - both series (and comics in their primary basis) have the same creators. The comics were created by Garrett Ennis and produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, and the screenplay for Boys was adapted by Supernatural, Timeless and Revolution showrunner Eric Kripke.
Originally comics about "Boys" were published in a division of the publishing house DC Comics, but due to the forced anti-superhero rhetoric of "Boys" Ennis was soon asked to find some other publisher. Not surprisingly, all members of the "Seven" are caricatures of archetypal heroes of the DC Universe: in Homelander it is easy to recognize Superman, in Queen Maeve - Wonder Woman, in A-Train - Flash, and in Deep - Aquaman.
On closer inspection, the superheroes from Boys are not that much.The Seven is nothing more than a group of unprincipled influencers who use their supernatural powers not for the sake of good and salvation, but for the sake of power, corruption and lies. Local "Aquaman" Deep is the embodiment of toxic masculinity, speedster A-Train is addicted to steroids, superhero-pastor Ezekiel baptizes and blesses parishioners during the day, and spends nights in underground sex clubs, the invisible man uses hist to spy on women in the toilet … They are not just superheroes, but the most expensive brand in the world. Any of their attempts to do good deeds without a script - to save a falling plane or release an aquarium dolphin into the ocean - turn into ridiculous and tragic failures. But at their disposal are the unlimited resources of the Vout corporation, which will save their image in any situation and with any number of innocent victims of their exercises - the so-called "collateral damage".
"Boys" is a vivid and topical illustration of how, with skillful manipulation of information, even the most insensitive psychopath can be made the hero of an entire country. Superheroes "Vout" - a transparent analogy with the powers that be in our world: messages about their adventures and opinions on various issues in the same way fill the news broadcast around the clock. In Boys, the main question of the day for ordinary viewers is whether Homelander and Maeve will converge again. And the fact that she is a victim of circumstances, whom the contract prohibits from coming out, and he is a cold-blooded killer with an Oedipus complex, remains behind a screen, skillfully placed by public relations specialists. In fact, the main antagonist of the show is not bad superheroes at all, but the corporate leviathan and those who run it. And at the same time, this is a story that even ordinary people in the face of a group of several determined guys can resist such a large-scale evil. And this idea is comforting and reassuring.
PHOTOS: Amazon Prime Video