Eric Kripke’s new season doesn’t mince words, though it does mince body parts, in eviscerating America’s eagerness to embrace right-wing extremism.
Late in the second season of Amazon Prime Video’s “The Boys,” a character caught in a lie spouts an unnerving truth. To say any more would be venturing into spoiler territory, but the statement goes a long way toward crystalizing what makes showrunner Eric Kripke’s superhero series a more ambitious, and altogether more successful, satire in Season 2. One of the ways “The Boys” made a name for itself, when it first premiered last summer, was through its nauseating, darkly comic level of violence. In questioning the delusional cleanliness of most onscreen superhero stories, Amazon’s TV-MA sendup leaned hard into the grisly “reality” of what living with super-powered people might look like. If a man really could run at the speed of light, wouldn’t he eventually bump into a passerby? And when you’re bumped at lightspeed, wouldn’t you just… explode? Maybe not, but “The Boys” cleverly relied on the audience’s pre-established expectations to diabolically upend them. Season 2 continues this highly effective practice with near-giddy creativity.