Friday September 4th is now a very special day indeed. Season two of The Boys hits on Amazon. Important to know this time round is that the first three episodes drop on this date, then it’s one a week . . .no! Last season’s epic ending saw Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) discover his wife is still alive, and gave birth to Homleander’s (Anthony Starr) son. We can’t wait to see what lies in store and how it will build on season one, a truly brilliant offering and fresh take on the superhero genre. Let’s recap a little and chat about what we might see and how it could work.
More Amazing Music
Every show that’s seriously cool now has great music too. I’ve written about this before. It always looks so easy to do, but managing to pick just the right piece and choreograph the action to it is a skill. There’s loads of great examples in season one, with “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls being one. Carefully selected songs can draw a whole range of emotions, adding to a scene. It can bring humour or add drama. The mood can be lightened or darkened accordingly to the story. What makes it work is the song as commentary to the scene, and it being non-diegetic (this just means the characters don’t hear it or know it’s there). It adds to the viewer’s experience. Let’s hope that season two continues to do this. No doubt, it will. What really seems to work with The Boys is using the brand of rock music most associated with big hair and power ballads. More Not always, but frequently. More of that then.
More Secrets Revealed (and conclusion of last season’s cliffhanger)
It wasn’t until around episode six of season one that we started to learn more about Billy Butcher’s backstory. What worked was that he was simply there, going to extreme lengths to capture or kill the “supes”. We needed to know more though, and the details were introduced at just the right time. This slow revealing only added even more tension and helped to make the plot for the series finale. The last episode also threw up a great curve ball.
Homelander having kidnapped Becca Butcher (Shantel VanSanten) was a truly gripping reveal. It added even more of a psychological element to Homelander’s wickedness. He is not only extremely physically able (the most powerful being there is, as far as we know), but also equipped to rage war on Bucther’s mind too. These sorts of concepts are gold standard from a writing perspective and seeing more like that will help make season two at least as enjoyable as season one, if not even more so.
The 7: A New Roster
Setting up a special team, “The Seven” is a fantastic idea, plot and story-wise. It lets us only see the characters who we’ll be concerned with, whose stories we’ll invest in. Something else it does is allow for some characters to be killed off or thrown out of the inner-circle (or threaten to be, like Annie, a.k.a. Starlight). News has already dropped that Jensen Ackles will feature in season three as Soldier Boy, so we know that new characters will be introduced in the show. It will be interesting to see what fresh faces there are, and what powers the new characters will have. Mostly, the powers of “the supes” are largely traditional tropes of established heroes. A cynical view might be to say the show’s not original. Really though, isn’t that the point? flipping the whole thing on its head and changing the way we think of super heroes and the whole genre? Well thought out powers and abilities can hugely impact upon the story. The writers of The Boys are alert enough to know this, and they’ll surely give that due consideration.
More Brilliant Representation
What the show gets so accurate is the current state of of the Western World and its culture. It does so subtly, in terms of the story. Good writing always tells a story it’s trying to, first and foremost. Great writing can stitch in various commentaries via the themes and ideas, along the way. Season one of The Boys has done this incredibly. The whole show is in some ways a very dark satire on American culture. Celebrity idolizing, the rise of corporate dominance, systemic abuse of women and the imposed dominance of a new, aggressive version of masculinity as the dominant ideal. All this, as well as white superiority and flagrant displays of unapologetic and unabashed privilege. Homelander (Anthony Starr) embodies everything that is wrong with this, and represents it as something almost impossible to stop. He declares his right to do as he pleases. He’s an incredible villain for this reason as you never hate him more than when he’s seen as totally the opposite by his adoring fans. We want to see him fall, but we know making that happen will be unimaginable for mere mortals to achieve. That’s what keeps up watching. We can’t wait to see how Billy and the gang will try to do it.
Hughie and Annie (Starlight)
One of the questions that viewers must surely be asking is how Hughie and Annie (a.k.a. Starlight)will interact in season two. Season one saw Hughie lie and then get found out, and Starlight still turn up to help them against A-Train. Both characters are now established and it will be fascinating if they try to hold a relationship now that things are truly against Hughie, Billy and “the boys” (the trailer sees them being treated as public enemy number one and on the run). One being on each side of the fighting forces is a great dynamic. It means decisions are always harder and that makes for brilliant drama. No doubt the writers will have a few tricks up their sleeves to continue this original take on star-crossed lovers. Expect a “will they won’t they”, that might end up spanning every season of this wonderful show.
have you got any favourite parts of season one, any input on what worked and why? Maybe you have some predictions of your own for how to make season two even more brilliant than season one? If you have, or if you want to make general chit-chat about one of the hottest shows around then get commenting. We’d love to hear from you!