The Boys — Profanity, Gore, and Especially Blackmail
They live in a depressing reality
Nowadays, the superhero subculture is all over the place. You see it with Marvel; you see it with DC; you see it in every existing medium. And not just the conventional superhero, like Superman or Spiderman, but also deconstructions of the genre. Right now, some of the hottest shows are about corrupt superheroes with questionable demeanours. You might’ve heard of The Boys and/or Invincible. I’m here to talk about the former.
The Boys is among the best shows that Prime Video offers, but it is not for the faint of heart. Most of what you’ll see on the show are people cursing all the time, bloody viscera flying in every direction, and who can forget all the sexual deviance. There’s something for everyone on this show. If you like adult-orientated shows, and because of that, The Boys is a great show.
Apparently, The Boys happens in a world where superheroes not only exist but are also A-list Hollywood celebrities, in the sense that you see them in all the media outlets such as TV and radio and whatever app you have on your phone I guess. But get this: these superheroes are corrupt as hell because behind the façade of a perfect all-American superhero, there is a liar who exploits the weakness of others at every given opportunity. It is terrifying to think of a world where you believe that this supposed superhero will always protect you from evil, but if you look at him wrong, you’re a bloody paste on the ground (this show is violent). But “the Boys” are a clandestine group seeking to undermine the corrupt superheroes. The show is a tug-of-war between them… but it’s a good tug-of-war, with plenty of blackmail (seriously, at least one person gets blackmailed every episode). But the profanity…
They call themselves “Vought”
I would go on and talk about whether or not Vought’s marketing strategies apply in real life. To test it out, I’d need superheroes too, but they don’t exist… yet (Vought is the megacorporation that represents the superheroes and monetises them).
In any case, it’s not atypical for shows to feature excessive cursing, but The Boys takes it up a notch with its anger management of a cast (seriously, they are really pissed on the show). Billy Butcher, the main troublemaker of the show, virtually copyrighted the C-word to himself because he’s the only one who uses it. But… is this much cursing necessary? It’s already established that it’s a show for adults; there’s no argument about that. There’s enough blood and sex on this show for everybody, but cursing this much doesn’t prove anything.
Although it suits Homelander, the show’s main antagonist is an impulsive man-child, this amount of cursing would be too much even for Quentin Tarantino, and that’s saying something. Profanity nowadays just kind of feels like a must-have in every TV show. But I assure you: adult-orientated shows can be pretty good even without cursing, and I don’t have an example for a modern show that keeps it family-friendly (I would say the Flintstones, but that was 60 years ago). But if you ask me, profanity is bullshit.
An animated adult sitcom without profanity
I once had an idea for an adult-orientated animated show, like the ones you see on Adult Swim, which featured no adult material whatsoever. The idea was to prove that adult shows can appeal to adults without sex or profanity. However, that’s all I ever had about this idea; I didn’t even have a story. More so, I realised that such a show would only exist to prove a point, not entertain its viewers. Besides, these kinds of shows existed in the 60s so it wouldn’t be a novel idea. Anyway, that’s not the solution.
Another thing to do would be to reduce the profanity on the show as it is, which isn’t going to happen. The show is perfect as it is, and nobody should touch it. Reducing the number of cursing characters seems like a weird choice because profanity is part of the show, and more shows follow this adult-orientated path of profanity-filled material.
The whole cursing thing is something that gets the brain thinkin’. I mean, it’s not bad, but it just feels unnecessarily obligatory these days, and it’s even more convenient when you consider that streaming services have less censorship in them than actual TV. Frankly, this is a culture debate, and I have no idea where this human culture is going.
Are you a fan of Homelander?
Even though he’s not real, the show wants you to think that there’s an alternate reality where everything that happens on The Boys is real, but there’s no way to prove it. You know what this section is for, so get to it… or not.
As much as I hate to admit it, The Boys is a great show, but it’s filled with all the stuff that kids should not watch. If you’re of the suitable age (or not), you should probably watch it.
A show without profanity nowadays just can’t happen, and as an exciting idea, it is to have an adult show where there’s no cursing or sex; it’s not what people want to see. I would write a show myself but writing it isn’t the real problem… producing it is. Why? For several reasons. But where to start?
In any case, season 3 of The Boys recently came out, so if you need to start watching from scratch, I’d suggest doing it now because who knows if there’s going to be a season 4.