The Boys 2, the complete review of the season

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Catherine Le Nevez
@catherinelenevez

A first review of The Boys 2 you were able to read it on these pages already at the end of August (you can find it here). On that occasion, in fact, Amazon had allowed us to preview the first three of the eight episodes that make up this second season of The Boys. A vision, and consequently a partial but decidedly positive verdict, which had left us with great expectations.

Since then the episodes of The Boys have followed one another on a weekly basis, from Friday to Friday. A distribution that has not failed to generate profound discontent and spurious indignation among the most ardent supporters of binge watching.



The next 9 October the coveted final season will arrive on Amazon Prime Video, called to close the circle and to put the point (hopefully exclamation) on a season capable of memorable peaks but also of some slips. We have already seen and liked it, so here is our final verdict.

The Importance of Being Earnest

If there is a trademark of The Boys of its own, it is surely the black and desecrating humor. Starting from the homonymous comic book by G, of which it is a rather free adaptation, The Boys has been able to cast an unprecedented and terrible look on the heroes in onesie so loved and celebrated in the last decade of cinema (and not only). A sort of counterpart to the "Super" without blemish and without fear, ontologically good, proposed in many classic superoist books and in film projects such as Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The attempt at a greater psychological introspection on the characters often ends up weighing down the rhythm of the narrative

In this second season, however, the writers have tried to evolve the formula of the first season through a turn, at times rather decisive, towards the tones of the drama. A certainly understandable and all in all also courageous choice, but unfortunately not very successful.



The attempt at a greater psychological introspection on the characters often ends up weighing down the rhythm of the narrative, a real flagship of the first season. In fact, there are too many scenes dedicated to the inner conflicts both of the members of the Boys and of the members of the "Seven" and not all of them are effective and inspired.

At various points one gets the impression that the series tends to take itself too seriously, which, in a sense, betrays its purest essence. The absolute freshness of the first season is therefore far away.

Certainly there is no shortage of absolutely unsettling and over the top situations, moments in which it is hard to believe what you see and in which you laugh at your stomach. These are the moments in which the show turns out to be more sincere (and in line with the first season) and in which even its themes and its social criticism find the most effective vehicle.

Not too "super" writing

In general, unfortunately, it is the writing of this second season of The Boys that is overall inferior than in the past. The development of the main plot is substantially intuitive from the first episodes and is not particularly brilliant.

A sin not so deadly, in reality, but which is aggravated by the inconsistency and lack of bite even of some secondary storylines, which focus on characters a little on the margins, such as for example The Deep, protagonist of a decidedly uninteresting narrative arc and to which too much space is dedicated.

Other characters, on the other hand, undeservedly undergo too superficial treatment. The first and most illustrious victim is certainly Kimiko, played by Karen fukuhara, which this season never seems to find its place, but the discourse is certainly extendable to the other members of the Boys such as Mother's Milk or Frenchie. The latter actually would also enjoy an in-depth study on his past, but which unfortunately does not leave its mark and does not seem to blend in the right way within the plot.



In general, unfortunately, it is the writing of this second season of The Boys that is overall inferior than in the past

Similar speech for the character of Stan Edgar, new head of Vought interpreted by the well-known face of Giancarlo Esposito. The non-entry of Esposito in the fixed cast of the series (he is always credited as a guest star) means that his character is inexplicably underused.

The storyline featuring the charismatic Butcher di Karl Urban and his wife Rebecca. Fortunately the season finale, of which we will not reveal anything in this review of The Boys 2, puts things back in order but the feeling of having witnessed some "empty passages" remains.

In short, the writing tends to be rather unbalanced and also runs into some frankly avoidable lightness. Sometimes, in fact, one gets the feeling that some scenes are a bit disconnected from each other and that the cause and effect relationship is altered by some deus ex machina too many.

Even the new entrance Stormfront, who at first looks like a villain capable of stealing the show even from the extraordinary Homelander played by Antony starr, undergoes an evolution that is not very credible and not in line with the premises in the last few episodes. Furthermore, its previous history turns out to be rather irrelevant for the purposes of the plot.

A passing season

If this review of The Boys 2 sounds like a slut, you are on the wrong track. This second season, in fact, entertains splendidly with sublime peaks of grotesque. The cast is in splendid shape, the overall production value is decidedly high (the presence of scenes that use visual effects is much more consistent than in the past) and the show remains among the most interesting products of the Amazon streaming platform.



On the other hand, some choice of direction appears to be criticized, even in a final episode that with greater shrewdness in the staging could certainly have been more incisive.

This second season entertains beautifully with sublime peaks of the grotesque.

The last episodes, in any case, are forgiven for the loss of bite of the central episodes of the season, with a couple of decidedly interesting narrative ideas that lay the foundations for the third and already confirmed season. The last episode, in particular, is quite effective in closing the cycle of some characters and opening others. Promoted with reserve, in short, this second round of episodes, well packaged but a little uncertain about the way forward.

The Boys has certainly not exhausted its message, it just needs to find itself a little by taking off a shirt that doesn't suit them and going back to wearing a more honest t-shirt. It remains a delightfully foul-mouthed, mean and unfair show, but less cohesive and sincere than in the past.

We can and must do better with next season, returning to place the clash between Homelander e Butcher (also a bit subdued compared to season one) and avoiding too many melodramatic drifts. These characters certainly have a lot to say, yet.

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