Friday, December 4, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 40
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
BEST WISHES, WARMEST REGARDS: A SCHITT’S CREEK FAREWELL
BINGABLE: ABANDONED (2016)
BINGEABLE: Barry
BINGEABLE: CASA DE LAS FLORES
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTARIES
BINGEABLE: OUTLANDER (2014-present)
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COOL RUNNINGS (1993)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FISH TANK (2009)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: HOUSE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: OLDBOY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART (1990)
BLOW THE MAN DOWN
BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM
DA 5 BLOODS
DAVID ATTENBOROUGH: A LIFE ON OUR PLANET
FIRST COW
GREYHOUND
GUILTY PLEASURES: CHEER (2020)
HAPPIEST SEASON
HAVE A GOOD TRIP: ADVENTURES IN PSYCHEDELICS
HE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
LYING AND STEALING
SHUT UP LITTLE MAN! AN AUDIO MISADVENTURE (2011)
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE OPERATIVE
THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO SEVEN
THE VAST OF NIGHT
TREAD
TV REVIEW: BOSCH
TV REVIEW: COBRA KAI
TV REVIEW: DEFENDING JACOB
TV REVIEW: EVIL
TV REVIEW: FEAR CITY
TV REVIEW: GENERATION KILL (2008)
TV REVIEW: HANNIBAL (2013-2015)
TV REVIEW: HELL ON WHEELS (2011-2016)
TV REVIEW: HOMECOMING
TV REVIEW: I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE
TV REVIEW: I MAY DESTROY YOU
TV REVIEW: I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK
TV REVIEW: JULIE AND THE PHANTOMS
TV REVIEW: LENOX HILL
TV REVIEW: LITTLE AMERICA
TV REVIEW: LOVECRAFT COUNTRY
TV REVIEW: MRS. AMERICA
TV REVIEW: PANDEMIC: HOW TO PREVENT AN OUTBREAK (2020)
TV REVIEW: RAISED BY WOLVES
TV REVIEW: RAMY
TV REVIEW: RUN
TV REVIEW: SPACE FORCE
TV REVIEW: TABOO
TV REVIEW: THE BOYS
TV REVIEW: THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD
TV REVIEW: THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR
TV REVIEW: THE LAST KINGDOM
TV REVIEW: THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL
TV REVIEW: THE MORNING SHOW
TV REVIEW: THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMAL OF ALL
TV REVIEW: THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA
TV REVIEW: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
TV REVIEW: THE THIRD DAY
TV REVIEW: THE VOW
TV REVIEW: TREADSTONE (2019)
TV REVIEW: TRIAL 4 (2020)
TV REVIEW: UNDONE
TV REVIEW: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
TV REVIEW: ZEROZEROZERO
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL
VINYL NATION

The Boys turns the superhero genre on its head

TV REVIEW: THE BOYS

PHOTO BY , COURTESY OF AMAZON STUDIOS

TV REVIEW: THE BOYS


Where is it playing?: Amazon Prime

What's it rated?: TV-MA

What's it worth?: $Full price (Glen Starkey)

What's it worth?: $Full price (Anna Starkey)

User Rating: 7.50 (1 Votes)

What if superheroes were actually corrupt and arrogant jerks who were owned by a corporation that monetizes them through films and merchandizing while carefully crafting their heroic public personas to appear virtuous and selfless? And what if a group of vigilantes knew the truth about these so-called heroes and worked to take them down? Welcome to The Boys, an action crime comedy that pits the titular vigilantes—led by profane and irreverent Billy Butcher (Karl Urban)—against The Seven, Vought International’s premier tier of superheroes—led by egotistical and increasingly unstable Homelander (Anthony Starr). (16 60-min. episodes)

Glen: We’re obviously a little late to this series, which first came out in 2019. Season 2 is now wrapping up with a third scheduled for 2021. Now’s the time to jump into this funny, violent, thoroughly entertaining, genre-flipping romp. The series opens with mild-mannered Hughie Campbell, who toils in an electronics store. He’s a nerd, but he has one thing going for him—Robin (Jess Salgueiro), a terrific out-of-his-league girlfriend who loves him. Then the unspeakable happens. The fastest man in the world, A-Train (Jessie T. Usher), one of The Seven, accidentally runs right through Robin, obliterating her body and leaving Hughie holding her severed arms. Now turned against superheroes, Hughie is slowly recruited by Billy Butcher into his team of vigilantes, along with Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso) and Frenchie (Tomer Capon), all of whom have their own reasons to hate superheroes. What follows is Hughie’s descent into crime in the service of something greater.

Anna: Gotta love a hero-turned-villain tale and vice versa, and The Boys is an entertaining journey into both. Hughie is meek and mild mannered, living with his dad, Hugh (Simon Pegg), in a seemingly dull but happy enough existence. His bright, shiny reason for happiness is literally torn from him in the first few minutes of the first episode, and his descent into a deep, dark depression slowly takes a turn upward after meeting the newest member of The Seven, Annie—aka Starlight (Erin Moriarty). Raised believing she was chosen by God to be a superhero, Annie is the newest and most naive member of the elite team. Soon she realizes that the heroes she has looked up to her whole life are imperfect and, in some cases, really terrible human beings. The Deep (Chace Crawford) almost immediately forces himself on her, and while she stays quiet for a bit, she soon decides to take a stand against the corruption in her group. Little does she know how deep it all really goes, and soon she’s reluctantly joining Billy’s band of vigilantes as their inside spy. Even in binge mode this series doesn’t get boring. I’m excited for season 3!

Glen: It’s compelling to discover Butcher’s reason for hating superheroes and even more compelling to see that side plot unfold. I don’t want to spoil anything, but Butcher’s soon pitted against Homelander in a real grudge match. Of course, Homelander is unbeatable and too busy being a shallow, selfish prick to bother taking out Butcher himself, so he sends the redundantly monikered Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell), who’s completely silent. He’s sort of a weird character. The series is filled with deftly choreographed violence, and though they lack superpowers, the titular Boys led by Butcher are a slippery lot, always managing to escape death. Other important characters are Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott), Homelander’s former paramour, who’s at risk of replacement in the second season when Stormfront (Aya Cash) shows up. There’s also The Seven’s handler, Madelyn Stillwell (Elisabeth Shue), who has a delicate relationship with the volatile leader of The Seven. Now’s a great time to get up to speed before the third season starts next year.

Anna: Watching Homelander’s mental unraveling is both infuriating and fun. He knows how much power he wields, and he’s not afraid to use it against people. There are moments where he’s fantasizing about taking the world out, and it’s not that far from what could be reality. The dude is seriously unhinged. He’s jealous and haughty and just an all-around manipulative jerk. All these supes have some real need for therapy, and being touted for their greatness their whole lives hasn’t led to healthy egos. Butcher’s team isn’t much better off—they are all wrestling their own demons. It’s as close to a big superhero movie as we’re going to get in quarantine, and with longer episodes and several storylines happening at once, there’s a lot to enjoy in the first couple of seasons. 

New Times Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey and freelancer Anna Starkey write Sun Screen. Glen compiles streaming listings. Comment at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.










Weekly Poll
Would a second stay-at-home order be effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19?

No, pandemic fatigue is too high to get people to follow a stay-at-home order.
Yes, we need it, otherwise our hospitals will be in rough shape.
Local governments should get a say—not all purple tier counties are the same.
It would be bad news for the economy.

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