The Boys: Season 4 Review

The OTT world has never paid heed to the old adage – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Perhaps that’s why, so many OTT shows end up suffering from bad creative choices in their second or third seasons. The degradation is usually far worse by the time long running shows enter their 4th or 5th iterations. The latest in this list of unfortunate misses is Prime Video’s The Boys. Season 4 has returned after much-anticipation but the long wait has ended up in a series of 3 disappointing episodes, with 5 more episodes slated to release between June 20 and July 18. The Boys has been revered for its unabashed story-telling, its no-holds-barred entertainment and characters that are an absolute rage. But Season 4’s first 3 episodes don’t make a lasting impression.

The new season picks up exactly where the last season left off. Homelander (Antony Starr) is busy mentoring his son Ryan (Cameron Crovetti) and pulling the strings at Vought. Victoria Nueman (Claudia Doumit) is pushing her electoral campaign for the Oval Office all while Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) and The Boys (Mother’s Milk, Frenchie and Hughie) pick up new plans to foil Homelander’s plans. Its a similar story arc, one that’s dominated the series since Season 1, but all 3 episodes in the new season throw up some unforseen surprises as well. And it is with these surprises that the storytelling gets problematic.

The writers and showrunners have chosen to give key characters new sexual orientation and have also shown Homelander as more neurotic and insecure than ever before. These unforeseen twists are hard to digest, simply because they’re at direct contradictions to the character arcs developed in the past seasons. The relationship between Frenchie (Tomer Capone) and Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) is completely disbanded and demolished in the new season. It’s great that the writers and show runners of The Boys decided to shake things up. But the way, this is done in Season 4 is far from ideal.

What’s not changed in the new season is the show’s proclivity towards blood, gore, violence and nudity. There’s still plenty of gut-wrenching, shock-value moments in the series, but they’re missing the ‘cool’ factor from before. Perhaps, we the viewers have become blasé. But then, good writing and stellar creative ideas, should perhaps take stock of audience reactions as well.

Despite being almost an hour long, the three new episodes of The Boys Season 4 don’t feel laboured or stretched out. The screenplay and editing manage to keep things fast-paced and that’s why, watching this series is still an exciting prospect.

As always, there’s a lot of political subtext and cultural relevance to the sub-plots of the series. The series has always drawn parallels between right-wing supporters and left-leaning activists and that dramatic contrast is highlighted even more in the new season. The Boys has always been a show that portrays the male psyche with remarkable accuracy and it’s subliminal messaging about the divide between genders has always been one of its strong suites. That continues with the new season as well. Homelander meets his match with a new ‘female supe’ named Sister Sage (Susan Hayward). The clash is all brain and no brawn, and these most familiar dynamics still make the series entertaining.

Performances by the entire ensemble cast are nearly faultless. The only caveat here is that the series’ quintessential heroes – Karl Urban and Jack Quaid don’t have the kind of screen time that they used to. Also, Laz Alonso sports a totally new look as Mother’s Milk, and it’s a bittersweet surprise. Let’s just say, the proper stubble was way better than the new moustache.

All eyes now, will be on the upcoming 5 episodes of The Boys. What the series does in the upcoming episodes will ultimately decide how Season 4 of The Boys will eventually be received. Stay tuned for more updates in this review as and when the episodes release.

#Boys #Season #Review

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *