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Gen V: The Boys Spin-Off Takes Things Much Seriously And At The Same Time, It Doesn't

In 2019, Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys became one of the most popular TV shows on streaming. It is based on the popular comic book of the same name written by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, which is set in an alternate world, where superheroes are not very nice and abuse their powers, as they are controlled by a big corporation named Vought. On the other hand, there is a group of humans who call themselves The Boys, who are set to destroy corrupt superheroes once and for all.

There were many reasons why The Boys became so popular among the public, especially the younger generations. In a society where Marvel dominates the industry and the box office, The Boys came as something fresh and original. Instead of watching the same old stories about how superheroes save the world, we encountered a show that showed us what would actually happen, and how can heroes destroy it.

After all, The Boys has been renewed for several seasons, and right now, fans are still waiting for the fourth and upcoming season, which doesn’t have a release date on Amazon Prime Video, yet. However, The Boys’ universe has been expanding and recently a new spin-off called Gen V arrived on Prime Video.

Set in the same world as The Boys, the story is set at Godolkin University School of Crimefighting, where young superheroes study and learn how to control their powers and become real like superstars. However, a group of students suddenly becomes aware that something darker is going on inside the school, and they won’t stop until they find out.

The first three episodes are already available on Amazon Prime Video, and so far, Gen V has proved that it can top and even exceed its predecessor. One of the things that helped The Boys become so popular among the public was that it didn’t take things seriously, and when it did, it could get very dark. Also, the explicit scenes, full of blood, gore, and violence, gave the audiences what other superhero productions didn’t. 

Most people will remember that one of the most shocking and jaw-dropping moments of The Boys happened within the first five minutes of the show’s first episode. Well, Gen V also has not one, but a few scenes that will leave the audience speechless, not only because of the gore but because of the backdrop.

This new spin-off does all of this and more, and it gets more real as we realize that teenagers and young adults are the ones doing it. Also, the show navigates topics that haven’t been discussed in previous seasons of The Boys: mental health. Many doctors and specialists warn that it may become the world’s next global health crisis (and some say it already has become one). Because of this, many films and TV shows are focusing on mental health, and Gen V is no exception.

Anxiety is one of the most common issues that the young generation faces and Prime Video's new show, centers most of its plot around it. Gen V will definitely attract young watchers, as its characters are more relatable and “human”, even if they have crazy and bizarre powers like size-changing or blood-bending.

The show starts with the right foot. It keeps the same tone as The Boys but adds other topics that make it fresh and different. A big part of this is thanks to the young cast of actors, which includes Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s Jaz Sinclair and Chance Perdomo, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Lizzie Broadway, Maddie Phillips, London Thor, Asa Germann and Shelley Cohn, among others. 

This young ensemble delivers with great accuracy how harsh and sharp ambition can be. Jaz Sinclair is incredible as Marie Moreau, a young bloodbender who is trying to make amends with her sister and her traumatic past. However, she demonstrates that her ambition is unstoppable, and not even the crazy events from the first three episodes will make her quit her main goal: land on The Seven Tower and become a hero.

As it did in the past, the show makes sure to address and mock certain moments of cultural impact, whether those are movies, famous people, or controversies. It also delves into how social media and technology have become a (negative) part of our lives, to the point where the main character isn’t aware of what’s going on around her because she doesn’t have a phone. 

Of course, besides all the trauma and secrecy, there’s also the irony and satire that made The Boys so famous. As mentioned before, the show mocks discourses and politicians and shows in a more realistic way how teenagers and young adults get what they want, separating from the usual stereotypes that other productions set.

Gen V manages to set the same tone as its predecessor but makes a difference with the storyline, which is clearly different from the adult-themed plot of The Boys. Here, we are dealing with teen stuff, and even though it’s set in the same universe, the language, the problems, and the characters (who are still filled with dreams and hopes) are hopeful and naive. But don’t let that fool you, because some of these newcomers are way more intelligent than they seem, and that will certainly bring some interesting stories to the table in the upcoming episodes.

What’s next for Gen V?

So far, the first season of Gen V will consist of eight episodes, each one released on Friday. And with such a good start, it is expected that the show will go uphill from now on. Does this mean it will be renewed for a second season? Probably, and it could also leave the door open to expand the story and create new spin-offs. 

The incredible reception that both The Boys and Gen V have received from the public and the critics confirms a tendency that has been growing in the past years: people want fresh and original content. Yes, they are based on comics, but it’s not the typical superhero story. In the same way that independent and author movies have become so popular, TV shows that separate themselves from the status quo are making their way to the top, and Gen V could have a great impact in the near future. Personally, I can’t wait to watch more of it, and I hope it continues to grow in depth and quality.

Photo credit: Amazon Prime Video

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