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The Boys Season 2 premiere review: Does the second season exceed expectations?

Antony Starr and Erin Moriarty in The Boys Season 2
Antony Starr and Erin Moriarty in The Boys Season 2. Pic credit: Amazon Studios

The Amazon hit show The Boys returns today with its second season. The second helping brings back some old faces as well as some fresh blood to its roster. And it will also answer some long-awaited questions from the massive cliffhanger from the finale of season one.

There has been a lot of hype and expectations for this new season — mostly in part due to it being Amazon’s most-watched show since the creation of the streaming service.

But does Season 2 of The Boys deliver on the hype? Here is our review of The Boys Season 2 premiere and whether it’s worth a stream.

The Boys Season 2 premiere review

Please note: This review encompasses the first three episodes, which can be streamed today on Amazon Prime Video.

In Season 2, the series kicks off with high energy and spins many plates of the storyline while doing so. Hughie and Starlight are trying to take down Vought by exposing the treatment of Compound V to the public. Homelander finds himself at odds with his new boss Mr. Edgar since killing Madelyn Stillwell. The Deep tries to find redemption for his past and has to come to terms with his issues. All the while, violence ensues everywhere.

On top of this, The Boys themselves — Hughie, Mother’s Milk, Frenchie, and Kimiko — are hunkered down in a hideout since the disappearance of Billy Butcher. They are now fugitives in connection to Butcher, who Homelander framed for Madelyn’s murder.

For most shows and movies, the biggest concern is expectations. The Boys, by all means, came out of nowhere, delivering a super grim look at superheroes that can only be matched by intellectual properties like Watchmen. And most of all, the series conveyed realistically how these “gods” would be politicized and marketed for agendas.

Season 2 delivers on expectations, continues this theme right out the gate, and has a lot more on its mind about the world right now.

There are various parallels, such as how some leaders and corporations pander to specific demographics as well as the way leaders use racism to spin its agendas against scrutiny. This tactic is effectively conveyed by who Vought classifies as “Super Terrorists” or, as Homelander suggests, “Super-Villains.”

Dominique McElligott as Queen Maeve from The Boys Season 2.
Dominique McElligott as Queen Maeve from The Boys Season 2. Pic credit: Amazon Studios

Moreso, there are strong correlations to police brutality in this season. This is mostly with how individual members of The Seven will kill before taking someone into custody with excessive uncalled for violence.

The Boys Season 2 also delivers on tension magnificently. Much like Game of Thrones, the second outing forcefully reminds the viewer right away that no one is safe, and anyone can die at any moment. Similar to Game of Thrones, the deaths are always shockingly violent — sometimes in humorous ways and sometimes in tragic depictions.

But it makes the show so much better because the viewer never feels comfortable about the safety of these fantastic characters.

The conversation over the next few months will be that of Antony Starr as Homelander. Let’s be clear, he was incredible in Season 1, but something about Starr in The Boys Season 2 seems more comfortable. He has matured into the role and has an A-Lister quality about his villainous performance.

As Homelander returns this season, he is far more complex, unstable, and ruthlessly unforgivable.

Antony Starr as Homelander
Antony Starr as Homelander. Pic credit: Amazon Studios

Imagine if Percy Whitmore from The Green Mile became Captain America. Only more confident, possessive, and full of himself — but with all the same insecurities.

It will be a shock if Starr is not in the discussion for Emmy consideration this time.

Adding to the conversation will be Aya Cash’s ferociously outspoken role of Stormfront, the hero brought in to replace Translucent. It’s rare to see a newcomer on a series steal the scenery the way Cash does here, and the addition of her presence more than fits the tone.

Again though, this is just three episodes, and based on what is offered so far, the second entry to The Boys delivers. It’s a brutal depiction of what happens when people get too much power and no accountability. And given the landscape, it’s incredibly relevant while being effortlessly entertaining.

Overall Thoughts

The Boys Season 2 is exactly what it should be with its season opener. With the first three episodes, the series has brought back the gore, the tension, and the social commentary.

Those who are concerned about it not living up to the incredible first season have nothing to worry about. The show kicks off with a massive bang, and with the move of making it a weekly episode release, it’s going to be an online sensation for the next couple of months.

Between the relentless performance by Antony Starr as Homelander and the timely commentary of unchecked power and excessive force by authority, The Boys Season 2 is better than ever.

Be sure and check out our reviews for other superhero properties such as Project Power and The Umbrella Academy.

The first three episodes of The Boys are now streaming on Amazon Prime, and a new episode arrives every Friday.

John Dotson is a film and television reviewer and commentator from Texas. His favorite part of what he does is getting to discuss film and... read more
John Dotson

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