Amazon’s The Boys Isn’t Just About Superheroes | MIC 20


Hey there, Amazon’s new television show The
Boys is smarter than you think. As a young man, I used to really love hyper-violent
content. As I have gotten older, however, I have gotten
less and less interested in it. One of the turning points in my taste for
gore was the comic book series the Boys, first released in 2006. Garth Ennis, the writer, had produced some
of my all time favorite characters and storylines, stuff I still adore to this day, but the over
the top violence and nihilism in the Boys was just something I felt I had seen before,
and that I had outgrown. I dropped the series pretty quickly. That’s why I am so surprised and pleased by
Amazon’s television version of Ennis’s series. Make no mistake, it is egregiously, over the
top hyper violent, and I would not recommend it to anybody without a high tolerance for
that sort of thing. But what the show does, much more than the
source material, is take concrete aim at one of the world’s most deserving targets, the
US military Industrial Complex. The comic book played with these themes as
well, but in the show, which is a lot less surreal, the critique actually has some bite. Captain America: Winter Soldier, a film from
2014, was the previous high point for political commentary in super hero media. In it, Captain America realizes that he has
been betrayed by his superiors in the US government. It’s great fun, but the film chickens out. It relies on the idea of some secret society
with hidden powers and ebil supervillain agendas. In the Boys, the agenda of the bad guys, if
the term even applies, is exactly the real world agenda of every US and European defence
contractor. Vought international is trying to get the
US military to buy more of its weapons than the other guys weapons. It’s weapons just happen to be super heroes. The show goes so far as to mention the names
of real US Defense contractors as the competition, which I found surprising and a bit thrilling. I found the show to be horrifically true to
life in the way that there weren’t any supervillains other than the people who were supposed to
be protecting us. The Boys, the avenging antiheroes at the center
of the show, were all fans and supporters of the heroes they target before they were
betrayed in a variety of horrific ways. The other terrorists and petty criminals in
the show were just convenient props for the real forces at work. This made me think quite directly of ISIS
and Al Queda, organizations which are very much the consequence, unintended and intended,
of the Superpower forces unleashed by the United States. Also, the show’s depiction of the CIA made
a lot of sense too. They didnt know much, and they were much more
interested in defending bureaucratic territory than they were in defending the country. For the super hero defence contractor at the
heart of the show, the worse things got, the more successful they were. Any peek at the stock price of a defense company
like Raytheon over the course of our forever failing forever war will tell you that that’s
the case in the real world as well. In another context I might have found the
hyper violence of the show distasteful, but I think it serves a real purpose in the Boys. We are so desperate for non glorious depictions
of war in mass media, that many commentators pointed to one of the final episodes of Game
of Thrones as useful. The hope was that viewers might connect a
few scenes from a dragon show to the horrors wrought by US munitions in Iraq and Yemen. I think Amazon’s the Boys and its violence
does a much better job of this. The violence is casual, massive, and often
played for laughs. The callous sacrifice of life for profit portrayed
on the Boys strikes me as a lot more true to the headlines than any of the glorious
agony on the Dragon show. Amazon’s the Boys is a grim, gritty and very
effective critique of modern politics and war. The message is pretty clear, and consistently
delivered across the series. This is surprising, because Amazon’s high
budget TV output has been very pro war so far. The Man in the High Castle is a pretty but
ridiculous fable about the Nazi occupation of the United States. Jack Ryan was so nauseatingly pro war on terror
that I couldn’t make it past the first episode. Jack Ryan Season 2 is apparently based in
Venezuela, which is pretty gross. Pro-war content makes sense for Amazon, which
is currently trying to win a 10 billion dollar contract from the Pentagon. That’s another reason The Boys is such a pleasant
surprise. Amazon is acting against its interest by producing
something this anti-arms industry. There are obviously dozens of TV shows and
movies that do a better, more respectful job of depicting modern war on the ground. But the first season of the Boys is the best
pop culture representation of the grubby politics and economics behind our modern wars that
I have ever seen. If you don’t mind the Gore, I think it’s very
worth checking out. Thanks for watching, please subscribe, and
click on the bell next to the subscribe button to get notifications whenever I upload a video.

27 thoughts on “Amazon’s The Boys Isn’t Just About Superheroes | MIC 20

  • Do you think that if we actually.had superheroes, they would be hired as assets for companies to market their products or maybe used as products themselves?

  • before this video i didn't even knew about the boys thanks i'll check it out.

    Edit: watched the first episode bloody brilliant.

  • i watched Jack Ryan, it was a quite a good TV show and very true to the books. Tom Clancy was a neo con warmonger there no denying that. https://charlierose.com/videos/511

  • All our military violence around the globe. All our violence on TV. Our gun culture and the mass shooting at the Garlic festival. Are they connected? If I eat 6000 calories today is that related to me being fat?

  • i find it weird you mention yemen, the horrors there started because of houthi ansariran, who fire from civilian areas, on civilian targets whenever there's a chance, beating children and their families so they force them to bear arms that come from iran, they steal humanitary aid and they sell it in the black market, if not they just burn what they don't need to starve the people
    and please don't go all cass r.sunstein on me again, you can check all of this, then see if people need mo truth

  • You forgot the movie 'war dogs' which is litteraly about newly arm contractors that want to make money. Its also with seth rogen

  • You should watch Iron Sky (2012).
    It is a foreign movie about the US present liking Nazi ideals after they came back from the moon 🙂

  • You should go to SpyCulture.com. You can go ahead and interview Tom Secker, the founder of the site. He sends FOIA requests for documents regarding gov't interference in Hollywood and culture in general. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

  • I watched the season and while it pisses on the MIC it clearly portrays the gov. as "trying to do their best".
    Also the show has a great advantage in comparison to the comic book that is being more realistic, thus making our main characters (da boiz) more human and thus a underdog. The comics had a bit to much of a power fantasy. Also the show has a better intro the comic books first few issues reek too much of you know comic books.

  • I love how you refer to GoTcha as simply the 'Dragon Show'. I'm not a big fan of it but even I could see that queen was a warmonger, not a leader who can build civilization. I hope The Boys continues to be a successful, adult franchise because it's set in modern times. So viewers are forced to think of the consequences in that time frame instead of escaping to some fantasy land where dragons can't burn us.

  • Great analysis 👏👏👏 I wish more people would hold Hollywood accountable for their support of warmongering and the military industrial complex!!! They love to be liberal on everything except when it comes to the military!

  • Hi Rob… You forgot to mention Amazon serie show audience how media (or money) can be used to spread lies, manipulate truths and benefit from the patriotism over crowds…

  • That's a good show I always had distaste in goody goody heroes bcz they make million dieing glorious .
    And you should do book readings nice voice.

  • I believe you're looking into it more than it is. These are shows out to make a profit from what a niche market wants just like the Tarentino films.

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