The Boys

TV review by
Marty Brown, Common Sense Media
The Boys TV Poster Image
Parents recommend
Edgy comedy-drama subverts the idea of superheroes.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 14 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 7 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Even the characters you root for often give way to their darker impulses.

Positive Role Models & Representations

A relatively diverse cast, but persons of color only play supporting roles.

Violence

The show focuses on the collateral damage done by superheroes trying to stop crime, so there are many action sequences that are especially gory compared to standard superhero stuff, including bloody killings and sexual assault. 

Sex

Sexual content includes simulated sex, female nudity, and full frontal male nudity.

Language

Extreme profanity is used frequently: "f--k," the C-word, "c--k," etc.

Consumerism

Consumerism is a major theme, since the superheroes themselves are corporate brands within the world of the show. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters smoke, drink to excess and use hard drugs.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Boys is a dark comedy series about a world in which superheroes aren't actually the good guys. This means that the "heroes" in the show are constantly doing terrible things including, but not limited to, sexual assault and acts of terrorism. As a result, the show contains just about every type of adult content you can imagine -- simulated sex, male and female nudity, violence, gore, profanity, drinking and drug use -- as well as dealing with the complex moral and ethical issues that the main characters find themselves embroiled in.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJohn019 September 3, 2019

Disappointing

The characters have very unique personalities especially Billy Butcher but I only got 35 minutes into the first episode and I couldn't deal with all the nu... Continue reading
Adult Written byMikeroe73 August 13, 2019

Great premise, well done, definitely not for kids!

I am a super hero fan (a bit tired of Marvel right now) and this is a really good show. Great plot and characters, high production value and explores the conce... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byRiga August 5, 2019

Dark comedy with lots of violence, sex, and swearing.

The boys takes place in a world with super heroes, heroes that are praised and loved, but in this world, if any one new the thoughts and desires of these supers... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old June 10, 2020

ohno.

THIS IS THE MOST EXPLICIT THING I HAVE EVER SEEN
good plot though

What's the story?

In the world of The Boys, superheroes lead celebrity-style lives complete with corporate sponsorship and movie franchises of their own. When Hughie (Jack Quaid) experiences a traumatic event caused by extreme negligence on the part of A-Train, a member of the high profile supergroup The Seven, he is contacted by the mysterious Butcher and begins to learn about what superheroes are like behind closed doors. Meanwhile, Starlight (Erin Moriarity) has a similar experience when is brought in to replace a departing member of The Seven. Her new life appears glamorous on the outside, but she quickly discovers that The Seven are driven by selfishness and corruption.

Is it any good?

In the 80s and 90s, comic book writers like Alan Moore and Frank Miller began to use their work to investigate some of the ethical and moral questions that the very idea of superheroes might bring up. One of the most common of those questions was about the relationship between power and corruption: if superheroes were luminaries who lived outside of society's typical behavioral norms, wouldn't that inevitably lead to some superheroes exploiting their power for something other than the greater good? It's only fitting that, ten-plus years into the MCU era, superhero movies and television would begin to ask the same questions. Garth Ennis's comic The Boys may not be as famous as Moore's Watchmenbut the series covers similar thematic ground by effectively pulling the floor out from under everything we've come to expect from superhero shows in spectacularly entertaining, if frequently shocking, fashion. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about superheroes. What do we expect from superheroes? How do we expect them to behave? How do the superheroes on The Boys behave? How is it different from what we have come to expect from superheroes?

  • How does The Boys blur the line between good guys and bad guys? Do characters behave in ways you might expect them to in real life if superpowers existed? What does the show think about celebrity? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love superheroes

Themes & Topics

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