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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
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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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 Watchmen, but 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?
Themes & Topics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.