When it comes to addictive television, audiences need look no further than The Boys, the excessively violent, foul-mouthed and socially satirical comic book series that has swept across Prime Video like wildfire and now has a legion of adoring fans. And for those salivating for their Billy Butcher/Homelander fix, Gen V has arrived and introduces audiences to a new collection of would-be heroes who are about to learn that being a hero…. ain’t what it’s cracked up to be.
Its move-in day at Godolkin University and Marie Moreau is ready for a fresh start and to make a name for herself. Marie finds help fitting in from her spirited new roommate, Emma. Meanwhile, all eyes and bets are on the university’s top-ranked hero, Golden Boy, for a spot in the coveted superhero team, The Seven. After Marie has a night out with Golden Boy, Andre, Cate and Jordan that goes awry, she realizes that being a hero isn’t what she thought.
Developed by Craig Rosenberg, Evan Goldberg and Eric Kripke, Gen V delivers a new spin on the world of The Boys, and makes for a cynical new take on the superhero expanding the world of the beloved series, and it’s a hell of meaty new watch. Heroes all start somewhere and in the world of The Boys, they begin at Godolkin University, the premiere Ivy League for tomorrow’s heroes. But even with such a prestigious university, there’s a defined hierarchy, and not all these would-be heroes will be guaranteed their shot. Add in a heightened, politically correct administration, the free use of mind-altering drugs, aggressive sex, a famed-obsessed and genuinely narcissistic graduate class, plus superpowers, and well, you have a diabolical cocktail of fun for audiences in Gen V.
Where The Boys was very much a ‘them vs us’ story, Gen V instead gives perspective to a new generation of superheroes who, despite their earth-shattering powers, are plagued by the myriad of mental issues and social problems that entrap all of us. Rosenberg, Goldberg and Kripke keep the drama interesting in Episode One, ‘God U’ and also help to set the stage for a dangerous conspiracy that is at play. This different perspective and point-of-view allows audiences a different point of entry to the world of The Boys, and we firmly get to see the world and actions from our leads right from their side. While we’re only at the start of Gen V, it’s clear that this is going to make for a very interesting series.
Our point of entry for Gen V is Jaz Sinclair’s Marie Moreau. A gifted blood bender with a savagely tragic past, Marie is the outsider at Godolkin University, and she’s about to have a hell of a wake-up call to how the ‘supe business’ actually works. Where image and social media clout are all that matters, Marie’s on the outside, until by chance she catches the eye of Godolkin’s resident Alpa stud, Golden Boy (Patrick Schwarzenegger). Now hanging with the cool kids, Marie’s life takes a bold new turn, and things get interesting and bloody fast! Sinclair is incredibly natural in the part, and she maintains a real point of difference in her character from the other performers in the show. We’re only at the beginning of this series, but I’m certain that she’s going to taken on one hell of a character journey.
Episode One, ‘God U’ introduces audiences to a raft of diverse and interesting characters…and they’re all fucked up! There’s big man on campus Luke Riordan/Golden Boy (Schwarzenneger), who’s the Alpha Male Chad on campus, and he’s ready to go all the way to the Seven! Andre Anderson (Chance Perdomo), a popular metal bender, who has serious daddy issues and is unsure of what he wants. The gender-bending Jordan Li (London Thor and Derek Luh) who has a serious chip on their shoulder and takes an instant dislike to Marie’s arrival and opinion of herself. Cate Dunlap (Maddie Phillips) is the Queen B of Godolkin U, and her catty, scrappy personality and ability to alter anyone’s mind makes her a threatening presence in the social hierarchy on campus. And finally, Emma Meyer/Little Cricket (Lizze Broadway), a full-grown-sized Supe who has the ability to shrink, might be all bubbly and goofy on the outside, but she’s got issues. It’s a collection of incredibly interesting characters, and they’ve all got a stake in the events of Gen V.
If you thought that Season Three opening of The Boys was messed-up, then wait till you see how messy Gen V gets. And damn is the series going to continue in the ‘there will be blood’ mantra of the series. ‘God U’ might only be the starting episode, but there’s a whole heap of violence and sex to keep audiences hooked in. Add in the powder keg of contemporary college life, and things are about to get interesting. But none of this excessive violence or sex is just for shock value, well it is, but there’s a real narrative purpose to all of this in Gen V, and just like The Boys, this series will get addictive.
Episode One, ‘God U’ is a hell of a start to a complex and intriguing new spin-off series, and it’s a bold new chapter in the world of The Boys. I’m watching with baited attention as to what happens next, and it’s going to get pretty damn wild as we move forward into the world…and secrets of Gen V.
Gen V streams on Prime Video.
Image: Prime Video