Since the success of Iron Man in 2008, superheroes have been everywhere. Whether it be cinemas, television shows or streaming, it has been almost impossible to hide from the influx of super stories. Most projects stick to a trusted pattern, but one show has been brave enough to deviate from tradition. That show is The Boys, a programme that shows that sometimes the ‘good guys’ are actually also the bad ones. The Boys has been a phenomenal success, shaking off superhero fatigue and giving older viewers something a tad more mature and violent. Although a fourth series is still a while away, the creative team have put their collective heads together and birthed a spin-off show, Gen V.
Set in the grounds of the prestigious Godolkin college, Gen V joins a group of students as they navigate their way through college in the wake of the Compound V news. Knowing that they were secretly given, rather than having been born with powers is a lot to process. In Gen V this manifests itself through the familiar guise of teen angst. Fret not though, as despite its younger aged cast, Gen V is the perfect partner series for The Boys. Gen V is what all spin-off shows should be – they should continue themes and concepts from the original, but make them their own. When watching Gen V, it always feels like its own entity, but it is still fundamentally linked and grounded within the foundations drawn up by The Boys. As such, the two marry together beautifully.
Gen V has everything that The Boys has – complex characters, weird sex, and excessive violence. Yet somehow each of these components is even more unhinged than its parent show. College is a time for experimentation and the new cast of characters champion exploration. Right from its opening sequence, Gen V is overflowing with blood; as the series progresses, the quota of blood, and other bodily fluids, rises significantly. The fight sequences are a resounding success, the powers of these youngsters facilitate carnage in all forms creating some breathtaking and stomach-turning moments. If you thought showrunner Eric Kripke could never top Herogasm…well, just you wait and see. Prepare for plenty of WTF moments, both in terms of violence, gore, and narrative, as Gen V is packed with surprises.
As fun as all the gross out gags and viscera are, Gen V is also a moving coming of age story. Each character has their own hang-ups and insecurities, and despite being ‘super’ powered, all their issues are recognisable and relatable for the audience. That these teens have extraordinary talents is simply an added bonus. Even without that dressing, there is enough excitement within this story to connect to.
At the time of writing, THN had only been able to view six out of the eight episodes. So far Gen V has been an excellent addition to the world of The Boys, one that compliments and enriches, rather than detracting from it. The new show maintains the original’s reputation, especially in terms of shock value, and is essentially everything you could want (and more) from a spin-off. Fingers crossed that the show sticks the landing with its final two episodes, but from what the first six episodes have demonstrated, we need not worry.
A prime example of exactly how spin-offs should be handled, Gen V extends and enriches the world that is so well shaped in The Boys.
Gen V arrives on Prime Video on Friday 29th September 2023.