3. The Boys
What did I say about emulating the Justice League?
In the world of The Boys, heroes are not your friends. They may appear to be like the Justice League, but as the first two seasons have indicated, Vought’s heroes are the worst kind of villains. Luckily, Hughie, Billy, Mother’s Milk, and the rest of the crew are ready to expose these ****s for who they are and maybe kill a few of them in the process.
The Boys is needed fare in the world of superhero overload. Something subversive, vulgar, violent, but also with some real-world traits to ground it. Yes, they may overreach into some real cringe-worthy territory (the “girl power” scene at the end of season 2 made me physically cringe) to try to make a point, but when it comes to telling the story of being real people in a world dominated by supes, this show doesn’t miss. The constant theme of revenge in the way that it reflects in the ongoing battle of good vs. evil is not subtle but is told very well as not to bash you over the head with it. Butcher is not a good guy, but in comparison, he’s an angel. How that factors into Hughie’s story of revenge and redemption is a perfect example of what makes this show so good.
It may be quite a bit off of the comic penned by a personal favorite Garth Ennis, but it may have hit that rare vein of understanding the source material and adapting it for the better. As I said, in a media dominated by superheroes, having an unlikable bunch of misfits with no powers taking on an even more unlikeable lot of supes makes it a more pertinent tale than the supes on supes story from 15 years ago.
This is an absolute much-watch show!
Find it as an Amazon Original if you’re one of the kajillion Prime members.
With a certain globally felt event impacting all media, Loki fell into a very unenviable situation. Content starved people had made an entire second story out of WandaVision that was never even there (half of it, at least). Phase 4 films had been pushed and pushed and pushed but were FINALLY getting a release. So, with the release frames all out of whack, Loki would have not just to please audiences but to settle some long-standing “plot holes” in the MCU.
So, here comes Tom Hiddleston’s Loki following up a plot point from Avengers: Endgame and telling a brand new story set in a (kind of) brand new (tiny?) world. With the multiverse being controlled by the same TVA keeping Loki under lock and key, us already knowing about the expanding multiverse would make this a dull tale that reiterates plot points we already know, right?
Not so fast! Here comes an 80’s inspired, time-traveling Owen Wilson co-starring Loki(s), featuring a hilarious and action-packed gem! Where its immediate predecessor in Falcon and the Winter Soldier fell right on its face, Loki thrived by being exactly what that show wasn’t – a comic book TV series. The scope, the story, the reality-bending, the time travel, alligators, glorious purposes, The Void, and a real, honest-to-goodness bad guy, Loki was EVERYTHING you could want from an MCU TV show.
The fact that Owen Wilson is lovable and charming, Sophia Di Martino is an absolute treasure, and Tom Hiddleston continues to make his villainous role into a beloved hero only adds to how great this show is. I would go on with what sets Loki apart, but I would get into spoilers, and as T’Challa once said, ‘we don’t do that here.
Find this one wrapped up over on Disney +.
Superhero shows are always about heroes, right? So what if the superhero is tied to the supervillain literally in body and mind? And what about if the hero might also be the villain?
From Noah Hawley, the mind behind the Fargo TV series, comes the story about one of the strongest mutants ever to exist, in a show that is mostly not about mutants at all. Obviously, the powers are a major factor in the show as reality bends, melds, and is broken at nearly every turn, but it’s never just about how those with powers deal with living their lives with said powers.
This is a show about people. A show about the power of thought, the power of love, the power of relationships, the power of family. About mental illness, the urge to survive, the urge to find our place in the world, about what makes us feel, well, human.
As we follow David and the group across reality, history, and the astral plane, the fact that these are mutants battling against the end of the world becomes almost secondary. Yes, sure, the fact that time-eating cats from beyond our reality show up or that a thought turns into a malignant and violent beast keeps the fact that this is a bonkers superhero show at the forefront. But ultimately, this is a show about the characters and the trajectory that their lives take them on.
Toss in a bunch of incredible musical numbers from some of the most iconic acts in history, some weird AF robots, one of the most tragic love affairs I’ve seen in recent years, and some real inversions of expectations at every corner, and Noah Hawley has done it again. While he may be known for his crime dramas, he should be known for this masterpiece of not your typical superhero fare.
Finding this one may be a little more difficult than you may think, but check it out on FX if you’re eligible to get their streaming service.
Thank you for keeping it locked on COGconnected.