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Friday, December 11, 2020 

A writer for the Federalist thinks The Boys only became tasteless in its 2nd season

Here's a writer at the Federalist who's reviewing the live action TV series based on Garth Ennis' The Boys, and thinks that with the 2nd season, it became bad, even as the 1st season clearly had its leftist influences that were decidedly troubling, all done under the cover of satire:
Over the course of the season, The Boys move closer to their goal of taking down Homelander, a parody of Superman and Captain America who leads The Seven, as the dysfunction and scandals of Vought and its superheroes become increasingly apparent.

In general, the show’s strengths, mainly its focused plot and complex characters, helped check its occasional weaknesses. Every so often, it would drift into preachiness, indulge in gratuitous violence, or lean too hard on its two main characters, Billy Butcher or Homelander. Fortunately, annoying scenes of a character condemning Christians as sanctimonious hypocrites, or heads exploding and appendages being ripped off, or Homelander’s indulging in Oedipal perversions, are limited and usually serve some satirical purpose.
There's honestly some confusion in stating the cruder moments are "limited", when the show's 1st season would devolve into violent moments and preaching "every so often". I've complained before about the continued marketing of graphic violence as an excuse for entertainment, and it's getting very old already. Plus, their Superman/Capt. America spoof named "Homelander" sounds an awful lot like an insult to the concept of "homeland security".

In any case, the columnist does consider the 2nd season slimy, based on the following:
Unfortunately, the creators of “The Boys” take these weaknesses and stretch them out into the whole second season and hardly bother with a real plot. Instead, most of the attention centers on Billy Butcher and his crew meandering without much purpose, trying to expose Vought and bring it to justice, as Homelander continues to act like a pathetic creep who happens to be invincible. Needless to say, the plot includes many lulls in which nothing much seems to happen, as well as tangents that often go nowhere.

The main draw of the second season is a new character, Stormfront, who joins The Seven. While her character has the potential to act as a character foil to Homelander, the creators instead decide to make her a Nazi fueled by racist hatred. Once this is revealed in the middle of the season, the action and development of season two moves from slow to stupid.

Can you guess what Stormfront wants to do? That’s right, she wants to take over the world and impose fascism on everyone.
Certainly, this is atrocious. But, having found 2 comments on Twitter responding to the piece, here's what raised my eyebrows even more. For example:
Season 1 was top tier , season 2 i couldn’t even get through. Jewish white supremecist super hero named Stormfront is just a little too on the nose.
If this is even half accurate, I'm disgusted already. As though it weren't bad enough a woman's put in such an ugly role, it turns out she's of an ethnicity that suffered the worst during WW2? That kind of propaganda - making victims of abominable ideologies out to look no different from the aggressors - has been in use for goodness knows how long, and is unendurable. Another one said:
Why so long to post this, I watched it weeks ago, there’s a lot of Anti America sentiment in this series. You can tell it’s produced by libs.
Even in the 1st season, I'd expect this would be obvious, when you have a metaphor like the Homelander going around. Stuff like this is precisely why I have no respect for these Orwellian types in entertainment, and am tired of satire being used to shield production of these concoctions. Thankfully, the Federalist columnist seems to realize satire's no excuse:
All these faults contribute to season two’s greatest fault: its failure as satire. The first season took aim at celebrity culture, vapid consumerism, cronyism, corporate propaganda, and American chauvinism. By contrast, it’s difficult to see what season two is trying to criticize. Nazis? Scientology? The alt-right? Pharmaceutical companies? Woke capitalism? Maybe these themes resonate with audiences of a certain kind of politics, but most viewers find them incoherent or mildly irritating.
The problem is that whatever they were aiming at before, chances are slim it was ever ultra-leftism. These days, it's gotten to the point where they may not accept such criticism, if at all. And even if politics weren't the problem, it's dismaying whenever entertainment products become so heavily reliant on graphic violence like exploding, dismembered bodies, and nobody's willing to raise enough concern about it anywhere. This shouldn't have to be either a conservative or a liberal viewpoint. It should be the viewpoint anybody who feels visual entertainment as we know it is bankrupting itself out of desperation for turning a buck, to the point where they cater to low denominators, and in the process, they risk depriving everyone of better ways to escape the terrible realisms that occur in real life.

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