Entertainment

‘The Boys’ Season 3: Inside the Funniest, Grossest, Most Outrageous Superhero Show on TV


I have not been through Amazon’s media training, so I’m happy to spell it out for you: The Boys has a lot to say about Donald Trump. His on-screen analogue in season two was Stormfront—a white supremacist superhero, played by Aya Cash, who vows to “keep America safe again.” Her strategy for radicalizing white Americans hinged, in no small part, on a massive disinformation campaign disseminated via internet memes. (“When you see it on your uncle’s Facebook page, that’s how you know it’s working,” she explained.)

Stormfront’s lover and protégé was Homelander. Where other people saw a quintessentially American hero, she saw a blond-haired, blue-eyed Übermensch. Her endgame was getting Homelander to see his future the way she did. “You can’t win the whole country anymore,” she preached. “You don’t need 50 million people to love you, you need 5 million people fucking pissed.”

So, yeah: Donald Trump. But Stormfront, like Trump, didn’t get to the apex of her plan; she was stopped by the Boys and their few superpowered allies. Homelander, her closest public associate, has since been forced into a public apology tour, mumbling the same empty line about being “just a man who fell in love with the wrong woman” on every vacuous talk show that will host him. As season three begins, the good guys seem to have won, though the rise of a grassroots pro-Stormfront group called the Stormchasers is a harrowing sign that her political movement wasn’t exactly defeated.

Which means the big question in season three is something a lot of us are contemplating right now: When a would-be tyrant is finally toppled, what fills the power vacuum they leave behind? What if the venom that person injected into society has already sunk in so deep that there’s no sucking it out again? What can we do?

A popular answer on both sides of the real world political spectrum these days is looking for inspiration from an idealized, imaginary past. As conservative politicians try to drag everyone back to an America where white Christian men get to decide what’s right for everybody, liberal politicians fall back on ineffectual appeals to a bygone era of civility, decorum, and reaching across the aisle.



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