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What The Critics Are Saying About The Boys Season 2

Spoilers for the first season of The Boys to follow.

From the moment Hughie was splashed with his girlfriend's blood and left holding her two dismembered arms, we knew The Boys was not going to be your typical superhero show. The series takes the superhero genre, completely deconstructs it, and then injects its remains with the worst humanity has to offer — and it does all this while making us laugh at the absurd situations and delicious satire. The end of the first season drew a line in the sand and made it clear who the real heroes and villains were.

That being said, our heroes are still anything but altruistic. They all have their own selfish reasons for what they do. The means they use to achieve their goals are sloppy and hilarious, while clearly displaying that there may actually be no true heroes in this story — even if there are meta-humans zipping around the country. A teaser trailer for season 2 dropped at the beginning of July and assured us that the show wouldn't skip a beat. If anything, it looks as though things are about to amp up a notch. From Homelander (Anthony Starr) casually pushing a kid off a roof to a grinning Butcher (Karl Urban) addressing his ragtag group of vengeance seekers (not to mention more gore than a rated-R trailer could possibly ask for), it looks as though the second season of The Boys is going to be a wild ride. 

Now, in advance of the season's September 4 premiere on Amazon Prime, critics are praising the show's return for a myriad of reasons. Here's the consensus among those that judge what we love.

It's about to get metaphorical

It is a rare thing when critics and audiences see eye to eye. Sometimes critics can fly too close to the sun while they shout down at us shivering peasants and claim that it's much too hot around here. But Icarus be damned, it looks like just about everyone is on the same page with The Boys. The first season garnered great reviews, currently sitting at 84% from critics and 93% from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes. So far, season 2 seems to be faring even better among critics than its predecessor. Say what? An excessively gory superhero TV show that has critics salivating? We certainly want to learn more.

Even in reviews that aren't all positive (i.e. Brandon Katz over at Observer), the main takeaway is that the new season does a fantastic job at making its satirical take on current cultural trends completely obvious. That being said, the negative reviews seem less about not liking the show and more about said critics thinking it's not quite as good as their colleagues claim. What exactly has these critics falling in love (or at least in like) with The Boys season 2? Let us count the ways.

Homeboy is a big, sloppy mess

On The Boys, our superman counterpart is played by Antony Starr in the form of Homelander. Critics unanimously agree that they doubt anyone else could pull off the tantalizing evil cocktail that he brews in season 2. David Griffin at IGN claims that Starr can "make you cringe, laugh, and gasp all in one scene." That definitely sounds like the Homelander we remember — a wonderfully lucid take on a superhero grounded in our reality, who cares how the public perceives him more than about actually being a hero. Also, how the heck are a group of normal humans supposed to defeat an evil superman? The show will no doubt pull no punches, as we saw with the face-melting elimination of a primary character last season.

Over at Den of Geek, Michael Ahr's critique of the new season lauds the show's character growth. That's comforting to hear — judging from the trailer it could be easy to worry that the new episodes could rely on gratuitous gore to entertain us. So far, it sounds like what we have to look forward to is refreshing superhero satire grounded in our current political climate, sprinkled with nuggets of hilarious violence. What an intense combo.

Curse you, superhero movies!

Pop culture today has become oversaturated with the superhuman. We are obsessed with the superhero genre, and The Boys makes sure to let us know exactly how it feels about that. In reviews such as Charles Pulliam-Moore's over at Gizmodo, critics laud the show's lampooning of the entire superhero genre. The superhumans (known as "supes") in The Boys are revered as gods, idolized so thoroughly that fanatics are blind to how deeply flawed their heroes are. Once we learn that the supes aren't born but are actually being created in laboratories at Vaught International (the mega-corporation that oversees the supes and their image), it becomes obvious that these powerful individuals are just regular a**holes with extraordinary powers. 

Season 2 sounds like it will double down on The Boys 'extended metaphor and blast the entire genre. While the message may seem scathing, it's apparent that writers are still big fans of the genre — they're just flashing hazard lights at people. Warning about what it could become if we don't let creators know that we still expect a quality product.

What's another word for evil?

Critics all seem to be digging into the same thesaurus and keying in on one word that is popping up repeatedly in reviews. If you watched season 1 of The Boys all the way through, it's unlikely that the word would surprise you in the least. Countless critics keep referring to season 2 as "diabolical," which makes us want to get our Montgomery Burns on while we wait impatiently for the first episodes to air.

To us, "diabolical" sounds like a very promising adjective. The excitement we feel for that description has us wondering what exactly it is that The Boys is doing to us. The show has an ability to make us laugh at absolute depravity, but it definitely raises the question of how the team behind the show are going to keep the freight train of satirical, gory action gliding into future seasons (and yes, season 3 is already on the way). They have plenty of momentum, that's for sure.

Don't skimp on the superhuman

It makes perfect sense that critics would get all randy about good satire and artistic takes on the current cultural climate, but let's not forget the juicy stuff. Will season 2 have enough blood-soaked action sequences to satiate our desire for R-rated superhero antics? Well, if you're asking that, then you clearly haven't watched the most recent trailer yet. And if you worry someone is playing tricks on your eyeballs, then feel free to trust the critics. The consensus among most every critic is that the blood and violence is gratuitous. Critics claim that the show's over-the-top gore is just the right amount to tip the scale into humor. The introduction of new supes should also add to the enjoyment, with the trailer showing levitating lightning-storm personas and sonic booms.

Season 2 sounds like it's going to be a wild ride. We recommend taking in a wholesome superhero journey or two to cleanse your palette before new episodes drop — from the sounds of it, we're going to need to take a shower once it's over. If you aren't caught up on The Boys or are still on the fence, you could always read through these flabbergasted parent reviews for both guidance and entertainment.