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The Advice Seth Rogen Gave To The Boys Showrunner Eric Kripke

Taking a critically acclaimed comic series and adapting it to television is never an easy job, especially when the source material is as violent and savage as "The Boys" by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. And yet, showrunner Eric Kripke has managed to bring Billy Butcher, Homelander, and Wee Hughie to Amazon Prime Video with style. Sure, it's not a perfect, page-by-page adaptation, but narratively, the show brilliantly uses the themes Ennis and Robertson explored in their comic series with its own unique flair.

One of the most impressive things about the "Boys" streaming series is just how satirical it gets. Kripke has taken the comics' core narrative of criticizing generic superheroes and the tropes that go hand-in-hand with them and applied it to how the genre has evolved since the original book's debut in 2006. Just look at the movie Homelander, Starlight, Queen Maeve, and A-Train are filming in Season 2, "Dawn of the Seven." It's a clear parody of "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice." Even the poster seen in a later episode uses the same artistic style as the Zack Snyder-directed film.

But it's always difficult to know when to draw the line with satire. Thankfully, Eric Kripke received some perfect advice about how to weave it into the show — from none other than Seth Rogen.

It all comes from the heart

During a lengthy and insightful talk with the London Screenwriters' Festival, Eric Kripke was asked how he balances the violence and the satire in "The Boys" without alienating viewers. Thankfully, it's something that the showrunner had already grappled with. He explained that Seth Rogen, who's an executive producer of "The Boys," gave Kripke a useful piece of advice when approaching some of the most controversial moments in the series.

In short, Rogen's advice was to make sure that the audience knows where the heart of the story is coming from; that makes all the crazy stuff goes down much more smoothly. Since "The Boys" establishes the fact that it's criticizing typical Marvel and DC heroes, and makes it clear that Butcher and the Boys gang are trying to fight for a good cause, Kripke and the writers have the freedom to use wild, excessive violence to back up the team's motivations.

"Seth Rogen ... is no stranger to stuff that's a little edgy and a little out-there. And what he said was, 'As long as the audience knows that your heart is in the right place, if you can communicate where your heart is, they will put up with a lot.' If [your project] has a good heart and everyone knows it, you can get away with really crazy s***," Kripke explained. "The other thing — and it's a George Carlin thought, not mine — but you know, the point of satire, and brutal satire, and edgy and offensive things is to punch up, not down."