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The Boys Showrunner Eric Kripke Blasts Many Streaming TV Creators

"The Boys" has been lauded by critics and adored by fans for its pairing of sharp social commentary with emotional storytelling, all topped off with a hyperviolent flair. Starring Karl Urban as Billy Butcher, the leader of a mercenary team dedicated to taking down the dangerously unaccountable superheroes of their world, "The Boys" is a caustic look at both our current political situation and our cultural obsession with the superhero genre. Season 3 in particular had critics picking their jaws off the floor as it built toward a dramatic confrontation between the titular Boys and the despotic Homelander (Antony Starr). The show's richly crafted world and willingness to go where other shows simply aren't allowed to in service of its overarching themes is certainly one aspect of its mainstream success.

That "The Boys" has had such a titanic impact is no coincidence. Showrunner Eric Kripke is a veteran of the television industry who specializes in building intricate fictional worlds. His first major success was the cult hit "Supernatural." Like "The Boys," "Supernatural" built a sprawling world that brought in new fans with each subsequent season. Though it ran for a staggering 15 seasons, Kripke was most closely involved with the first five, which followed two monster-hunting brothers, Dean and Sam Winchester (Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki), as they first track down the demon who killed their mother and eventually save the world from the apocalypse itself.

Having been in the business for so long, Kripke has seen the decline of network TV while streaming services exploded into the juggernauts we know today. While the rise of streaming has given many creators, including Kripke, the ability to experiment with the form in new directions, there are certainly fair criticisms to be made. In a recent interview, Kripke vented his grievances with streaming creators.

Kripke lambasted streaming creators for misunderstanding the format

In a recent interview with Vulture, "The Boys" showrunner Eric Kripke made a scathing criticism of showrunners who create streaming content, saying that, because of their lack of television experience, they often backload the main action. "The downside of streaming is that a lot of filmmakers who work in streaming didn't necessarily come out of the network grind," Kripke pointed out, noting that these creators tend to wait till the last few episodes before making things really interesting on their shows.

Kripke's complaints stem from his history as showrunner on traditional TV shows, where keeping viewers invested week after week is the only path to success. "As a network guy who had to get you people interested for 22 f***ing hours a year, I didn't get the benefit of, 'Oh, just hang in there and don't worry. The critics will tell you that by Episode 8, s*** really hits the fan,'" he said.

The so-called "Netflix model," wherein a series releases all of the episodes in a season at once, has allowed creators a much greater degree of latitude to experiment with structure and storytelling, but Kripke doesn't have much patience for the more indulgent among them, believing that keeping an audience interested should be the guiding principle. "Anyone who says, 'Well, what I'm really making is a 10-hour movie.' F*** you! No you're not! Make a TV show. You're in the entertainment business," Kripke continued.

However, Kripke admitted that the benefits of streaming have made his job easier, saying, "Look, I love streaming. I can't see ever going back to network. It's the ability to do two things: have most of your scripts written before you shoot a day of film, and then have all the episodes finished before you turn them over to air."