Gen V Episode 1 review – Same Diabolical Fun with a younger generation
Last night I got invited to see the first two episodes of Prime Video‘s new series Gen V which is a spinoff series of The Boys and I have to admit it was pretty good.
I was dismissive of Gen V back when it was announced. Not because it was spinning out of The Boys but because I didn’t feel like they would be able to hit that right balance between building a bigger world, connect with whatever the hells happening with Karl Urban’s Billy Butcher and The Boys and give us something with meat that we can tune into on a weekly basis. And that went out for me by the time the credits rolled for Gen V Episode 1.
The cast look great and some of them have really good onscreen charisma. Most of them have their neat little thing going on and have chemistry too. Marie, the series protagonist with some serious bloodbending powers was the perfect POV character going into the episode. Sometimes I think she was just too perfect.
Two stars here super hyped up including Clancy Brown aka Lex Luthor aka John Wick’s Harbinger aka Mr Krabbs have limited screentime. I swear it’s a crime with what they did. Patrick Schwarzenegger as Golden Boy was also something that while I still think was wasted, had meaning to it. It kinda lessened the star power of the show to be honest, but then again, we’re all about this adventure with Marie and the rest of the teenagers that get introduced namely Andre, Kate, Jordan and Emma and how this big mystery that still involves “The Boys” evil corporation Voght America is balls deep in.
The gore and the sex is something that The Boys TV series perfected already and they’ve used the experience to go dirtier especially since we are dealing with teenagers here. Consider this your trigger warning. But in hindsight, the gore is part of what makes the story work. Plus the main character, Marie Moreau (Jaz Sinclair) is starting to be an impressive bloodbender. Then there’s the shrinking Emma Meyer (Lizze Broadway) who got involved in some dirty dirty sex in her “smaller” form. And they actually showed the penis. Like the series and the episode was really good when it comes to capturing the sordid and dirty essence of “The Boys” comic book and spinning it into something new. I expect nothing but this same level of dark humor and violence as we go through the rest of the episodes for the season. There’s even
Shout out to the musical choices too littered throughout the episode and the season in general. Loved that they included Celebrity Skin which is a perfect track to use.
And while we’re already being introduced to these characters in the Boys universe and their little problems here and there, there’s also a bigger mystery that’s been begging to be solved and that deals with the mysterious “Woods” facility that only a handful of people in the university.
But what makes Gen V Episode 1 work both as a pilot show and a spinoff of The Boys is how it touches on real teenage subjects and problems. In the span of one hour the showrunners are able to neatly introduce subplot problems for each and every important character including the one off problem that Golden Boy has to face.
Marie does something heroic that gives her the necessary pat in the back she needs in the life but she’s quickly dismissed after her involvement with Golden Boy’s crew. This gives us one of the more powerful performances for Jaz Sinclair.
There’s the subplot for Emma as we find out in the episode that she needs to “purge” before she can shrink down, on top of that guilt that she has to live with, she’s constantly bashed online on her youtube channel which constantly drops her self-esteem and outlook.
Then there’s Jordan Li who also has an interesting chip on their shoulder as a character. Jordan can transform between a boy and a girl. When she’s a girl she’s played exceptionally well by London Thor and when they transform into a guy she’s Derek Luh. She’s playing second fiddle to Golden Boy, well aware that she/ he would never be good enough for everybody because she’s Asian, gender-fluid and very strong willed.
Still we do get great character moments for these characters.