Now where do you start with something so crazy? Well its a superhero based show on Amazon Prime based on comics by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson and it is super dark.
The basic premise is – what if Superheros aren’t the good guys what if they were run by a company for commercial gain. Hugh’s girlfriend is killed accidentally by the superhero A train and is thrust into a world of non disclosure agreements and hush money. From this he meets and joins a group of men fighting back against the superheros.
What follows is a blood filled romp through superherodom. We get to see the commercialisation and commodification of the hero business in a believable way. The superheros are all flawed and we get to see both side of the story by also following new and upcoming hero – Starlight. She is full of hope and aspiration and is horribly treated.
The social comment in the series is heavy, it tackles issues of death, loss, hero worship, drug addiction, misogny, betrayl and more. It does this in a very graphic way with some truly gory scenes that forced my weak stomach to turn away, nevertheless there is a lot of humour present. This wry look lightens the tone and makes the show watchable.
Kark Urban is amazing as the cold hearted London born Billy Butcher with a giant chip on his shoulder. Hugh is played by Jack Quaid and is believable as the down to earth, normal man thrust into unusual circumstances and being far from the hero himself. Elizabeth Shue personifies corporate America as head of Vought and Antony Starr is chilling as the evil Homelander.
The show has great pace and keeps you guessing with several twists, it actually gets you to feel for the superheroes who have fallen from grace even The Deep, who sexually assaults Starlight on her first day. He was completely vile but you slowly see perhaps why he became like that and see him get a taste of his own medicine and witness a funny sequence when he tries to rescue a dolphin from an aquarium.
I started watching the show hoping the show would be only one season long. A nice neat story tied off in several episodes but after getting towards the end I wanted to see more of Hugh, Starlight, Frenchie and Butcher, and the season closes with a reasonable cliffhanger. The show feels like it does have a limited lifespan before its unique take becomes stale and predictable.
This is definitely an adult show and warrants its 18 certificate, the language is coarse, but in an odd way seems to fit and the violence is extreme but on the whole is comic book in style. Its a good show and I am interested to see how season 2 pans out.