Gen V Series (2023) Review
By Justin Wood,2023-09-27
When Amazon Studios announced The Boys had a spin-off coming out surrounding what was basically Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters , I was a little thrown off. Even when trailers started coming out, it looked more and more like Amazon wanted to get in on a CW-style The Boys show but not the good CW like Supernatural , more like Riverdale CW. Thankfully, I was incredibly wrong.
Gen V starts off in an interesting time during The Boys : it’s during A-Train’s selection into the Seven, eight years before current day The Boys . Vought sees this as a way to promote their “We live in a post-racism world” claim, and while Marie’s family is celebrating, we find out that Marie herself has wound up with powers. Her powers appeared as she was having her first period and made for quite the show. This is also the time when Gen V lets us know that even though this is a spin-off, it is still in the same bloody universe as The Boys .
We pick up eight years later, with Marie in a boarding school, struggling with herself. She is not interested in making friends but is dead set on making it into the Seven for ulterior motives that would spoil way too much after a brief montage of her day-to-day life, including a fantastic scene where we see that she has learned to control her powers a little better. She has the ability to control blood, so she cuts her hand and uses her blood to hit a few objects around the boarding school’s gym. This display of showing us her powers lets us know not only has she grown a bit since her prepubescent stage but also lets us know that no matter what, we are in for a bloody good time.
She quickly receives an acceptance letter from Godolkin University, which is basically a university for people with superpowers. Then, the season’s stakes are set. If she gets kicked out, she will be sent to basically a Vought prison ground where they torture and kill superheroes, all in the name of science. Then, just like any higher academic school, we get this hilariously bad intro welcome to Goldolkin U video showing us that the majority of The Seven had gone here, and it’s where the best of the best go to learn either how to fight crime or to perform in the arts.
“…if you know The Boys universe and how unapologetically crude and filled with dark humour it is, then keep that in mind coming into Gen V because it is no different…”
After meeting her roommate Emma, aka Little Cricket, named that because she can shrink in size, she gives Marie the lowdown on the entire school. Like how there is a ranked top ten in the school, and everyone has eyes for the top-ranked Golden Boy Luke. With many excited for when he becomes engulfed in flames because it means his penis comes out because his clothes burn up. There is an extended conversation about this.
Again, if you know The Boys universe and how unapologetically crude and filled with dark humour it is, then keep that in mind coming into Gen V because it is no different, except instead of late mid to late 30-year-olds and up trying to take down supers, its 20-year-old horny university kids.
We find out that the top few kids hang out together, and Marie has gotten the attention of one and invites her out. When Marie proclaims she doesn’t want to go, Emma threatens that she will just be masturbating all night about the thought of her going out and that she is loud. So Marie decides to go out, where things take a turn. Some people get hurt because of the top four kids and Marie, and she starts to understand how the school really works.
During this, we see Emma deal with some online harassment that really plays to her putting on a smile for everyone facade. To deal with this, she meets up with one of her online fans to have sex, but he is only interested in one thing, to have her shrink down and hang off his penis. Seriously, there are a few minutes of this, and the way Gen V plays it is weirdly hilarious but also incredibly upsetting for the emotional state of Emma.
“I can’t wait to watch more Gen V . It’s a hilarious dark comedy filled with sex, violence and a stunning cast with a soundtrack that manages to elevate it even more.”
The rest of the story from the first episode I would hate to ruin because that is where all the expounding on the universe is. But to say the least, I was very pleasantly surprised by what Gen V managed to accomplish. They managed this marriage of The CW, X-Men , and The Boys that just works. There are some really good emotional beats, specifically watching Emma go through the harassment and bullying only to have someone use her. It’s heartbreaking.
The acting all around is outstanding, with Jaz Sinclair (Marie) and Lizze Broadway (Emma) being outstanding, and the anguish that Derek Luh and London Thor manage to both put into the gender-changing Jordan Li is impeccable. There is so much talent in Gen V , and I usually don’t connect with adolescents in these shows because I, at times, feel like a grumpy old man, but they managed to portray such emotion and drive that I couldn’t help but root for them. Also, the soundtrack is outstanding. I don’t want to ruin the song beats, but if you enjoy late 80s to 00s jams, then you are bound to have a good time.
I can’t wait to watch more Gen V . It’s a hilarious dark comedy filled with sex, violence and a stunning cast with a soundtrack that manages to elevate it even more. How this will affect the future seasons of The Boys, I can’t wait to find out.