The Boys Is Stirring Controversy and Shattering Viewing Records: Why Its Fourth Season Is Worth Watching

The Boys became the most-watched show on Prime Video in just four days, but not everyone is happy.

The Boys stirs controversy and shatters ratings records: Why its fourth season Is worth watching
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Changes in how we consume TV shows have led us to need shorter products that allow us to get hooked at any time. Today, it’s rare for a series to last more than three seasons, either because its success isn’t sustained over time as it was a few years ago or because the platforms prefer to launch new products that allow them to bring in new viewers from the beginning.

In other words, when a series gradually loses viewers—a perfectly natural process because it’s impossible to keep all its fans over several years of emission—it’s complicated to attract new ones when it reaches the fourth season. You have to catch up with three previous seasons, and who has time for that?

Today, however, we're not defending long TV shows, we're defending The Boys: It’s worth making an effort to watch it from the beginning because it’s currently at its best moment. Sharper, more acidic, and corrosive than ever, and with characters that have reached an unexpected complexity in the first season. As such, it's no wonder that  Prime Video has announced that the show will end in its fifth year, at its peak.

The Bad News: You Can't Get Away With Not Watching Past Seasons

The new season of The Boys picks up right where the third season ended, which is a bummer, as it’s been two years since its premiere. With the convoluted plot that was set in motion, many details have gotten lost along the way. As such, the start of the fourth season may be a bit disconcerting for fans with bad memories.

In season four, we're reminded that that The Seven are in a delicate situation after the desertion of Starlight, while Homelander is going through a deep personal crisis: He reunited with his son, but he realizes that he's spent his whole life surrounded by people who don’t love him. They fear him. Meanwhile, Victoria Neuman inches closer to the presidency, and Billy Butcher and The Boys find new ways to confront the superheroes—even at the cost of their health, as in Butcher’s case.

However, previous subplots have been closed: The supremacist superhero Stormfront and Soldier Boy aren't appearing anymore, at least for now, making it easier to rejoin the satiric adventures of The Boys. In fact, Amazon has announced that the show’s audience grew by 24% in the first four days of the new season. The success of Generation V, the spin-off launched in 2023, could be a good reason to explain why interest in the show hasn’t waned.

The Good News: It’s Worth It

Although The Boys had a very acidic satirical component right from its first episode, in its beginnings, it was closer to the comic book it's based on: a scandalous and hilarious take that used superheroes as an excuse to mock the conventions of the genre. The more grotesque and offensive its humor was, the better. However, showrunner Eric Kripke (Supernatural) soon realized that the presence of Homelander, clearly inspired by Superman—the Seven are an obvious parody, with references to the Justice League—allowed for a message more grounded in the present day.

From the third season—although the corrosive vision of the Voigt Corporation in the first chapters already pointed in this direction—Homelander becomes a clear doppelgänger of former President Donald Trump, not so much for his political career but for the perception that American society has of him. A razor-sharp vision that only become more pronounced in the fourth season, which has caused some controversy because it appears that many viewers of the more conservative spectrum didn’t realize that the series was making fun of them.

It's not a surprise: Trump’s fandom, conspiracy theorists, and far-right political commentators like Joe Rogan all have their corresponding portraits in the show. As a result, offended viewers have engaged in a review bombing campaign that's left the show with a 50% score on Rotten Tomatoes (well below other seasons). Don’t forget that the focus of the show, even in its less politically explicit moments, has always been about what happens when those with power wield it with impunity—the famous “Who watches the Watchmen?” from another superhero comic, notorious for how its fans have misinterpreted it. The strange thing is that many haven’t noticed this until now.

The Boys is undoubtedly a questionable show, but not for avoiding putting all its cards on the table from the beginning. As Kripke himself said, “The show is many things. Subtle is not one of them.” So, everything was on the table from the very beginning. However, it’s clear that if we're talking about QAnon conspiracy theorists, we're not exactly talking about the sharpest pencil in the box.

Image | Prime Video

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