Gen V review: The Boys spinoff serves up a bloody good coming-of-age story

Meera Jacka
Gen V spoiler-free review

Gen V relishes its R-rating with a coming-of-age story packed full of social commentary, violence, and outrageous humor The Boys franchise has become synonymous with. Here’s our spoiler-free review of the first six episodes of Season 1.

The Boys is a shockingly violent and satirical take on the superhero genre that sees various aspects of pop culture splayed across the screen amongst an ensemble of blood, guts, and nudity.

Debuting in 2019, the show has been a major success and is spreading its wings into a franchise of its own. There’s already an animated anthology — The Boys Presents: Diabolical — and the latest spin-off, Gen V, now explores the complexities of growing up as a “Supe” in university.

Fun, outrageous, and a little on the nose at times, influencer culture and internet addiction take front and center stage as the ongoing gag throughout the series, and there are definitely some jaw-dropping scenes for fans to look forward to.

Gen V pushes The Boys’ boundaries

Recently, coming-of-age TV dramas have frequently featured high schoolers engaging in a world of sex, drugs, and violence that many deem unbefitting considering the characters’ supposed ages (ahem, Euphoria and Riverdale).

Having clearly taken note of this trend, Gen V is pushing boundaries further and ramping things up to the next level by keeping the classic formula intact while dousing up the antics for its well-deserved R-rating.

The story follows Jaz Sinclair’s Marie Moreau as she attends Godolkin University School of Crimefighting in hopes of mastering her blood-bending powers and joining the top-ranking students for a chance at a better life. She’s got all the characteristics of a main character, including a tragic backstory that continues to haunt her and some troubles of the heart that stem largely from frustrating miscommunication.

With the school backed by Vought International, it’s unsurprising that Moreau quickly finds herself in hot water as power (in every sense of the word) is once more abused for personal gain. In true Boys fashion, Gen V’s studious Supes are hormonal and eager to show off their talents, and there’s added depth through the show’s mocking of Gen Z’s online obsession.

However, at times the pacing can be a little slow and characters occasionally struggle to escape their archetypal molds.

Nonetheless, the show is undoubtedly fun and packed full of dark humor that sees The Xavier Institute meet Battle Royal in a brilliantly crude fashion. The characters are enjoyable to watch and best of all, Gen V knows how to utilize its diverse range of powers in bizarre ways never seen before on screen — for anyone a fan of The Boys’ infamous Herogasm episode, this spin-off’s definitely got something for you.

Moreso, mixing superpowers with sex, drugs, and gore has once again proven to be an interesting and unique method of engagement with current social and political issues. Gen V sees these hot topics manifested in a much more literal sense, and the result is a thoroughly enjoyable “teen” drama whose shortcomings are easily forgiven.

There are plenty of easter eggs to spot and the actors do well selling their roles as troubled adolescents navigating adulthood and the immense responsibility of their superpowers all the same. The show’s themes and messages ultimately resonate and are addressed with care despite the series’ otherwise “vulgar” reputation.

With two more episodes still to go at the time of this initial review, here’s hoping Gen V continues to amp up its shocking twists for a Homelander-worthy season 1 finale. It certainly looks to be promising and as Joe Rogan previously told Empire, “Gen V has some really crazy sh*t in it.”

You can check out our other coverage on Gen V here.

About The Author

Meera Jacka is a Senior Entertainment and Trending News Writer on the Australian Dexerto team. She completed her undergrad at Curtin University with a double major in professional writing and publishing and creative writing, graduating with Honours in creative writing. A horror fan with a guilty pleasure in reality TV, Meera covers all things entertainment and trending news, with the occasional film and gaming content thrown in the mix. Contact Meera at meera.jacka@dexerto.com