The Progressive: The Boys Gun Show Episode Was Tasteless But Necessary


The Boys is a tasteless show. Take the first scene of the season three premiere. A shrinking superhero called Termite (think Marvel’s Ant-Man) tunnels into his lover’s orifice as part of their sex play. But when he sneezes, Termite accidentally grows to full size, causing him to explode.

Gory gags such as these occur regularly in The Boys, a television series about a team of (mostly) non-powered humans struggling against reckless and megalomaniacal superheroes (dubbed “Supes”). An adaptation of a cynical comic book created in the wake of 9/11 and the War on Terror, The Boys frequently mixes real-world commentary with slapstick schlock. For example, season two ended with a U.S. Representative modeled after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez using her superpowers to explode the heads of attendees at a Congressional hearing. 

But when the Boys’ morally compromised leader Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) walks into a gun show in the second episode of season three, the series might have gone too far. 


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