‘Gen V’ series review: A ‘The Boys’ spin-off that is as diabolically delicious

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Lizze Broadway, Jaz Sinclair, and Maddie Phillips in a still from ‘Gen V’

Lizze Broadway, Jaz Sinclair, and Maddie Phillips in a still from ‘Gen V’
| Photo Credit: Brooke Palmer/Prime Video

Are you craving some manic mayhem courtesy of Billy Butcher and his non-poncy friends, what with Season 3 of The Boys ending in 2022 and having to wait till 2024 for Season 4? Never fear, for Gen V is here. The Boys spin-off, based on Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s comic book story arc, “We Gotta Go Now,” focuses on youngsters with superpowers navigating life and morals at Godolkin University, where future meta-humans or Supes are trained.

The sticky fingers of Vought International, the evil corporation that controls and monetises all supes, are all over Godolkin too. They run the school pitting the youngsters against each other to secure the top ranks, which will translate to better sponsorship deals and more donations at fund raisers.

Gen V (English)

Season: 1 

Creators: Evan Goldberg, Eric Kripke, Craig Rosenberg

Cast: Jaz Sinclair, Chance Perdomo, Lizze Broadway, Maddie Phillips, London Thor, Derek Luh, Asa Germann, Shelley Conn, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Maia Jae Bastidas, Daniel Beirne

Episodes: 3 of 8

Runtime: 49 to 59 minutes

Storyline: The first generation of Supes, who learn their powers are not god-given but a matter of their parents injecting them with Compound-V, negotiate love, life and their superpowers in the highly competitive world of Godolkin University

On the day Madelyn Stillwell (Elisabeth Shue) announces A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) joining the Seven, with the vaguely pompous “We live in a post-racism world,” Marie Moreau (Jaz Sinclair) discovers her blood-bending powers when she gets her first period. In a scene reminiscent of Carrie, there are horrific deaths and a lot of blood. Fast forward eight years and Marie is accepted at Godolkin where she meets Emma (Lizze Broadway), her roommate, who can shrink to the size of a little toe.

Marie also meets seniors including Luke (Patrick Schwarzenegger), who can command fire, his girlfriend, the empath, Cate (Maddie Phillips), his best friend, Andre (Chance Perdomo), and the gender-fluid Jordan (London Thor, Derek Luh).

Though her plan is to keep her head down, work hard and succeed, a night out with the seniors results in tragedy and suddenly Marie is the talk of the town with off-the-charts ratings. Marie, without a smartphone and no “socials,” is something of an anomaly for the digital natives of Godolkin and a source of great wonder for Social Media Jeff (Daniel Beirne).

Dean Indira Shetty (Shelley Conn) gives Marie some tips on how to survive the shark tank that is Godolkin. The students at Godolkin are the first batch who know their superpowers come from their ambitious parents signing up for their children to be injected with Compound V and not by the choice of a higher power. That wreaks different kinds of havoc on the youngsters and their parents.

There are tragedies and mysteries on campus including The Woods, where all sorts of nefarious activities seem to be going on, the terrible secret of Luke’s super-powered brother Sam (Asa Germann) and the price Emma pays to shrink. Teachers hardly ever play fair, including the respected Chairman of the Godolkin University Crimefighting Department, Brink (Clancy Brown).

Gen V, like The Boys, is high in energy, punctuated by explosions of blood and gore. The characters are well written and excellently acted — the gender-fluid Jordan’s character arc is a case in point where they are people beyond their gender.

There is a thrilling mystery in this black comedy/action thriller/teen drama of meta-humans, testing and pushing their powers and morals to the limit. The first three episodes deliver on all its promises, from sly jokes (A Train’s signature is on the sole of a limited edition sneaker) to the needle drops (The Donnas’ cover of Billy Idol’s ‘Dancing With Myself’ and Phoebe Bridgers’ cover of Metallica’s ‘Nothing Else Matters’ among others). All the remaining episodes have to do is keep up the good work.

Gen V currently streams on Amazon Prime Video with new episodes dropping every Friday till the season finale on November 3, 2023

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