The Boys Season 3 Is The Satire We All Need In 2022

When "The Boys" first premiered, you could be forgiven for thinking it looked like just another hyper violent, hyper sexual superhero show with a nihilistic tone. But it quickly became clear that this show is something else, something better. After a few episodes it became one of the hardest-biting satires on TV, a show about the horrors of late stage capitalism, our obsession with celebrity culture, the rise of mega corporations and fascism, all packaged as a fun, hyper violent, hyper sexual superhero show.

Season 3 is no different. In its first three episodes, "The Boys" ups the ante, something of an achievement considering what they already covered in the previous two seasons. But in addition to challenging the characters, and the audience's resilience in watching some incredibly dark and gross material, it also continues to be the satire that we need today. It allows for a cathartic laugh at the miserable darkness of the times we live in. Here are just some of the targets of the biting satire of the season 3 premiere of "The Boys." 

Heavy spoilers for the first three episodes of "The Boys" season 3, obviously.

Superheroes, reality TV, and sex cults

The very first scene of the season 3 premiere takes on the biggest piece of pop culture on the planet — superhero movies. We see part of the in-universe film "Dawn of the Seven," a movie about, well, The Seven, that has gone through a bit of controversy. In a pitch-perfect riff on the MCU and DCEU, the film is an epic blockbuster that went through a ton of reshoots (after one of the leads was outed as a Nazi) and replaced with another A-lister (Charlize Theron!!). 

There's even mention of an online campaign to restore the director's vision, and the director talks about loving the fans and "the hashtags" even if he clearly doesn't care. There are a ton of superhero parodies out there, but any time "The Boys" makes fun of superhero movies via its in-universe cinematic universe, we know we're in for a treat.

Then there's The Deep, who gets a bigger role this season. After he spent much of the previous season in a cult posing as a self-betterment treatment, The Deep is free (kind of) and promoting his ultra-lucrative tell-all book. If the cult was an amalgamation of real organizations like the Church of Scientology and the NXIVM sex cult, then The Deep's book deal and subsequent capitalization on his experience is a clear reference to the many, many NXIVM docs like "The Vow," and "Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult."

Fake wokeness and foreign interventions

As the titular Boys try to find clues as to the fate of Soldier Boy, hoping to find a weapon that could kill Homelander, Frenchie and Kimiko end up going to VoughtLand. The theme park is a clear parallel to Disneyland, with tons of rides and meet and greets with crewmembers dressed up as The Seven. But the satire hits hardest with how it shows the way mega corporations like Disney try to appeal to diversity by putting on a fake front. 

Instead of Cinderella's castle, there is Brave Maeve's Inclusive Kingdom, which is filled with rainbows, and "diverse" food and decorations like piñatas, tacos, as well as "BLM BLTs," "Woke Woks" and something called "LGBTurkey Legs." Of course, it is all a sham in order to bring in even more money while promoting the most disgusting, psychopathic, serial-killing superhero bigot there is.

Shortly after, we learn the truth about Soldier Boy's fate. He and his team were involved in the first superhero/military operation, in the show's answer to the CIA getting involved in Nicaragua and helping install a puppet military regime. The show tends to rewrite history to involve superheroes, but in a way that still shines a light on horrors of our time that perhaps are not as well known or as talked about as they should be.

Gun culture and cancel culture

In a totally unsurprising move for "The Boys," we learn there is at least one superhero who is a total gun nut. Before they find out the truth about Soldier Boy, Butcher goes to find his old ward Gunpowder, a superhero whose whole thing is that he shoots lots of guns. Where do you find such a rare specimen? Why, at a pro-gun rally, of course! This is arguably the most on-the-nose piece of satire this season, but arguably its most essential one in light of recent news. The camera slowing down to show all the little kids playing with rifles and grenades on the convention floor like they were "Star Wars" toys is messed up; it hurts, but it's necessary.

Then there's the most biting target of satire of the first three episodes, and the one with the darkest implications for the rest of the season: Homelander. During his birthday TV spectacular, he decides to go off script and start babbling about cancel culture, the liberal media, and how he is oppressed by some unseen force that wants him to keep apologizing for dating an actual Nazi. It's an absolutely terrifying scene that only gets scarier as the camera cuts back to the audience reactions across the country, with adult men sympathizing with the speech and feeling empowered by Homelander's words. By the time we hear that his popularity has increased substantially, we know irreparable damage has been done.

The first three episodes of "The Boys" are streaming now on Prime Video. New episodes arrive weekly on Fridays.