Is Gen V Season 1 worth your valuable viewing time? We’re diving in to find out in our Gen V Season 1 review!
Spinoff series are always challenging. For every Frasier, there is an After M.A.S.H. There’s a reason you remember one of those, and you question if I made the other one up.
The production team behind Prime Video’s popular The Boys series is trying its hand at this formula with Gen V. The series follows the adventures of the students of Godolkin University – AKA “God U” – where superpowered individuals learn all about crime-fighting if they’re lucky, or in a far less glamorous super-powered job such as acting. Everyone dreams of becoming a member of The Seven, but the limits of that job are pretty apparent in the name alone.
The series follows Marie Moreau (Jaz Sinclair), who can control blood, and by this, I mean she can weaponize it in multiple creative ways. She has finally gotten into God U, but as The Boys universe has shown us many times over, achieving your dreams is usually just the beginning of your nightmares.
Once there, Marie rooms with the size-shifting Emma (Lizzie Broadway) and then falls in with a ‘popular’ crowd which includes the metal-bending Andre (Chance Pardomo), the empathic Cate (Maddie Phillips), gender-shifting Jordan (Derek Luh/London Thor), and the fire-manipulating Luke (Patrick Schwarzenegger), the last of which seems to be on the fast track to joining The Seven. It doesn’t take long for Marie to learn that not everything is as fantastic as she thought school would be, and a season-spanning mystery kicks into high gear.
Gen V wouldn’t exist without The Boys, but it also feels like the shackles the original series sometimes suffers under have been removed to an extent. For instance, while a generous amount of blood is splattered across the screen, it feels more impactful as it is used with intent, and not as a by-product of another event. While Homelander may stand around splattered with blood, it never seems to bother him in any true sense. Meanwhile, if the Gen V kids get splattered, which they do, they have a visceral reaction to not only the horrific act that caused it, but that they are also covered in the results.
And then there is the matter of the ‘Plot Armor’ that is getting more and more noticeable in The Boys. Each season, the odds that Homelander, Butcher, Hughie, and Starlight are dying are pretty low. With Gen V, outside of Marie, everyone feels pretty much up for grabs. Without spoiling couplings, you can see a definite argument for ‘if Character A dies, that will have this impact on Character B. And if Character B dies, Characters A and C will react this way.’ The stakes feel higher in a lot of ways with this new series as no one truly feels safe to come out of this season.
While I have enjoyed The Boys, Gen V feels like a more evolved version of the series and its premise. The characters feel a bit more fleshed out and real. Perhaps it’s partially due to these are still kids learning their way in this increasingly shadowy world, and we’re getting an idea of how those older characters became so jaded. Imagine a series filled with characters similar to the way Starlight was portrayed in the early parts of season 1 of The Boys, and you’ll see what this new series is trying to do.
There is no question that Gen V is not for everyone. If you don’t like The Boys, Gen V is probably not going to be for you. If you even like the original series a little bit, however, there is a good chance that Gen V will be very much up your alley.
Disclaimer: Amazon Prime Video provided us with all six of the eight episodes of Gen V season 1 for the purposes of this review. We watched them in their entirety before beginning this review.