Stage & Screen

Gen V Will Knock You Senseless

Amazon Prime’s 'The Boys' spinoff is unapologetic mania that lives up to its predecessor.
Photos: Amazon
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Gen V Will Knock You Senseless

Insanity meets sensuality in this spinoff of The Boys, directed by Nelson Cragg, which doesn’t hold back on anything ridiculous or nauseating. Think Sky High if it was written by the creators of Skins, with a few truckloads of blood doused on top, and you’ll end up with something quite like Gen V. The plot follows the super students of Godolkin University, who inherited their powers artificially through a drug given to them by their parents as infants. The show follows a general rule that if they can go there, they will go there, which is why this gory satire follows a strong premise, but may be hard to stomach for some.

L to R: Chance Perdomo, Jaz Sinclair, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Maddie Phillips, Derek Luh

Protagonist Marie (Jaz Sinclair) has a beautiful, distinctive ability to manipulate and weaponize her own blood. Never did we expect to see flying daggers made out of seemingly crystallised blood be the main weapon of the series’ heroine, but it’s refreshing and allows room for one to interpret the spilling of blood’s being a superpower as many things: one’s pain becoming a driving force, exhausting oneself to achieve greatness, and the red, blazing determination of a character like Marie. The styling choices clearly depict this as well, with Marie more than once donning something bold, red, and elegant.

L to R: Chance Perdomo, Sean Patrick Thomas

The writers were drunk on their own creativity when it came to playing with different ideas around the characters’ supernatural traits and how these interacted with their personalities and personal lives. Perhaps the most interesting character is Jordan (Derek Luh and London Thor), whose bi-genderness intertwines with their powers, meaning we have a character whose gender identity is also their superpower. The writer’s room absolutely ran free with this concept, giving an already dynamic character even more layers, with their super abilities alternating with each gender switch. Both actors who played Jordan harmonised well, with neither dominating the other.

L to R: Jaz Sinclair, Lizze Broadway

In the first season of Gen V, our characters are bonding over trauma and adventurous expeditions, sometimes involving obliteration, but always involving imaginative uses of their powers. At one point Marie’s roommate Emma (Lizze Broadway) with shrinking abilities becomes something of a blood-soaked Alice In Wonderland. It also manages to explore topics such as self-harm and eating disorders at length, but not in the way you’d expect. It takes a laugh at performative wokeness, providing relief to those who’ve ever been pitied, exploited, or received unwanted attention for such reasons. 

L to R: Lizze Broadway, Jaz Sinclair, Maddie Phillips

What is great about Gen V is that viewers don’t need to sit through three seasons of The Boys to understand what’s going on. You can enjoy it as a side dish, or it can be a standalone meal. The series crosses so much off our young adult dramedy bingo cards in a few episodes that it’s impressive how well it retains good pacing; the stories of our leading individuals are unravelled gradually as the plot peels around them. While the R-rated scenes are pretty much shock-factor, the core character arcs are always there, and the show doesn’t really deviate from its linear storytelling, leading to a fun show that is certainly worth checking out.

Gen V is out today on Amazon Prime.

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