Metro Weekly

‘Gen V’ Review: Empowered Youth

Like 'The Boys,' Prime's magnificent spin-off 'Gen V' is filled with outrageous carnage, crazy satire, and strikingly deeper meaning.

Gen V: Lizze Broadway, Jaz Sinclair, Maddie Phillips
Gen V: Lizze Broadway, Jaz Sinclair, Maddie Phillips – Prime Video

The Boys is one of Prime Video’s greatest series on its platform.

So it makes sense that the Amazon corporate overlords would mine the original comic from Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson for some way to extend the brand.

Gen V (★★★★☆), a show about America’s most prestigious superhero college, makes it clear through blood, insanity, and pitch-black humor that this is definitely a spin-off of The Boys.

Following a dangerous awakening of her power to control blood, Marie (Jaz Sinclair) gets the opportunity to leave her orphanage for kids with powers for Goldolkin University, a major step forward in her goal to become the first black woman on The Seven.

When she arrives, Marie meets her roommate, Emma (Lizze Broadway), who is also a famous YouTuber, Little Cricket, where she showcases her ability to shrink.

Together, the two meet the school’s top ten students, including the superpowered Golden Boy (Patrick Schwarzenegger), his mind-controlling girlfriend Cate (Maddie Phillips), bi-gender Jordan (London Thor and Derek Luh), and Andre (Chance Perdomo), the magnetic son of a famous alumni.

Gen V: Derek Luh
Gen V: Derek Luh – Prime Video

While Marie’s initial hopes seem fruitful, Gen V constantly reminds you that this is the world of The Boys, almost too much so. Every happy moment is bookended by an insane and usually violent moment of trauma with some zinger or depraved joke. This intense come-and-go manages to truly replicate the feeling The Boys brings — along with the enjoyability.

Gen V zooms by even with hour-long episodes. Its pacing is electric, and its plotting is just smart enough to keep you guessing. The highlight of the series has been its characters, who, despite being set up to be stereotypes, become likable people you genuinely root for. Marie is the rare protagonist who actually makes sense and operates in a way that a normal human would, something rare for television nowadays.

The “mean students” like Cate and Jordan actually become the show’s standouts as the series gives them time to tell their stories. Jordan, who has the ability to switch between male and female genders, struggles with the fact that they aren’t allowed success due to the fact that their bigender “wouldn’t sell in middle America.” Meanwhile, their parents shun their female side. It’s not only an authentically queer storyline presented with respect, but it helps ground the show’s outrageous tendencies into something more meaningful.

Gen V: Chance Perdomo
Gen V: Chance Perdomo

The story itself comes from an arc in the original comic and was hinted at heavily during season three (we saw Marie’s face on a computer). It sometimes feels as though the show veers too heavily into previous territory to surprise you. The first half of the season features a handful of plotlines that seem very close to their originator.

With the focus on a bunch of kids with their parents’ expectations of them, the series does manage to strike a chord about trying to make everyone but yourself happy, but the narrative feels highly reminiscent of Starlight’s in The Boys.

Add in secret hospitals, conspiracies, prison escapes, and a ton of carnage, and you’ve pretty much summed up The Boys, but not entirely Gen V. The show has all those elements, but as of episode four, it only feels like it’s just begun reaching for its true potential on what it can achieve outside of The Boys.

The one major difference between the two shows is Gen V‘s commitment to making capitalism the villain by holding up a mirror to our own world. The Boys isn’t a stranger to that concept, but the main characters never truly factor in their need for money like the students of Gen V, all hyperaware that their chances to make a name for themselves in the real world are all too slim for those who don’t fit the white, straight male mold.

Gen V: Asa Germann, Lizze Broadway
Gen V: Asa Germann, Lizze Broadway

There are a lot of cameos from the other show, and some are welcome, like the return of Ashley (Colby Minifie), but others, like the constant name-dropping of important heroes, can end up feeling redundant.

Gen V is as diabolically funny as you’d expect it to be. From exploding penises or pint-sized heroes crawling through goopy brains, things often become so gloriously crazed that there is no other choice but to laugh. Even with that adherence to its humor, what sets the show apart is its commitment to what makes us human.

There is a lot of self-harm talk and debate within the show, but even in the pain, it displays a level of respect and inner awareness. It could easily throw its queer and POC characters into a torture chamber and grab some popcorn, but it goes the extra mile to show them as something more.

Gen V is currently streaming weekly through Nov. 3 on Prime Video. Visit

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