Before the third season's title card appears, "The Boys" thrusts to the center of what its conflict between men and bermensch is really all about, via an allegory about size and strength starring a villain known as Termite. Most of the series' supers parody famous heroes from the Marvel and DC Universes, and Termite, as the moniker suggests, is the show's perverse answer to Ant-Man, minus the goodness and charm.
What Termite lacks in those virtues he compensates for by overcompensating, as it were. In this case, he makes himself small enough to sprint between rails of coke as tall as he is before leaping inside of his lover's urethra and gently walking toward the prostate as he strokes its walls.
Cocaine is a helluva drug, and Termite, who had a bump before shrinking, can't stop himself from sneezing which instantly reverts him to full size, exploding his ecstatic lover in half. Even by this show's standards, this was an extreme gross-out, one doubling as a red carpet leading into a season thumping with parallels to real world threats shadowed by distressing social and political shifts.
There's no evidence that its showrunner Eric Kripke intentionally pumped up the phallus references in the first few episodes for any other reason than to have fun with streaming's liberal policy concerning full-frontal nudity. (We reached out to Amazon in the hope of interviewing him for this story; unsurprisingly, we did not hear back.)
Still, in a show that counts among its second season highlights having one of its heroes do battle with an expanding super-schlong whipped around by a character called Love Sausage, this season seems to plug into its BDE with renewed vigor as the country faces an unforeseen masculinity crisis . . . in the form of its top hero Homelander (Antony Starr) coming unhinged.
RELATED: In the new season of "The Boys," everyone's selling out, and society gets stuck with the check
By nature of what its title suggests, "The Boys" doesn't need to show its fleshy bits to thump the table with its points about fascism and toxic misogyny. Homelander was ready to go full Nazi in the second season before his fascist lover was exposed and blown apart. Now he's lonely, horny, and insecure which, combined with ultimate power and thin skin, is a deadly cocktail. Whether in full costume or completely nude, he's an unapologetic you-know-what.
"The Boys" doesn't need to show its fleshy bits to thump the table with its points about fascism and toxic misogyny.
Only one thing stands between his misdirected rage and a populace unable to defend itself against his power, and that is the public's adulation. Worship is Homelander's personal male enhancement drug, as it turns out. Being informed by his assistant Ashley (Colby Minnie) that his admiration among white males in the rust belt has gone up by 44% gives him a massive hard-on she can't ignore, especially since he's naked when she delivers the news.
When she becomes so flustered at his boner to continue delivering her status report, he yells at her, "That's got nothing to do with you. Just keep going!"
The bleak undertow here is that Ashley is both a masochist and a sadist, taking her boss's abuses and passing them down the line to ensure nothing ever gets better. Her utter loyalty to Homelander is rewarded by him asking her, with a look that truly threatens to kill her, if "her idiot brain is getting f**ked by stupid," only to have her repeat the same line to an underling later. The cocky message here is that you're either stabbing or being stabbed; lose control of the joystick and, as Termite's unlucky lover found out, it's game over.
Within "The Boys," though, penile representations are always employed transgressively for laughs, shock, or horror.
Scenes like the fourth episode's hand-to-dildo battle check all three boxes, which kicks off with Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) assassinating a Russian oligarch by penetrating his skull with a device called the Black Noir Silent Screamer.
One cannot fully appreciate the irony of that joke without seeing it. Then again, doing that also requires a strong stomach.
Kimiko beating a roomful of armed Russian gangsters to death with assorted vibrators and sex toys is hilarious and awesome, let's be real but it's also a low-key tragedy. She hates her enhanced strength and invulnerability and despises being viewed as a weapon instead of a person. "I'm not your f**king gun," she texts at Butcher.
"That is exactly what you are," he fires back, reminding her and everyone else on his crew who has the biggest bat of the bunch.
Karl Urban as Billy Butcher in "The Boys." (Courtesy of Prime Video / Amazon Studios)
"The Boys" is but one of many shows waxing phallocentric over the past couple of years, and in terms of pole count, plenty of other series are a few lengths ahead of it "Westworld," and "Minx," to name two among HBO's warehouse of options. And for all of its risqu scenes of superhero sexual excess, "The Boys" would have to make a concerted effort to catch up with "Euphoria," which slapped viewers across the eyes with a 30-sausage parade in its second episode. Premium cable has long reigned as the main stage for most scripted drama poker tournaments, purely as a matter of show.
Quite recently, though, man's true best friend has become a featured player in some narratives. There will always be shows that treat views of flaccid peen as a joke, as was the case with Mike Myers' "The Pentaverate" and an opening episode sketch from Amazon's revival of "The Kids in the Hall." But in "Pam & Tommy" Sebastian Stan's Tommy Lee Jr. a prosthetic, to be clear plowed new ground by engaging his owner in a serious vein-to-brain conversation about love and fidelity.
Of course, one can easily view this scene and anything else in "The Boys" as a simple off-color joke way off. The implication of full frontal male nudity is malleable that way on television, even when it's merely implied, as is the case with Homelander's fully raised mast. It can symbolize a broadly apparent wrong or add soft levity to a grim situation.
Want a daily wrap-up of all the news and commentary Salon has to offer? Subscribe to our morning newsletter, Crash Course.
In some extensions, though, it is a compass whose true North is authoritarianism. Homelander has personality traits in common with an offstage public persona haunting our own lives. That's certainly no accident, which makes it a scary thought to see him physically and emotionally naked, and tumescent with the realization that he can get away with anything and people will love him anyway.
The implication of full frontal male nudity is malleable on television.
This week of all weeks sharpens the dangerous absurdity of that subplot, what with American TV viewers divided between witnessing the House Congressional Committee hearings on the insurrection that took place on January 6th, 2021, and those choosing to believe the lies claiming its extensively researched findings to be propaganda.
"The Boys" presents a world where propaganda is as inescapable as rulership by force and physical power and between the omnipresent Vought, the government, and Earth's strongest and least controllable, it's a never-ending measuring contest.
The polite way to sum up our situation is that the patriarchy is shoving injustice down our throats. "The Boys" way of describing it is that dicks are everywhere and ready to club anyone into submission who doesn't bow before them. The only defense is to harden up and hit back.
New episodes of "The Boys" debut Fridays on Prime Video.
More stories like this:
See the rest here:
How "The Boys" measures up with regard to TV's full frontal assault - Salon
- Were home experts five things you should never buy at Home Depot, you probably already have one in your... - The US Sun - June 27th, 2022
- A new way to treat invasive termites - The Bay's News First - SunLive - June 17th, 2022
- Would you live with 100 cockroaches for Rs 1.5 lakh? - NewsBytes - June 17th, 2022
- How Long Does Termite Treatment Last? - This Old House - June 9th, 2022
- Anti-Termite Treatment Types, Chemicals, Prevention and Safety - June 9th, 2022
- The No. 1 Sign There Are Mice in Your Attic, Experts Warn Best Life - Best Life - June 9th, 2022
- We need to talk about that superpowered gay sex scene in 'The Boys' season 3 - Queerty - June 9th, 2022
- Pricing Guide: How Much Does Termite Treatment Cost? - May 10th, 2022
- Mastotermes darwiniensis - Wikipedia - May 10th, 2022
- Terminix Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:TMX) Expected to Post Q2 2022 Earnings of $0.60 Per Share - Defense World - May 10th, 2022
- Cruce Pest Management Offers Termite Treatment For Riverview, Apollo Beach, Tampa And Ruskin - Osprey Observer - April 12th, 2022
- What Are Signs of Carpenter Ants In The House? - Bob Vila - April 12th, 2022
- Exterior inspection a big part of every spring cleaning project - Therogersvillereview - April 12th, 2022
- Help! What Are These Tiny White Bugs in My House? - Bob Vila - April 1st, 2022
- Termite Pest Control Termite Inspection & Treatment ... - December 20th, 2021
- Repossession of Apartments owned by Singaporeans in Batam - The Independent - December 20th, 2021
- How an Iowa City man built a library inside a tree to spark a love of reading in children - Iowa City Press-Citizen - December 20th, 2021
- Copying to pass! - BusinessLine - December 20th, 2021
- Leah Jing McIntosh Small-press gems - The Saturday Paper - December 20th, 2021
- New UF Study: Killing the Brood Key to Eliminating Termite Colonies - PCT Online - December 7th, 2021
- How to Figure Out if Wood Has Been Pressure-Treated, and Why It Matters - Lifehacker - December 7th, 2021
- Firewood and heat values to keep winter cozy - Farmers Advance - December 7th, 2021
- Mayor - News - December 2021 - The City of New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board Reports West Nile Infected Mosqui - City of New... - December 7th, 2021
- Cold-Hot Therapy Wrap Market 2021: Leading Players, Analysis and Growth Drivers by 2028 | DJO ,,, Puck77 - Puck77 - October 25th, 2021
- Bad Boys Pest Control Company cooperates with Christian New Life Association to help people recovering from drug addiction and integrate into society... - October 25th, 2021
- Pressure-Treated Wood Market Recovery and Impact Analysis Report Koppers, West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd., Sdra Puck77 - Puck77 - October 25th, 2021
- Temecula Job Listings: See Who's Hiring In The Area - Reverb MSN Music - August 3rd, 2021
- Rambo Total Pest Control University Place is The Go-to Place for all Pest Control Services in University Place - Digital Journal - August 3rd, 2021
- 5 Bedroom Home in Fenton - $439,000 | | stltoday.com - STLtoday.com - August 3rd, 2021
- Ask the Expert: How to Pest Proof Your Home - NJ Family - August 3rd, 2021
- Condivergence: Termites of the economy - The Edge Markets MY - July 20th, 2021
- Rollins, Inc. Named to Top 50 Green Fleet List - Johnson City Press (subscription) - July 20th, 2021
- Volunteers spend the day restoring the Ronald McDonald House - KERO 23ABC News - July 20th, 2021
- Vinyl siding came in second again to stucco when it comes to residential exteriors - Plastics News - July 20th, 2021
- Fairhope trying to save damaged oak - Gulf Coast News Today - July 20th, 2021
- EYE ON THE ENVIRONMENT | Maintain, repair and use safer pressure-treated wood - Ventura County Reporter - July 20th, 2021
- Terminix to Announce Second-Quarter 2021 Results - Business Wire - July 20th, 2021
- Quarantined spaces are everywhereand they're much more influential than you think - Fast Company - July 20th, 2021
- Unipest Termite And Pest Control In Santa Clarita Has Many Tips And Tricks For Catching Certain Rodents And Mammals - KHTS Radio - June 22nd, 2021
- Viking Pest Control Offers Significant Discounts During Pest Prime Week and Starts Their Summer Giveaways - Yahoo Finance - June 22nd, 2021
- This Weeks Events In Fredericksburg Area - Patch.com - June 22nd, 2021
- 'Most damaging termites in the world' emerge from nests in Petah Tikva - The Jerusalem Post - June 22nd, 2021
- Pest Control Services Market Status and Outlook 2021 to 2025 The Manomet Current - The Manomet Current - June 22nd, 2021
- What are the worst home pests in Colorado? - Colorado Springs Gazette - June 22nd, 2021
- This Hyper-Rare 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee 'Excursion' In A Detroit Junkyard Deserves To Be Rescued - Jalopnik - June 22nd, 2021
- UCF 25th Among Public Universities in the Nation and 60th in the World for Producing Patents - UCF - June 22nd, 2021
- Penetration: Key instances of the Covid-19 impact on the Pest Control Market The Courier - The Courier - June 6th, 2021
- 'You have to think like them:' Not the season for termites to play second fiddle - Journal & Courier - June 6th, 2021
- Specimen of Invasive 'Super-Termite' Captured in Israel, Raising Hopes of Controlling the Species - Algemeiner - June 6th, 2021
- Extensive Study on Global Termite Control Products Market Status and Prospect, Forecast 2021 to 2027 Jumbo News - Jumbo News - June 6th, 2021
- 4 Habits That Will Help You and Your Business Bounce Back Into Top Shape - Entrepreneur - June 6th, 2021
- Taking a Bite Out of Tooth Evolution: Frogs Have Lost Teeth More Than 20 Times - Lab Manager Magazine - June 6th, 2021
- Professional Pest Control Market 2021 Is Booming Across the Globe by Share, Size, Growth, Segments and Forecast to 2027 | Top Players Analysis-... - April 30th, 2021
- Pest Control Solutions Market Analysis 2021-2026, Size, Share, Global Analysis and Forecasts by Component by Type and Application The Courier - The... - April 30th, 2021
- Brood X cicadas: What it's like in pest control when billions of bugs emerge - CNET - April 30th, 2021
- Global Pest Control Services Market Expected to Reach up to $12,478.0 Million and Rise at a CAGR of 5.4% from 2020 to 2027 - Exclusive COVID-19 Impact... - April 15th, 2021
- Booming Growth in Termite Baiting Treatments Market Analysis Report 2021 and Forecast to 2027 with different segments, Key players are Rentokil... - April 15th, 2021
- St. Anthony Green Streets and Public Art | New Orleans - Very Local New Orleans - April 15th, 2021
- Worldwide Comprehensive Review of Termite Monitoring Service Market Trends and Its Development Jumbo News - Jumbo News - February 19th, 2021
- Treated timber and termites? Why bother and why not to bother - The Fifth Estate - February 17th, 2021
- Pest Control Solutions Market to See Promising Growth Ahead| Anticimex (Sweden), The ServiceMaster (USA), Ecolab (USA) KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper -... - February 17th, 2021
- Termite Baiting Treatments Market Incredible Possibilities, Growth with Industry Study, Detailed Analysis and Forecast to 2025 - Technology Magazine - February 17th, 2021
- Co-Wealth Management Consultant helps applying TVP Technology Voucher for SMEs in one-stop - Taiwan News - February 4th, 2021
- Terminix to Announce Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2020 Results - Business Wire - February 4th, 2021
- Presto-X Announces Rebrand To Rentokil In Dallas And Fort Worth - PRNewswire - January 30th, 2021
- Termite Treatment Market by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast To 2026 oMyOwn, Specialist Termite Control, Rentokil, Cintrex,... - January 28th, 2021
- Rollins, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Financial Results - PRNewswire - January 28th, 2021
- Pest Control Products and Services Market: Global Industry Analysis by Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2020 2026 NeighborWebSJ -... - January 28th, 2021
- New home? Make sure you do these things ASAP - mySA - January 28th, 2021
- PPMA Calls On Industry to Participate in Termite Awareness Week - PCT Magazine - January 27th, 2021
- Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. And 4 Other Stocks Have High Sales Growth And An Above 3% Return on Equity - Via News Agency - January 25th, 2021
- Rollins, Inc. And 6 Other Stocks Have High Sales Growth And An Above 3% Return on Equity - Via News Agency - January 23rd, 2021
- Preventive Pest Control: Check your home for termites and rats - Yahoo News - January 8th, 2021
- Afraid Of Rodents And Bugs? 2021 May Not Be Your Year - PRNewswire - January 8th, 2021
- Covid-19 Impact on Insect Protein Market | Industry Share and Forecast to 2023 - Farming Sector - January 4th, 2021
- 2020 has been horrible year for India for reasons that have nothing to do with pandemic - The Indian Express - January 4th, 2021
- Rosie on the House: Five must-do fixes in your aging house - Green Valley News - December 31st, 2020
- Don't give firewood insects a winter home - Richmond Register - December 29th, 2020
- Editorial: Hamblin and Watson are true heroes | Editorials | timesnews.net - Kingsport Times News - December 28th, 2020
- New windows for the New Year - Windows Hawaii - Honolulu Star-Advertiser - December 26th, 2020