No Guest Found in this category
This article contains mention of mental health and eating disorders. If you require assistance, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, or the Butterfly Foundation’s National Helpline on 1800 33 4673 (operating 8am AEDT – 12am AEDT, seven days a week).
Right from its opening moments, which unveiled the traumatic origins of Marie Moreau’s unusual blood powers, it was clear that Gen V would not be pulling any punches. Bloody, brutally violent, and infused with the same twisted sense of humour which helped turn The Boys into a modern sensation, Prime Video’s latest spinoff series possesses every bit of the offbeat appeal of the flagship series which inspired it.
Following a younger generation of Supes attending Vought International’s Godolkin University School of Crimefighting, Gen V only premiered in late September and has already been renewed for season 2. Yet as ground-breaking as the original series that inspired it is, Gen V has managed to stand on its own two feet and prove itself a compelling and deeply nuanced story in its own right.
We recently had the chance to catch up with Gen V producer and showrunner Michele Fazekas to talk about her new generation of Supes and what fans can expect as the show continues its season 1 run on Prime Video.
“I think there’s a couple of things that are always working against you in regard to anything that’s a piece of a franchise,” Fazekas explains. “You have to be able to make it stand on its own. And we wanted to make sure that anybody – even if you’ve never seen The Boys – could watch Gen V and still enjoy it and not be confused.”
Thankfully, Fazekas is no stranger to working on major franchises, and in addition to a long history in broadcast television also helmed the acclaimed Marvel spinoff series Agent Carter with Captain America’s Hayley Atwell.
“I’ve done that before, [when] I did Agent Carter for Marvel,” she says. “We had the same sort of philosophy, which is if you’ve never seen Captain America, you will still enjoy [the show]. So that was one big challenge.”
“The other big challenge,” she continues, “is superhero fatigue. I think sometimes that there’s so much superhero stuff out there now… so making sure that we’re telling a story that you don’t feel has been told a million times. I think The Boys does that very well, because they really take the sort of tropes of superheroes and turn it on its ear.”
And Fazekas is certainly not wrong, with tentpole franchises like the Marvel and DC Cinematic Universes releasing new superhero content at a never-before-seen pace, the current pop culture landscape is swarming with costumed crimefighters and superpowered beings of every possible stripe. However, the Supes who inhabit the world of Fazekas’ Godolkin University are a different breed altogether, even when compared to their more seasoned compatriots on The Boys.
“That’s what is interesting because we’re getting to these kids, it’s why I love sort of doing adolescent stories, because they haven’t been corrupted yet,” she explains. “And you can feel that coming in. The actors are very likable, and they haven’t sort of been put through the machine yet.
“But you can see the temptation. It’s part of why this university even exists, like ‘we’re going to corrupt you; we’re going to tempt you with all of these perks that as long as you fall in line, you’re going to get great things’. I think that’s what’s great about what this show is.”
For audiences walking into Gen V who are already familiar with the world of The Boys, it also becomes quickly apparent that the kinds of powers we see characters possess in the new show do not come without their own respective trade-offs.
“What I like about all of their superpowers is they’re a metaphor for sort of mental health and psychological issues,” Fazekas reveals. “[There’s] a lot of lessons to grapple with, be it eating disorders or gender identity. And then the powers have a cost, like there’s an actual physical cost to them.”
“So, I really like that. It’s not just, ‘Oh, I can fly,’ and it’s no big deal. [It’s more], ‘Oh, no, I have a superpower, but it took a lot to get it, and I pay for it every day when I use it.’”
Gen V is quickly proving itself a hit show more than worthy of the kind of widespread appeal and rave review it has been generating. Potentially leading directly into the events of The Boys season 4, it also expands on a fictional world already much beloved by fans while proving itself capable of standing on its own.
The penultimate episode of Gen V season 1 is out now, with the season finale out on November 3.