The Boys Are Back In Town
The Boys is one of the more unique superhero shows available to watch right now. The blend of tight character writing, excellent satire and a gripping story are enough to make it one of Amazon Prime’s most lucrative IPs.
Finding something similar is always a tough ask but we’ve compiled our 10 top picks for shows to check out when you’re done with The Boys.
To keep things simple for skim-readers we’ve added what similarities these have to The Boys.
Of course for all the shows we’ve reviewed, we’ve also added a handy link so you can check out our full thoughts on that series and see if it’s something you want to invest your time with.
So without further ado, we present 10 TV shows that should whet the appetite when you’ve finished streaming ‘The Boys’.
Similarities – Violence & Gore
Violent, gritty and featuring some seriously well-choreographed fights, The Punisher is a brutal Marvel series. It does suffer from the usual baggage that comes with a lot of these Netflix offerings – especially in run-time – but the action more than makes up for it.
The story is simple and revolves around a man named Frank Castle, who sets out to avenge his murdered family. With military background, a no-nonsense attitude and plenty of action, The Punisher earns his lucrative title.
With two seasons to get through, The Punisher offers a fair amount of bang for your buck.
Heroes Season 1
Similarities – Characters & A Sketchy Government Agency
It’s important to make the distinction here that only season 1 bears much semblance to The Boys. While the heroes (no pun intended) in this series don’t wear capes and show off their powers, it is one of the better examples of character writing and creating believable heroes in the modern day world.
Serving as an origin story, Heroes manages to take the superhero ideas onto the small screen in a really compelling way. The characters are well written, given some decent screen time, and the extended run-time is enough to flesh everyone out and build up to a climactic showdown at the end.
Unfortunately season 2 onward sees a sharp decline in quality so your mileage with this may vary.
Similarities – Violence, Humour and Satire
Happy! has no reason to be as good as it is. The basic premise revolves around an injured hitman who awakens in an ambulance and can suddenly see his daughter’s imaginary friend – an innocent flying unicorn. The premise is suitably ridiculous but the execution is anything but.
With two seasons to get through, Happy! balances some well-written action sequences with a perfect dose of dark comedy and satire. The result is something that sees everything from dabbing blood-spattered corpses to S&M wearing maniacs. It’s a heck of a good time and one of the more unusual and creative uses of an action-orientated hero series.
Similarities – Characters & Action
Hear us out. Yes, Stargirl is a teen drama and doesn’t have much in common with The Boys – at least tonally. However, it excels in its action sequences and tightly written story. The characters all have compelling arcs and the various villains are given an equal amount of screen-time to understand their motivations.
Originally Titans was actually in this spot but given the questionable second season, Stargirl seems the more viable option to sink your teeth into. It’s also one of the few shows that allows its action to do the talking and with some neat special effects, Stargirl manages to shine across its 13 episodes.
The Umbrella Academy
Similarities – Cinematography, Story & Characters
The Umbrella Academy is really the full package. While it may not have the same level of gore and explicit violence as The Boys, it does have a great ensemble of characters and some excellent action. Much like its Amazon Prime cousin, Umbrella Academy takes the time to flesh out every character and gives them a compelling arc.
The action sequences are well shot and the simple story surrounding this misfit group of child-heroes teaming up to save the world is as engrossing as it is watchable. It’s also one of the better examples of a show outdoing itself in the second season.
Similarities – Violence & Characters
Based on the comic book series of the same name, Preacher is a well written, bloody, violent romp that’s certainly worth checking out. The basic premise revolves around a preacher enlisting the help of a vampire and his ex to find God.
Only, the story goes so much deeper than that and across the four seasons, really comes into its own. I won’t spoil anything here but fans of The Boys will absolutely be taken with both the characters and the violence.
Similarities – Characters & Drama
Split across three seasons, Jessica Jones is a decent noir drama that takes the idea of superheroes and throws it into a more conventional mystery set-up. The story sees drunk and troubled Jessica Jones trying to rebuild her life as a private investigator. Along the way, she finds ghosts from her past haunting at every turn.
It’s an intriguing set-up and one Krysten Ritter really runs with to make her own in this excellent portrayal of the Marvel hero. Much like other Netflix Marvel offerings however, the show does feel a tad overlong but the characterisation is excellent, which does make up for any shortcomings.
Similarities – Themes & Characters
Alongside The Boys, Watchmen really dives in deep to issues affecting society. While The Boys takes a more satirical and comedic outlook, Watchmen feels much more grim by comparison.
Playing up the political aspects of the comic, Watchmen delivers a concise and incredibly endearing stand-alone season of action.
The various heroes (using that term lightly here) all feel part of this world and thematically the series knocks it out the park.
Similarities – Characters & Action
Doom Patrol is one of the quirkier superhero shows out there and much like The Boys, changed the game when it came to thinking outside the box. While The Boys plays on satirical stereotypes a lot more, Doom Patrol leans into its absurdity.
The characters are interesting, with multiple issues that manifest across the two seasons.
The team have their own problems to contend with and the second season does end on a pretty abrupt cliffhanger. However, there’s some excellent material here that’s well worth checking out.
Similarities – Antony Starr & Violence
Much like The Boys, Banshee is a show that completely catches you off-guard. With a great storyline and an inspired Antony Starr in the driving seat, Banshee is one of those under-rated gems.
The story revolves around an ex-con assuming the identity of a murdered sheriff but as the narrative progresses, so too does the main premise of the show.
I won’t spoil anything here but Banshee is well worth a watch and with four seasons to boast, this one’s sure to keep you busy for a while.
So there we have it, our 10 TV show picks to keep you busy during the agonizing wait between episodes and seasons.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!