“Gen V” masterfully juggles its laugh-out-loud comedy and biting critiques with its more serious moments, becoming a show about young people rectifying or trying to recover from the mistakes of the adults in their lives. Each character is haunted by the shadow their parents have left them in, whether intentionally or not, and ultimately, the show attempts to allow them to escape it. Slowly but surely, each character wrenches themselves from the clutches of their past until they can become freer versions of themselves and build the new family they have longed for.
The chemistry between the group is fantastic, and as the season goes on, disdain for each other unravels into a bond that each of them desperately needs. Two standouts are Emma (Lizzie Broadway), Marie’s roommate, and Andre (Chance Perdomo), the wingman for Golden Boy (Patrick Schwarzenegger), the top-ranked student at Godolkin University. In the first episode, both Emma and Andre appear as if they will strictly remain sidekicks, but quickly, the two become essential to not only the story “Gen V” is trying to tell but the new family these characters find themselves in. With the power to get as small as a pinkie finger and the power of magnetism manipulation, respectively, these two don’t initially stand out amongst the other powers “Gen V” is showing off. However, the actors provide some of the series’ best and most emotional work.
Whether it’s the handful of charismatic characters or an abrupt cut-to-black followed by a Hole needle-drop, it’s clear from the first episode that fans of “The Boys” are in good hands. What could have been a catastrophic spin-off instead establishes that this may be the sole superhero franchise that still understands what its viewers want. Nor is “Gen V” completely bound to its predecessor; it can exist separate from “The Boys” and its characters. Sure, there may be a glimpse of Homelander and a slightly jarring cameo from another hero later in the season, but what makes this show great is that anyone can enjoy it. “Gen V” is a fun and biting coming-of-age drama—it just happens to be full of superheroes.
Six episodes were screened for review. “Gen V” premieres on Prime Video on September 29th.