It’s understandable why Amazon greenlit “The Boys” for a second season before the first even started. And it’s obvious why, after that first season earned rave reviews and became a huge hit for the streaming service, why Amazon would give a Season 3 order before Season 2 began its run a couple of weeks ago. Basically, the superhero satire is a rare mix of critical darling and massive fan-favorite. So, why does it have such horrible reviews on Amazon when the series is more popular with fans and currently has a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes? It has nothing to do with the content, but everything to do with the scheduling. And series creator Eric Kripke is understandably frustrated.
Last year, when “The Boys” was released on Amazon Prime, the series was bingeable, as all the chapters dropped at once. And as you might expect, fans rabidly devoured all of the episodes in no time, begging for Season 2. In response to viewers watching the entire season in quick succession, Kripke and the other folks behind “The Boys” decided to purposefully slow down the release of Season 2, doing a week-to-week release strategy. And fans are pissed, with many going to Amazon’s site and “review-bombing” the show just because they can’t watch it all at once.
“I get that people are disappointed and, frankly, looking back, we thought that we were communicating that we were weekly,” Kripke said to The Wrap. “Clearly, in hindsight, we had to do a lot more than we did to make sure that people weren’t surprised and disappointed. I would have done that differently. I mean, again, we announced it. But we should have neon-signed it on everything, clearly.”
Thankfully, “The Boys” seems to be in solid standing with Amazon and the negative reviews aren’t going to derail the momentum of the show. However, as Kripke explained, the anger seems to be placed on Amazon, as many believe it to be a cash grab, milking viewership over a number of weeks instead of all at once. But the producer assured that it was a creative decision, not a corporate decision.
“So I get that people are disappointed, but I think one thing they need to understand is, this is not like a corporate, Amazon money grab — this was from the producers,” he said. “We wanted this. It was a creative choice. So they may like it or not like it, but they have to at least respect that the people who are making the show wanted it to be released this way because we wanted to have time to sort of slow down a little bit and have conversations about everything. So they at least have to appreciate that it was a creative choice.”
Kripke added, “And then second, like, why you would harm something you love because you’re disappointed with how it’s being released is not awesome to me. We’re fine, and it’ll be fine, but it’s not fun to see bad reviews on a thing people actually love. Like, that doesn’t make the people who make the show feel good. I’ll say that.”
It’s clear that Kripke is probably making the right choice with the staggered release of “The Boys.” The first three installments of Season 2, which set up the entire plot of this batch of episodes, was released at once a couple of weeks ago. But now, each episode is released weekly. And though it does drag out the season, it’s a good thing. As we’ve seen so far, each hour of the show brings up controversial topics and plenty of reveals that fans can discuss and speculate about. Sure, we’ve been trained by Netflix and other streaming services to devour whole seasons in a sitting, but some things deserve to be savored. And according to Kripke (and this humble writer), “The Boys” Season 2 is best enjoyed slowly.
New episodes of “The Boys” premiere each Friday on Amazon Prime Video.
If you’re interested in finding out what’s to come on the series, here’s Amazon’s most recent tease: