Compared to other comic book TV series, Amazon Prime Video’s “The Boys” prefers to feel like a network show on a streamer. At least, that’s what showrunner Eric Kripke’s background allows for, especially after three critically acclaimed seasons.
“The Boys” co-creator told Vulture that while some comic book streaming adaptations (cough cough, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “Obi-Wan Kenobi”) have been described as long movies, it dilutes the art of episodic TV — and stalls the storytelling. (You may recall the debate raging back in 2019 when film publication Cahiers du Cinema named David Lynch’s 18-episode limited series “Twin Peaks: The Return” the best “film” of the 2010s.)
“The downside of streaming is that a lot of filmmakers who work in streaming didn’t necessarily come out of that network grind,” Kripke said. “They’re more comfortable with the idea that they could give you 10 hours where nothing happens until the eighth hour. That drives me fucking nuts, personally.”
The former “Supernatural” showrunner added, “As a network guy who had to get you people interested for 22 fucking hours a year, I didn’t get the benefit of, ‘Oh, just hang in there and don’t worry. The critics will tell you that by Episode 8, shit really hits the fan.’ Or anyone who says, ‘Well, what I’m really making is a 10-hour movie.’ Fuck you! No you’re not! Make a TV show. You’re in the entertainment business.”
Working with Prime Video also gave Kripke a revelation: “I can’t see ever going back to network,” he said of episodic storytelling, coming from The CW with “Supernatural” which concluded in 2020 after 15 seasons.
“It’s the ability to do two things: have most of your scripts written before you shoot a day of film, and then have all the episodes finished before you turn them over to air,” Kripke said. “There are logistical benefits that would be impossible to give up because you can tell a coherent piece in a way you simply cannot with network TV. It’s already aired; you threw it out the door. You’re locked in. It happens all the time: We’re in the middle of filming episode seven, and we realize there’s a different storyline we need. We still have time to go back and shoot it for episode one and drop it back in.”
Kripke is also executive producing “The Boys” spinoff series “Gen V” alongside Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Billed as an “irreverent, R-rated series” that is “part college show, part ‘Hunger Games,’” Kripke’s streaming takeover of comic book franchises continues.
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