TV Review: Gen V, Season One (2023)

A young girl gets her first period. Her mother comes to check on her.

Her blood turns deadly and kills both her parents.

Years later, she attends a school for people with superpowers.

We’re at Godolkin University (“God U”), an elite college for aspiring superheroes. It’s run by Vought, the evil corporation behind metahuman mutation in the universe of the dark, deranged, and brilliant comic and TV series, The Boys. Along with Boysish shenanigans among the sidekick set, we have an incendiary suicide and a sinister secret lurking, literally, beneath the well-manicured campus lawns. Actually, God U has quite a few sinister secrets. Finding the truth behind the façade can be dangerous. To paraphrase Voltaire, it is dangerous to be right when powerful people are wrong.

Cast and Crew

Directors: Nelson Cragg, Steve Boyum, Rachel Goldberg, Sanaa Hamri, Clare Kilner, Philip Sgriccia, Shana Stein.
Writers: Garth Ennis, Evan Goldberg, Chelsea Grate, Lauren Greer, Eric Kripke, Darick Robertson, Craig Rosenberg, Wei-Ning Yu, Brant Englestein, Jessica Chou, Lex Edness, Erica Rosbe, Zak Schwartz

Jaz Sinclair as Marie Moreau
Chance Perdomo as Andre Anderson
Lizze Broadway as Emma Meyer / Little Cricket
Maddie Phillips as Cate Dunlap
London Thor and Derek Luh as Jordan Li
Asa Germann as Sam Riordan
Shelley Conn as Indira Shetty
Sean Patrick Thomas as Anderson / Polarity
Alexander Calvert as Rufus
Maia Jae Bastidas as Justine
Patrick Schwarzenegger as Luke Riordan / Golden Boy
Marco Pigossi as Dr. Edison Cardosa
Jessica Clement as Harper
Dan Beirne as Social Media Jeff
Siddharth Sharma as Tyler
Nicholas Hamilton as Maverick
Matthew Edison as Cameron Coleman
Robert Bazzocchi as Liam
Louise Kerr as Kathy
Jameson Kraemer as Kyle
Clancy Brown as Prof. Rich Brinkerhoff
Maria Nash as Annabeth Moreau
Christine Sahely as Prof. Renata Ibarra
Ty Barnett as Malcolm Moreau
Miatta Lebile as Jackie Moreau
Jaeda LeBlanc as Young Marie Moreau
Violet Marino as Young Cate
Samantha Espie as Cate’s Mom

Special Guests:
Chace Crawford as The Deep
Derek Wilson as Tek Knight
Antony Starr as Homelander
Jessie T. Usher as A-Train
Jensen Ackles as Soldier Boy
Karl Urban as Billy Butcher


A young woman with superpowers and a troubled past attends an elite university, where she encounters new friends, enemies, and some very disturbing secrets.

Low Points

I found the early episodes a bit tiresome in places. The Boys has already trod heavily on this territory. What Gen V adds is younger characters and too much over-the-top satire of them wacky Gen Z college kids and their obsession with social media. Okay, maybe it’s not so over-the-top, but they make the relevant points early on, and keep repeating them. Over and over. We also have the excesses of the parent show without, initially, enough in the way of serious concerns to balance them. It feels a little too much like executive producer Seth Rogen SethRogenning. In that respect, it recalls the more recent season of Doom Patrol or, more to the point, the excesses of actual privileged people. They’re doing it because they can.

High Points

As the plot develops, the real situation become more apparent, and the series ends with its strongest episodes. The thematic elements regarding how we interpret current events and the manner in which information is framed are particularly compelling.

A wild college party in the cellphone/social network era, but with superpowers, is vintage Boysiverse craziness.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 The series is adapted from a story arc from The Boys graphic series, and features elements The Boys show has done before. The differences in this series concern the characters’ ages. They are young, struggling with their identities. They have superpowers, but they’re relatively powerless beside Vought.

Effects: 6/6

Acting: 5/6 The acting is, for the most part, excellent. The best performance and most consistently interesting character is Jaz Sinclair as hemokinetic Marie Moreau, the lead. Yes, at nearly thirty, she’s a little old to be playing a first-year college student, but she gives a solid portrayal of a genuinely sympathetic character who serves as the viewer’s point-of-view. Lizze Broadway is also solid as Emma Meyer / Little Cricket, even if I found her character as annoying as often as I did interesting. Remove the superpowers and this comes pretty close to a certain real-life type, but that doesn’t make her consistently fun to watch.

Emotional Response: 4/6

Story: 5/6 The basic arc seems fairly predictable. An incongruous group of young heroes began working together after they learn a hidden truth. They aren’t sure whom they can trust, even among their own numbers. And then– at that point, Gen V takes some unexpected turns.

The season’s ending clearly sets up for both a second season (recently announced), or for this arc to heavily influence the next season of The Boys.

Production: 6/6

Overall: 5/6 If you like The Boys, you will enjoy this series, though you may find the early eps a bit of a retread of familiar turf. If the excesses of the parent series didn’t appeal to you, you should probably avoid the offspring.

And, speaking of children: minors should be in the next county while you watch this one.

In total, Gen V receive 33/42​.

2 replies on “TV Review: Gen V, Season One (2023)”

  1. I really enjoyed how you thought you could figure out what was happening, then they went away from the obvious answer, then the obvious answer from the start was actually right and we are leaning in.

    As far as going over the top… between The Boys and Ash vs. Evil Dead, there are two shows that take gross and wrong to new levels, and honestly work in the medium as an art form. It’s gross and wrong art, but it definitely ends up art.

    I did note that they went for the hard TV-MA rating for nudity by showing more than one penis in the series, but I think there’s only one shot of someone’s behind otherwise. Did the pendulum swing on that one and I missed it?

    • I think it’s just a case of, once you’re into the territory this show is into, you stop thinking about how much of what you might be showing. I feel the need to put in the warning. No one should be watching this who does not want to see… well, a whole mess of “gross and wrong,” as you put it. You watch The Boys or its spin-off), expect to see gross and wrong.

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