Now that the finale of The Boys Season 2 has come and gone, we unfortunately have to consider life without Hughie, Starlight, and The Deep while we wait for The Boys Season 3. It’s going to be a loooooong wait. Amazon‘s show about cocky superheroes, multimillion dollar corporate cash grabs that exploit said heroes, racist superheroes wanting to do some ethnic cleansing, and the prospect of a global conspiracy involving the manufacturing of super-terrorists (excuse me, supervillains) has been nothing but a joy to watch, and the months until The Boys Season 3 are going to be absolute torture.
Thankfully there are other shows out there that will fulfill your desire for depraved humor, ridiculous violence, and Antony Starr‘s jaw. Below, we’ve put together a list of shows that fans of The Boys can watch while they wait for Season 3. You’ll find new takes on superhero shows, dark adaptations of comic books, and series featuring The Boys cast members, and they’re all pre-approved to be good.
Where to watch: Hulu
Dominic Cooper and Ruth Negga, Preacher
Between the exploding heads, whale innards, and death by cunnilingus, few shows match the depravity of The Boys. But right up there with it, if not blowing fully by it, is AMC’s Preacher, which also happens to be based off a comic sprung from the twisted mind of Garth Ennis. The premise is absolutely insane — a small town Texas preacher (Dominic Cooper) gets possessed by a supernatural creature of pure evil and pure goodness, sending him on a quest to find God with the help of his girlfriend Tulip (Ruth Negga) and an alcoholic vampire named Cassidy (Joe Gilgun). Heaven, hell, and even Hitler get involved. The TV adaptation never lets up on the blood and guts that seemed unfilmable in the comic, making it an easy transition for fans of The Boys.
Minka Kelly, Titans
Sometimes you just want to see a superhero snap and beat the snot out of a person with their super-strength, just like The Boys. The DC Universe series Titans will scratch that itch of yours, you bloodthirsty sicko. Like The Boys, Titans will shock you as a troupe of teen heroes — including Robin (sans Batman) and Rachel Roth — team up to fight bad guys but leave the handcuffs at home, preferring to dispense their own sense of justice in dimly lit back alleys and warehouses. It’s violent, is what I’m saying, with may scenes that will make you say, “That [body part] is not supposed to bend that way!” These young heroes also have chips on their shoulders, as they try to crawl out of the shadows of other more famous superheroes from the same universe, putting it in the same vein as The Boys‘ caped heroes who aren’t always looking for truth and justice.
Where to watch: Netflix
The Umbrella Academy
The Umbrella Academy is the other show du jour for people who like their super-powered characters mixing it up with some over-the-top violence. Also based on a comic book, the series follows a group of adopted siblings with superpowers who were brought together to be a superhero team, but have problems gelling because of their disparate personalities. Years later, they reunite to unravel the mystery of their origins while also trying to stop an impending apocalypse. It has a similar cheeky sense of dark humor to The Boys, but less cynicism, and plays around in a much bigger sandbox than The Boys. Case in point, one character is half-ape and lived on the moon, and time-travel is the backbone of the second season. Both shows also love to ironically visit the jukebox for their music cues, but The Umbrella Academy uses less Billy Joel.
Where to watch: Amazon (purchase, but it’s only $0.99 per episode or $11.99 for the whole first season)
Sharlto Copley, Powers
Powers‘ main claim to fame is being the first original television series for… PlayStation. Which is probably the reason you’ve never heard of it. The series was originally set up at FX, but managed to last two season on PlayStation’s short-lived streaming service from 2015 to 2016. Another series based on popular comics that looks at a world full of superheroes from the perspective of people who don’t have superpowers, Powers follows a former superhero who lost his abilities and uses his experience to help a special division of the police that deals with superhero crime. There’s also a Compound V-like substance that boosts superpowers and a darker take on what a world with superheroes would actually be like. It’s not readily streaming on subscription services at the moment, but you can buy it from Amazon. Hey, I wanted to make this a list unlike any other! I could have just put Daredevil here, but where would that get any of us?
Where to watch: Netflix
Chris Meloni, Happy
If The Boys was a person, you’d throw that demented maniac into a straitjacket and lock it in a room with padded walls. If Happy! was a person, it would already be in that room in its own straitjacket, and then it would eat The Boys. As far as The Boys pushes the line of decency, Happy! stage dives headfirst over it, following disgraced police detective Nick Sax (Christopher Meloni) as he drinks and snorts his way toward death while moonlighting as a hitman. After nearly dying from a heart attack, Nick starts to see his daughter’s imaginary friend, a blue alicorn named Happy (voiced by Patton Oswalt), and the two go on wild adventures that involve unraveling a conspiracy involving sex cults, aliens, and more. It’s the kind of show that will blow up a gaggle of nuns in hideous ways in its cold open, just because it can. This show is positively bonkers; even Homelander would say it’s too much.
Where to watch: Hulu
Dan Stevens and Aubrey Plaza, Legion
One of the best selling points of The Boys is that it’s the superhero show for people who are tired of the same old superhero shows and that “great power, great responsibility” B.S. Along those same lines, FX’s mind-bending Legion, from Fargo‘s Noah Hawley, is unlike any other superhero show you’ve seen or even imagined. Part of the Marvel universe, Legion follows David Haller (Dan Stevens), the son of Professor X who is diagnosed with schizophrenia and placed into a mental institution, where he begins to suspect that he may have superpowers. Far from the standard hero arc and origin stories of other superhero shows, Legion is a stunning visual masterpiece with a story that demands a lot out of its viewers to decipher. Yeah, maybe that’s a nice way of saying it’s confusing AF.
Where to watch: Hulu
The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke has found his place with his first show on a streaming network; previously his only work was under the puritan guidelines of broadcast television, starting with The CW’s Supernatural and followed by NBC’s Revolution. Supernatural is a great show… if you have four extra years to spare to get through its 15 seasons (in truth: Kripke was only majorly involved in the first five seasons, which is excellent television and the show’s best seasons), and Revolution was… uhhh, a good effort. But we’ll recommend checking out Timeless, which gathered a devout following during its two seasons on NBC from 2016 to 2018. Just know that it’s a lot different from The Boys in that it harkens back to the classic TV adventures of the old days — you won’t find porn parodies or dolphins getting squashed — as it tells the story of a team that travels back in time to stop a nefarious group from rewriting history. With an emphasis on teaching viewers about lesser-known historical figures who were women or people of color, it’s more important than your typical series, and it’s a great showcase for Kripke’s ability to write characters and put their relationships to the test. Plus, it’s part of the extended Kripkeverse, and features actors from The Boys, including Malcolm Barrett, Claudia Doumit, and Goran Visnjic.
Where to watch: You’ll have to find it somewhere, but there are bad copies of a few episodes on YouTube
If you ever wondered what a version of The Boys following the superheroes who aren’t in The Seven would look like, it’d be like this short-lived but hilarious superhero comedy that aired six episodes on Britain’s ITV. Like The Boys, superheroes are not uncommon in No Heroics, leading to some being more popular than others while the lesser-knowns work odd jobs to become famous. It has a similar cynical take on superheroes, with most of them being jerks and dealing with regular-people problems or using their powers as parlor tricks. Unfortunately, even though it was nominated for best new British comedy at the British Comedy Awards and an American version was being developed with Freddie Prinze, Jr., the internet appears to have forgotten about this show as it’s not readily streaming anywhere. That’s too bad, it was one of the first shows to jump on the superhero bandwagon with a unique take on the genre.
Where to watch: Max Go
Antony Starr, Banshee
If what you like most about The Boys is Antony Starr as Homelander, you absolutely must check him out in the criminally underrated action drama Banshee. The show is currently only available on Cinemax (though you can purchase it on Amazon Prime), but it is money well spent (and I am holding out hope it will eventually make the jump to HBO Max). In Banshee, Starr plays an ex-con freshly out of prison who assumes the identity of Lucas Hood, the new sheriff of the small town of Banshee, Pennsylvania, and its surrounding areas after the real lawman is killed in a bar fight before anyone in town knows who he is. As such, Hood walks a not-so-fine line between criminal and cop, and it leads to messy fist fights, exceptional action sequences, and violence that wouldn’t be out of place in The Boys. But despite its pulpy action roots, Banshee is also a compelling story about identity and evolution, albeit one that is regularly complicated by small-town power dynamics and organized crime. I’ve never met a person yet who didn’t like the show after they watched an episode or two, and I don’t expect to start now. –Kaitlin Thomas
The Boys is now available on Amazon Prime.