The Boys creator Eric Kripke on the hit show’s timely parallels, his inspirations, and what to watch next

If you’re looking for a break from the never-ending political circus, or crave a world where corporations get put in their place as superheroes exchange brutal blows, consider The Boys your escape pod.

The Boys creator on the election and movies that influenced him
Eric Kripke. Prime Video | Amazon Original

The Watercooler’s Felipe Patterson talked to series creator Erik Kripke to get some scoop from the hitmaker who created PG-friendly superhero dramas like Supernatural and its spinoffs before boldly reimagining the superhero genre with Prime Video’s hard-R action-comedy.

Now into its fourth season, The Boys just got a fifth and final season order, which Kripke will juggle with his other show, Gen V, which follows “supes” in college (led by showrunner Michele Frazekas), and a Boys spinoff set in Mexico.

The Boys creator on the election and movies that influenced him
Prime Video | Amazon Original

For newcomers or lapsed viewers, The Boys is generating a lot of buzz for its very timely parallels to current world events. The new season has ratcheted up the political satire and the current-day overlaps, with a trial and a very high stakes presidential election that hew closely to our own news events.

As for its original premise, to refresh, the boys of the title are a motley crew of anti-superheroes determined to expose The Seven, who are like a celebrity-obsessed version of the Justice League, but also a bit like a NATO comprised of every autocratic overlord in the world.

Kripke shed some light on the show’s social commentary, the advice he would give the boys’ new leader,  and the movies and TV shows that have inspired him.

Felipe Patterson:  What would you say to viewers who fell behind a while ago, but want to jump into this season? What do they need to know?  

The Boys creator on the election and movies that influenced him
Victoria Neuman. Prime Video | Amazon Original

Eric Kripke:  Wow! We tried to do a pretty solid recap at the beginning of the season to bring people up to speed. Butcher has six months to live on account of the temporary V (serum) that he sort of poisoned himself with in season 3.

Victoria Newman is the Vice Presidential candidate who is about to be elected. We will also find a homicidal supe one heartbeat away from the White House.

Homelander will want to exert as much control over her as possible. So we’re just heading towards a wild deviation from reality and heading towards just a sh*t show of an election year.

With the fate of the country on the line, The Boys are at their most fractured and weakest. They’re up against this existential threat.

The Boys creator on the election and movies that influenced him
Mother’s Milk. Prime Video | Amazon Original

Felipe: Mother’s Milk is the new leader of The Boys, heading up their crusade against Homelander, Vought International (the superhero monopoly started by a Nazi scientist), and the Supes of the world. You have had to run some pretty big shows. What advice would you give Mother’s Milk to pull off his new role?   

Eric: That’s funny! I would say prioritize. That’s my advice. When you have a thousand things to do and 10 minutes to do them, work on the thing that is the closest to catching on fire and that he should wear. He should quit wearing his favorite jacket because it will get covered in goo. Wear shirts and clothing that he doesn’t care as much about. Wear dirty work clothes. That’s what I would say.

Felipe: Has Laz Alonso ever asked why his character Mother’s Milk doesn’t wear regular clothes or clothes that he wouldn’t mind getting dirty or messy?

Eric: No, but it’s an amazing question.

Felipe: Yes, because Mother’s Milk always wears fresh gear, especially the hip-hop themed shirts. 

Eric: Exactly!

The Boys creator on the election and movies that influenced him
Sister Sage. Prime Video | Amazon Original

Felipe: Sister Sage has quickly become one of my favorite new characters. I love the fact that she is a Black woman and that she’s the smartest person in the world. What was your approach to developing this character?

Eric: Well, we wanted a few things. One, there’s sort of a classic superhero archetype of the smartest person in the world, and we wanted to play around with that archetype and put it in our world. Truth is someone that smart would be miserable. So, the smartest person in the world would be a real misanthrope, and we really liked the commentary that it was a Black woman. Who historically have a really difficult time making themselves heard, and so we thought the irony that the one person best suited to solve all of society’s problems is somebody that just no one particularly listens to, and that gave her actually a really interesting inner wound, because she’s gotten so, you’ll see it in this upcoming episode 6, bitter because she’s been dismissed outright, by so much of culture and society that it’s sort of turned her into a misanthrope.

The Boys creator on the election and movies that influenced him
Terry Gilliam’s Brazil

Felipe: You have covered a lot of range in your career and you have a terrific imagination.  What films or TV shows influenced you growing up?  

Eric: Oh, another great question. To me, Twilight Zone is the best show ever made. I grew up with (sci-fi) genre shows like X-Files and Buffy (the Vampire Slayer). I think the reason (the majority) of The Boys’ seasons usually have some kind of self-enclosed story going on in every episode is because of how much I love those shows. In terms of movies, especially that would influence The Boys, I really love dark comedies like Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove and Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. I really love early Sam Rami and Peter Jackson, so those (kinds of films) are over the top. Super gory horror, which is also clearly reflected in The Boys. I really liked stuff that was a little bit on the outside.

The Boys creator on the election and movies that influenced him
Sidney Lumet’s Network.  MGM

Felipe: What do you recommend people watch right now after they complete season 4 of The Boys until season 5? 

I would say hurry to watch Network and Evil Dead 2 just for your own benefit.


To play catch before Season 4, read Felipe’s Season 3 review of <i>The Boys</i> for the Watercooler.  You can binge all four seasons of The Boys now on Prime Video.

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