Gen V is the latest original series to hit Prime Video, as well as a spin-off of the critically acclaimed series The Boys. If you aren’t familiar with the latter, The Boys is an adult superhero series filled with sex, drugs, and bloody violence (seriously, not a show for kids at all). It only makes sense to expand the world and see where superheroes get their training. That makes the setting for Gen V perfect: superhero college, specifically Godolkin University. And don’t worry, this show is filled with exactly the same things we’ve come to love about The Boys. Along with references to The Boys, we get to meet an entirely new cast of characters with some fascinating new powers.
Without giving too much away, the story’s main focus is on Marie Moreau (played by Jaz Sinclair). We follow Marie’s journey as she enters her freshman year at Godolkin University. Marie has a difficult time adjusting to college life and keeping her past a secret, especially from her roommate Emma (played by Lizze Broadway). Following an unexpected tragedy on campus, Marie and her friends discover something that Godolkin has been hiding and they work together to expose Godolkin’s secrets.
As someone who watched The Boys far too late (it was a great binge watch though), I thought this was an excellent start to the first spin-off series. The idea of Godolkin University doesn’t feel forced, which allows Gen V to naturally fit into the world. There are plenty of connections and cameos from cast members of The Boys, which was very entertaining. The other thing that helps set this series apart is the new cast of characters we meet, along with some interesting and surprisingly topical powers.
The one critique I can give wasn’t something I had a big problem with, but something that will take viewers by surprise: violence and sex. As expected, the violence is graphic and bloody, along with shocking and unexpected at times. Some of the sexual situations are hard to describe; you just have to see it to believe it. While this isn’t exactly a flaw, it can take you a bit to adjust and get comfortable with it, so it might be a major turnoff to some viewers.
Jaz Sinclair is a wonderful lead as Marie Moreau, whose superpowers essentially make her a blood-bender (I had to reference Avatar: The Last Airbender). Unfortunately for Marie, she has an incredibly tragic backstory to go along with those powers. She also doesn’t have a full understanding of how to use them after hiding them for so long. We get to see her abilities grow along with her understanding of the world of superheroes.
Marie isn’t alone at Godolkin and quickly forms a group of friends, beginning with her roommate Emma. The supporting cast is excellent as well, with Lizze Broadway being a standout. I was surprised by how topical some of their powers are, mainly because they deal with some serious social issues/topics. Marie has to cut herself to access her blood while Jordan is bi-gender and can switch between male and female (female played by London Thor), which causes tension with their parents. These powers can lead to some important discussions among friends and family, especially if you know someone struggling with self-harm or gender identity.
Overall, Gen V is an excellent spin-off that you should watch when it arrives on Prime Video on September 29. While you don’t have to have seen The Boys before watching it, it will absolutely enhance your experience. I can see the violence and sex being a major turnoff, so if that makes you uncomfortable this might not be the show for you.
Gen V truly stands on its own, thanks in part to its fantastic cast led by Jaz Sinclair. Godolkin University is a fascinating concept and provides a great means to showcase new, interesting powers. I haven’t seen the whole series at the time of writing this review (I was provided with 6 of the 8 episodes), so I will be anxiously waiting to see how the season ends; I’m sure it will be as wild as a college party!