Station Control
All Good things come to an end

by Benjamin Carr

When we revisit a place after being away from it for a while, the nostalgia we feel is often tinged with surprise or regret. Our college towns are filled with memories but sometimes your favorite place on Earth has been bulldozed and replaced with a pita restaurant. With the latest crop of television and streaming shows, old ideas have taken on a different perspective.

THE BOYS (Amazon Prime)
Based upon the comic by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, this subversive, dark and racy as hell series reimagines the Justice League or the Avengers as corrupt, murderous, corporate-shill, perverted asshole villains, and its title characters are a group intent on spanking the heroes when they get out of line. From the center of its dark, dark heart, with its well-earned TV-MA rating, this show is a damn blast.

Ennis, who previously created the twisted comic Preacher for AMC is also at the helm for this one. And as weird as Preacher gets, The Boys is decidedly more wicked and in some ways funnier.

It stars the great Karl Urban - lately a full-fledged movie star from Star Trek and Dredd - as Billy Butcher, a vigilante with a thick accent and a perpetual scowl. His character is all bravado and testosterone, and it's so great to have Urban in any way that we can get him.

The Boys also stars Oscar nominee Elisabeth Shue, Gossip Girl star Chace Crawford, Jack Quaid and Erin Moriarty. The cast - with its heroes as villains and villains as heroes - is fantastic. And, as the premise builds, the show only gets more intense.

This show, which ran for three seasons on UPN and The CW, was originally about a teen detective intent on solving her own rape and her best friend's murder. It was dark, compelling and centered by a terrific lead performance from Kristen Bell as the title character. After three seasons and a movie funded through a Kickstarter campaign, creator Rob Thomas and Bell have returned for an eight-episode fourth season of the show.

Veronica, now in her 30s and a professional detective working with her father Keith (Enrico Colatoni) in the seedy seaside town of Neptune, Calif., where everyone has a secret, is on the trail of a mad bomber targeting the hottest Spring Break tourist spots. The list of suspects is long and includes a number of stars from the show's past, including Jason Dohring, Ryan Hansen and Max Greenfield. Also joining the show for this season are Oscar winner J.K. Simmons as an ex-con gone good and Patton Oswalt as a conspiracy theory-spouting pizza delivery man.

Along the way, the mystery grows more compelling and shocking. It's filled with nostalgia for the old series, but it carries a new, adult darkness that's very unsettling.

Bell has said time and again that she would continue playing Veronica until it's Murder, She Wrote and everyone in Neptune is dead. Here's hoping that Hulu fulfills such a prophecy.

Abandoning the plot that fueled the first two seasons of MTV's Scream series, a shorter third season with an entirely new plot and characters, was recently dropped rather unceremoniously on VH1 after two years on the shelf. The new plot, centered around a football star named Deion (RJ Cyler), takes place in Atlanta and deals with Ghostface, complete with his original mask, tracking down and killing teens for keeping weird secrets.

Though the infusion of a new cast and characters is an interesting way of approaching Scream, at this point the show has become more tired than compelling. This is likely the last we will ever see of it.

It's a bit of a shame. It had potential, even in its new form, but at this point it's much more of a whisper than a Scream.



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