Haunted MTL‘s weekly review of the series as a whole.
This week we start with the Boys’ first cult. You never forget your first. No matter how hard you try.
The show starts with an argument about dildos. Marcus has one in the studio and Henry can’t seem to accept that it isn’t his. This leads to the awkward discussion of how recently Ben and Henry both have had one in their mouths. While a lot of the show has changed, their intros continue to be nonsequitur and hilarious. Henry explains that the idea for this episode came to him while high and watching Marshall Applewhite, Heaven’s Gate’s founder, explaining himself and his cult. In more recent episodes this would lead to Marcus setting up a tightly scripted narrative as Ben and Henry crack wise and sometimes have thoughtful interjections. In this episode, it leads to comparisons to corporate training videos and Ben’s revelation that the meat in Wendy’s chili can’t legally be sold as hamburgers. This derail is a great example of what to expect in this episode.
While this one is the first “real” episode of the series, it is still obvious that they haven’t figured out the formula yet. The hosts themselves haven’t settled into their roles either. It’s chaotic, not terribly informative, but still entertaining.
UNTIL they reach the Marshall Applewhite video. This isn’t the last time the boys play a video or use audio from another source to illustrate a point or give you a clearer picture, but it is possibly the most boring. For nearly TEN MINUTES they let Applewhite drone on while they attempt to riff him MST3k style. It does really work as an exercise and I think they figured this out because it’s probably the last time they ever do this.
Interestingly, Henry talks about how he could never join a cult near the end of this episode. More recently he’s been talking about his respect for L. Ron Hubbard and I fully expect him to start hanging out with Tom Cruise any day now. Also, a warning for those that are offended by such things, we get Henry playing “Hong Kong Henry Zebrowski” at the very end of this. It’s, uh, it’s certainly a thing.
Observations and Final Thoughts
Overall, if I’d heard this episode first I’d probably have stuck around out of morbid curiosity. It shows the promise of the show but lacks the crack research we’d come to know as the series progresses. It’s also interesting to look back on this and see how the Boys have matured. If you’d like a great example, they’ve actually gone back and done a deep dive on Heaven’s Gate with their current skills and I’ll include that below in the links.
Be sure to tune in next week for possibly the most offensive episode they’ve ever made!