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The Boys season 3 review: Superhero Torture Porn

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The Boys season 3 review: Superhero Torture Porn

Television dramas tend to increase the stakes each season by pitting their protagonists against more powerful threats that emerge from the ashes and triumphs of previous seasons. The show and its viewers have an unspoken agreement that all the dangers faced by the characters and any losses they have sustained will be accounted for at the end. This provides a cathartic solution for everyone involved.

In the modern TV age, shows such as Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad push the limits of what we are willing to endure for characters, with varying outcomes.

Amazon Studios’ The Boys has taken a similar route, increasing the peril surrounding its super-powered protagonists and inflicting all sorts of trauma on them and their loved ones. The series’ first 2 gory seasons , had a lot of humor and a surreal quality that disassociated reality from what was on screen.

Season 3 The Boys skips all that and delivers the most difficult, most brutal, and emotionally draining chapter in the series. There is no indication that there will be a cathartic ending.

The cast of The Boys, with Karl Urban front and center, stand on an airstrip in front of a plane.

Developed for TV by Eric Kripke (Supernatural) and based on the comic book series of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, The Boys is set in a world where superheroes are not only real, but rarely heroes. The super-powered characters of The Boys are created by a war profiteering corporation. They can indulge in any behavior so long as it doesn’t hurt their stock price. All this is done under the supervision of a PR department that has made them global celebrities. The series’ title refers to a small group of secret agents that attempt to police the “supes”, whether they are gathering blackmail material or imposing brutal, sometimes even lethal, punishments for their crimes.

Over the course of the first two seasons, viewers have seen Hughie (Jack Quaid), a mild-mannered member of William Butcher’s covert team, engage in high-stakes combat with Homelander (Antony Starr), a sadistic, Superman-like leader for the world’s most famous superhero team. Their war seemed to reach a grisly stalemate at the end of the show’s second season but ignites again in season 3 as Homelander becomes a Donald Trump-like figure, stoking racist nationalism in order to feed his insatiable ego and consolidate his power.

Antony Starr as Homelander stands in a room, looking concerned.

The parallels to recent events don’t stop there either. There are right-wing disinformation campaigns and even a parody about the NXIVM sex-cult, all of which find their way into this season-long story.

What’s missing from the season is the self-aware comedy which made all the gory violent dark themes and cynical view on humanity that the show offered.

It’s easy to compare this series to HBO’s Game of Thrones ,, which also took audiences on a journey that felt completely hopeless at times and seemed content with its own depravity. That series’ inability to deliver a satisfying conclusion is well-documented, and the third season of The Boys feels like it comes from the same playbook, opting to put shock value over substance with increasing frequency, and teasing — but never delivering — an emotional return on fans’ investment.

Basically, the bad guys in The Boys keep getting worse and the heroes just keep getting hurt. The audience keeps getting more strung along.

Tomer Capon and Karen Fukuhara dance in a scene from The Boys season 3.

There are some bright spots in season 3. After being relegated to supporting roles for two seasons, Tomer Capon (aka “Frenchie”), and Karen Fukuhara (aka Kimiko Miyashiro) finally get dedicated story arcs. These arcs not only give their characters more depth, but also highlight both actors’ incredible talents. They are two of the most interesting characters in the series. Instead of being swept along by the story, their story arcs for the third season take the show to new and exciting places.

Erin Moriarty, who plays Annie January, the Starlight-like superhero, delivers a stellar performance. Her role is no longer about her being a punching bag to Homelander or anyone else. Her role in the series has always been about the nature of power, control, and the new season allows her to be the one who controls it. The show is better because Moriarty brings depth to the role that was lacking in the first two seasons.

Erin Moriarty as Starlight looks upset in a scene from The Boys season 3.

Unfortunately, these bright spots are few in an otherwise bleak season that seems more determined to test its viewers’ ability to absorb narrative abuse. The Boys tries to offer viewers hope for characters they love, but instead of giving them further punishment. Things only get worse when it looks like things might be going their way. This happens so often it becomes frustratingly predictable. Season after season, you learn to expect the worst. And then deliver.

The fact that all this happens amid a familiar backdrop of sociopolitical touchstones from real life makes it all the more frustrating.

Despite the series’ dark themes the first two seasons The Boys still managed to offer some hope for the characters, despite all the destruction around them. Season 3 of the series doesn’t manage to do that. It is likely that viewers will wish that the entire cast would be exonerated.

The first three episodes of The Boys season 3, premiere June 3. New episodes are available every Friday.

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are
A player shouldering the ball



(Image credit: EA)

FIFA 23 might be the best game soccer game yet for terrible sports fans, as it lets you turn off commentary that criticizes your bad playing.

Now that the early access FIFA 23 release time has passed, EA Play and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can hop into the game ahead of its full release. But as Eurogamer (opens in new tab) spotted, they’ll find a peculiar option waiting for them.

FIFA 23 includes a toggle to turn off ‘Critical Commentary’. The setting lets you silence all negative in-match comments made about your technique, so you can protect your precious ego even when you miss an open goal or commit an obvious foul. The more positive commentary won’t be affected. 

Spare your feelings

A player dribbling the ball in FIFA 23

(Image credit: EA)

The feature looks tailored toward children and new players, who don’t want to have their confidence wrecked within mere minutes of picking up the controller. But even experienced players who just so happen to be terrible at the game might benefit.

It’s not perfect, though. According to Eurogamer, the feature didn’t seem to work during a FIFA Ultimate Team Division Rivals match, with critical comments slipping through the filter. Still, who hasn’t benefited from a light grilling every now and then?

Polite commentary isn’t the only new addition in FIFA 23. It’s the first game in the series to include women’s club football teams, and fancy overhauled animations that take advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S’s new-gen hardware. EA will be hoping to end on a high, as FIFA 23 will be the last of its soccer games to release with the official FIFA licence.

If disabling critical commentary doesn’t improve your soccer skills, maybe building a squad of Marvel superheroes will. Although you might not do much better with Ted Lasso wandering the pitch.

FIFA 23 is set to fully release this Friday, September 30.

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games. 

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch
The backs of the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro



(Image credit: Google)

We’re starting to hear more and more Google Pixel 7 leaks, with the launch of the phone just a week away, but tech fans might be getting a lot of déjà vu, with the leaks all listing near-identical specs to what we heard about the Pixel 6 a year ago.

It sounds like the new phones – a successor to the Pixel 6 Pro is also expected – could be very similar to their 2021 predecessors. And a new price leak has suggested that the phones’ costs could be the same too, as a Twitter user spotted the Pixel 7 briefly listed on Amazon (before being promptly taken down, of course).

Google pixel 7 on Amazon US. $599.99.It is still showing up in search cache but the listing gives an error if you click on it. We have the B0 number to keep track of though!#teampixel pic.twitter.com/w5Z09D28YESeptember 27, 2022

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According to these listings, the Pixel 7 will cost $599 while the Pixel 7 Pro will cost $899, both of which are identical to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro starting prices. The leak doesn’t include any other region prices, but in the UK the current models cost £599 and £849, while in Australia they went for AU$999 and AU$1,299.

So it sounds like Google is planning on retaining the same prices for its new phones as it sold the old ones for, a move which doesn’t make much sense.


Analysis: same price, new world

Google’s choice to keep the same price points is a little curious when you consider that the specs leaks suggest these phones are virtually unchanged from their predecessors. You’re buying year-old tech for the same price as before.

Do bear in mind that the price of tech generally lowers over time, so you can readily pick up a cheaper Pixel 6 or 6 Pro right now, and after the launch of the new ones, the older models will very likely get even cheaper.

But there’s another key factor to consider in the price: $599 might be the same number in 2022 as it was in 2021, but with the changing global climate, like wars and flailing currencies and cost of living crises, it’s a very different amount of money.

Some people just won’t be willing to shell out the amount this year, that they may have been able to last year. But this speaks to a wider issue in consumer tech.

Google isn’t the only tech company to completely neglect the challenging global climate when pricing its gadgets: Samsung is still releasing super-pricey folding phones, and the iPhone 14 is, for some incomprehensible reason, even pricier than the iPhone 13 in some regions. 

Too few brands are actually catering to the tough economic times many are facing right now, with companies increasing the price of their premium offerings to counter rising costs, instead of just designing more affordable alternatives to flagships.

These high and rising prices suggest that companies are totally out of touch with their buyers, and don’t understand the economic hardship troubling many.

We’ll have to reach a breaking point sooner or later, either with brands finally clueing into the fact that they need to release cheaper phones, or with customers voting with their wallets by sticking to second-hand or refurbished devices. But until then, you can buy the best cheap phones to show that cost is important to you.

Tom’s role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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