If there’s one thing that can be said about the world of The Boys and its spin-off, Gen V, it’s that the shows are gloriously filled with blood and sex. But if there are two things that can be said about them, it’s that underneath everything, they are wickedly funny with a sick sense of humor. Look no further than Gen V’s Godolkin University, which lands a pair of punchlines with the Lamplighter School of Crimefighting and the Crimson Countess School of Performing Arts.
The Lamplighter School Of Crimefighting
It’s been a while since it aired, but The Boys fans will remember Lamplighter (Sean Astin) getting involved in Season 2. A former member of The Seven, Lamplighter expresses regret over the murder of Mallory’s grandchildren, and he appears to go along with The Boys‘ plan to take down Vought.
Agreeing to testify against Vought at a Congressional Hearing, Lamplighter goes so far as to get The Boys into Vought’s headquarters before immolating himself.
None of that sounds especially heroic, and it’s not, which is the point. The entire time Lamplighter is on screen, there is nothing heroic about him, and again, he murdered children. Of all the heroes for Vought to honor, Lamplighter is toward the bottom of the list, which is precisely why Gen V prominently features the Lamplighter School of Crimefighting.
Showrunner Eric Kripke and executive producer Seth Rogen love to pull gags like this to show the audience that no matter how evil and corrupt they think Vought may be, they will always find ways to be even worse.
The Crimson Countess Center For Performing Arts
While we know Lamplighter is a scumbag within the world of The Boys, the addition of the Crimson Countess Center for the Performing Arts in Gen V may not be as ironic in-universe. The audience knows Crimson Countess, played amazingly well by Laurie Holden in Season 3, became an actress/singer after the dissolution of Payback. Fans were treated to her song, “Chimps Don’t Cry,” and the amazing music video to go with it!
First off, our respect for Laurie Holden, after being annoyed by Andrea on The Walking Dead, has gone up considerably since she gave her all for that glorious video. But even before the Crimson Countess was murdered by Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles), she was living in a trailer park and hosting live sex chats with fans (played by Seth Rogen), so her career could not be going that well.
Gen V’s Crimson Countess Center for the Performing Arts is the equivalent of Emerson deciding to build the Tara Reid School For Acting (we love Tara in Sharknado, but she’ll admit that she’s no Daniel Day-Lewis).
The Boys and Gen V rarely show restraint, which is why the lack of attention called to the ironic jokes helps them land every time.
The best part about the Gen V gag with school names is that the show doesn’t draw attention to it. The Lamplighter School for Crimefighting is mentioned reverently by students dying to get in, while there’s a strong contingent of student performers who enjoy being part of the Crimson Countess Center for the Performing Arts. If the series shone a light on the irony of the school names, it wouldn’t be as funny or eye-rolling every time they came up.
Thankfully, Gen V has been going through this with all of the absurd in-universe gags, including The Deep’s video about doing the right thing when no one is watching. Anyone who’s seen the first episode of The Boys knows why that’s not the case. Again, it’s a quick moment during a camera pan, making this the one time that Eric Kripke shows restraint.
As with The Boys, Gen V has turned out to be bloody and over-the-top, which only helps these jokes land all the better compared to the constant stream of sex and gore. Only halfway through the season, and right now, it sure seems like the new show is going to be one of the best spin-offs in history. We can’t wait to see what dumb sight gag, layered in dramatic irony, Eripke and Rogen drop in the back half of the season.