By Sydney Bucksbaum
July 25, 2019 at 08:16 PM EDT
Jan Thijs/Amazon Prime; Ed Araquel/Universal; Ran Mendelson/HBO

It’s about to feel like a gender-swapped Mötley Crüe’s “Girls, Girls, Girls” up in here. Three different projects with the word “boys” in the title are debuting within two-and-a-half weeks of each other. First up is Amazon’s The Boys, which begins streaming Friday, July 26. Next is HBO’s Our Boys, premiering Aug. 12. And finally, the movie Good Boys hits theaters Aug. 16. That sure is a lot of boys!

Confused already? Not surprising. But here’s where things get even more confusing. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are behind two of the projects: The Boys and Good Boys. Two are TV shows: Our Boys and The Boys. Two are about young boys: Good Boys and Our Boys. And all three are dark, just in extremely different ways.

So how do you know which project is right for you? Have no fear, because EW is here. Below, check out our guide to all three Boys properties so you don’t make the wrong choice and run out of the theater screaming or throw your remote across the room. Be warned: things are going to get messy out there over the next few weeks as about one in every four pop culture fan will fall victim to the 2019 Boys epidemic. This primer might actually save a life or two.

The Boys

What’s this one about? Rogen and Goldberg have teamed up with Eric Kripke (Supernatural) to take on Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s The Boys comic books for a bloody, violent, and gritty answer to “superhero fatigue.” This black comedy imagines a world where superheroes are actually the villains for everyday civilians. What happens if the mega-rich and famous supes abuse their powers for their own gain, and innocent lives are lost on a daily basis because of their willful ignorance? A multi-billion dollar corporation steps in for PR and cover-ups, natch.

Who’s this for? This “hard R” series is most definitely not for your kids, younger siblings, or anyone under the age of … well, probably high school, but we don’t pass judgment. The graphic material runs the gamut of assault, brutal torture, incredibly bloody gore, and nudity, so be warned. Anyone who’s fed up with superheroes will love seeing the send-up treatment of these “idols” as well as anyone who loves superheroes and wants to see a new, brilliant subversion of the old tropes.

Our Boys

What’s this one about? This 10-episode limited series is based on the true events that led to the outbreak of war in Gaza. Set in 2014, three Jewish teenagers are kidnapped and murdered by Hamas militants, and a couple days later, the burned body of a Palestinian teen is found in Jerusalem. The series follows the investigation of Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s murder, telling the story of all those involved, Jews and Arabs alike, whose lives were forever changed by these events.

Who’s this one for? Anyone interested in learning more about what sparked the 2014 Israel-Gaza War. This heartbreaking story is incredibly important on a global scale, and it began in such a micro way. The geopolitical ramifications are still felt today. Anyone who’s not a fan of reading subtitles might struggle with this one, but it’s worth it.

Good Boys

What’s this one about? A group of kids too young to watch their own movie. Seriously, they can’t even watch the trailer! Rogen and Goldberg’s other Boys project is a raunchy comedy about a group of sixth-grade boys (including a foul-mouthed Jacob Tremblay!) on the hunt for their first kiss. They try to impress older girls by skipping school and hitting up upperclassmen parties. Chaos ensues. Think Superbad but with a trio of 12-year-olds instead of high schoolers.

Who’s this one for? Definitely not 12-year-olds. Fans of Rogen and Goldberg’s previous work will feel right at home with this raunchy R-rated movie about friendship, full of “crude sexual content, drug and alcohol material and language throughout.” But seriously, don’t take your kids to this one, despite the age of the three stars.

 

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