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Filming 'Herogasm' during COVID was a 'f—ing nightmare,' 'The Boys' showrunner says

Faking an orgy in the middle of a pandemic isn't the easiest thing in the world? We're shocked!

By Josh Weiss
The Boys Herogasm AMAZON PRESS

A depraved orgy involving a collection of C-list superheroes would be extremely difficult to pull off under the best of circumstances. But The Boys had to figure out a way to make it work under the strict health safety measures of a post-COVID world for Season 3's long-awaited "Herogasm" episode (now streaming on Prime Video).

"I’ll say logistically, producing them, they’re f—ing nightmares," showrunner and executive producer Eric Kripke told SYFY WIRE via Zoom, ahead of the Season 3 premiere. "When you have dozens of naked people simulating sex acts during COVID [while] also making sure that it’s a completely locked down, professional, safe and appropriate set, is really scary and challenging. We had tons of intimacy coordinators and COVID safety officers and just making sure that it’s a place where everyone can feel comfortable is really, really challenging. But then again, I’m in Los Angeles on Zoom and phone calls and I’m not in the middle of it like Karl [Urban] is."

The title — taken from the fan-favorite comic book storyline of the same name — refers to an annual event in which lesser-known Supes get together to indulge their wildest sexual fantasies. Amazon's small screen adaptation of this carnal celebration takes place at the home of the TNT Twins, former members of the superteam Payback, and features the return of the infamous "Love Sausage" and the Ant-Man-inspired Termite (who seems to have no regrets over that urethral mishap in the season premiere). According to Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles), he founded the erotic tradition alongside Liberty (Stormfront's original hero name).

Urban — who plays the role of Billy Butcher — was also present on our Zoom, and explained that while the show's graphic sensibilities were indeed amplified this season, they were always counterbalanced with more relatable character moments that would keep the viewer grounded in the story.

"What I found this season [is that] everything was dialed up in a really good way," he said. "I think what was dialed up was the interactions between the characters and the heart of the show because if you didn’t have that, then it just becomes this vacuous exploration of violence and sex. The thing that draws people back to the show is the characters and they care about these characters and enjoy spending time with them and as long as we get that right, then it’ll continue to be fun to watch."

"Herogasm" was written by producer Jessica Chou and directed by Nelson Cragg (Ratched). Episodes 1-6 of The Boys' third season are now streaming on Prime Video. New episodes premiere every Friday. Amazon recently renewed the hit series for a fourth season.

Looking for more sci-fi TV? Check out shows like Resident Alien, Brave New World, Project Blue Book, Eureka, Heroes, Intergalactic, and more streaming now on Peacock. Looking ahead, SYFY has new series The Ark in the works from original Stargate film writer/producer Dean Devlin, as well as Stargate SG-1 producer Jonathan Glassner.