The past couple of years have been quite eventful for superhero enthusiasts, with “Avengers: Infinity War” breaking the box office and “Captain Marvel” following closely in its footsteps. However, what we’ve been seeing out of these movies plot-wise is growing quite repetitive: a somber yet sarcastic character with a shady past takes on a massive force of evil and ends up saving the city. That’s all well and good, and these movies are still fun to watch, but there’s still that unique element that these films just aren’t hitting anymore.
Luckily for us, Netflix has presented us with the superhero show that we never knew we needed. Straight from the mind of My Chemical Romance star, Gerard Way comes the new show, “The Umbrella Academy,” which was released in February of this year. Complete with a star-studded cast, a talking monkey and a robot mom, this show has viewers completely captivated for all 10 episodes.
The show starts off on a catastrophic day in 1989 where 43 women, who were not pregnant the day before, give birth to 43 children, seven of which were adopted by Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore), a strict disciplinarian with a very mysterious and condescending aura. Hargreeves proceeds to raise all seven children in his mansion and creates a crime-fighting squad, called the Umbrella Academy, that features the children’s super-human abilities.
Number one, Luther (Tom Hopper) is incredibly strong. Number two, Diego (David Castañeda) is a powerful vigilante with a talent for hitting anyone or anything with his knives (or whatever else he throws). Number three, Allison (Emmy-Raver-Lampman) possesses the ability to control people’s thoughts and actions. Number four, Klaus (Robert Sheehan) is perhaps my favorite character, and his powers allow him to communicate with the dead, however, he can only access his powers when he is sober, which he hasn’t been since he was a teenager. The nameless Number Five (Aidan Gallagher) is able to jump through time and space, which is first shown when he emerges in the present day after being stuck in the future for 45 years.
After assembling a group of protégés, Hargreeves teaches them how to hone in on their abilities and finally assembles his crime-fighting squad of kids, excluding number seven, Vanya (Ellen Page), who is an outlier with no discernible powers. After identifying the entirety of the Hargreeves makeshift family, the audience is launched into the present day where five of the seven children reunite in their childhood home, after Sir Reginald Hargreeves’ mysterious death. While at his funeral, however, Five mysteriously enters through a hole in time and explains to his siblings that the apocalypse is going to occur in five days.
From there, the siblings try to unite in order to stop their impending doom, but a lot has changed in the last couple of years, and the Hargreeve children certainly aren’t as close as they used to be. Despite some awkwardness, the Hargreeves finally learn to work together and attempt to save the world from an apocalypse that they don’t know the source of.
One of my favorite parts of the show was the colorful characters that directors Steve Blackman and Jeremy Slater helped paint so vividly. I think that going back and delving into the Hargreeves childhood experiences helps the audience unravel their complicated personalities through their past endeavors. As I said previously, my favorite character is Klaus, the exuberant junkie who is haunted by his ability to speak to dead people. Although he puts on a carefree persona, we get to see his very troubling past, as well as a quick sequence when he is accidentally transported back in time to the Vietnam War. The amazing performance that Sheehan put on to show the after-effects of the war added a lot of depth to his character.
Although the show obviously has no lack of unfortunate events, the general aura of “The Umbrella Academy” is surprisingly uplifting, and there’s a sort of cartoonish vibe to the entire show. The soundtrack helps to lighten the show’s mood and includes classic songs like “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” by They Might Be Giants as well as “I Think We’re Alone Now” by Tiffany.
Overall, “The Umbrella Academy” was an engaging show with an amazing cast and a plot line that is truly unique. The last episode was a cliff hanger and left viewers with many lingering questions. Where are the other 36 children who were born on that fateful day in 1989 day? Is Hargreeves a human? Is God really a little girl on a bicycle? The show left a lot of questions unanswered, but hopefully, we’ll get a season two so that we can delve even further into the lives of the seven Hargreeves children.
Rating: 5/5 torches
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