The Umbrella Academy - TV Review

Netflix | Now streaming

Starring Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Mary J. Blige, Cameron Britton, John Magaro, Adam Godley, Colm Feore

Based on the Dark Horse comic book series by My Chemical Romance front man, Gerard Way, The Umbrella Academy focuses on a group of 30 year-old "siblings" with superpowers who were given a head-up about the imminent apocalypse. The way they were born was all the same around the world. Their respective mothers had no signs of pregnancy until just a few moments before labor began. 43 of these instances occurred, but an eccentric billionaire, Sir Reginald Hargreeves, traveled near and far to get his hands on seven of these newborns to form The Umbrella Academy.


The Academy was formed in order to stop crime. They were international superstars who were only known for doing the right thing. As time went by, the brothers and sisters eventually disbanded to do their own things. Some, not by choice. One was sent to the moon, one became a famous actress, one became a drug addict, one became a vigilante, one disappeared, one died, and one was actually normal and left out of the group from the jump. They all came back together after finding out their "father" had committed suicide and that the end of the world was near.


This television adaptation of the comic book is impressive and absolutely well cast. There's also no way that I mention The Umbrella Academy without mentioning X-Men (which is funny considering Ellen Page played Kitty Pryde). It's all fairly familiar and the overall originality isn't quite there, however, it was the ensemble that really set it apart from the Marvel comic. The character development (and the actors themselves) is what kept me intrigued throughout the course of the show. Each individual character had their own chance to shine and they were all compelling. There was no "best one", which made for great balance. Even the villain and bad guys kept it fresh, but I can't go into detail on them without spoiling anything.


In the end, it's entertaining television for the sake of being just that. On top of the wonderful cast (the main reason to watch this show), some other aspects deserve recognition, such as the writing, production design, and the multiple directors at the helm. If there's one thing I hated, it was Luther's ridiculous muscle suit. How dare they let that slide. ★★★

★★★★★ Classic | ★★★★ Excellent | ★★★ Good | ★★ Fair | ★ Poor


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© Justin Recio 2019