Their father has mysteriously died, the world is ending in eight days and long lost brother Five has reappeared after seventeen years, looking like the day he left.
Dysfunctional doesn’t even begin to describe the Hargreeves’ siblings of the Umbrella Academy.
Brought together by chance, and bound by their own version of love, it will take all seven of them, and their unique abilities to save the world. One way or another.
I have to say this now otherwise I’ll burst: How annoying was Vanya?! I don’t even have a critical analysis to make, I just wanted to punch her in the face and I’m not even sorry. Gawd, even hearing her name said by other characters made me want to hit something.
Okay, thanks for letting me get that out. Emotions aside; her characteristic was never fully outlined. Was it one thing that made her act a certain way, or was she always that way – and if so why didn’t it come out during her adult life, especially as signs were exhibited in her past? I know that was heavily cryptic but I wanted to avoid spoilers, hopefully, that will make enough sense to those of you who have seen the show!
I really liked that nothing was explained. The series didn’t act on that “New Person” trope. You know, the one where there is a new character that has to be introduced to the goings on of the world, and we as the audience through them get all the explanations in a tidy package. Pogo the monkey, Mom the robot, an organisation hidden in time, humans with abilities. It all just was, and we accepted the abnormalities in the otherwise average world.
Though it had the potential for feeling too pantomime, I liked that the Hargreeves all had very distinctive personalities, it allowed us to view them separately yet did stop us from seeing them as a unit. ChaCha (Mary J. Blige) and Hazel (Cameron Britton) were a fantastic addition – the familiarity of their working relationship felt so smooth. The show also did a terrific job showcasing Klaus’ power with ghosts – shifting the camera to show what he was seeing comparatively to what everyone else was seeing, as well as the subtle gestures he made to accommodate those who were invisible to all but him.
So when the first episode queued up and I saw the name Gerard Way in the opening title as an Executive Producer I thought: What are the odds that’s the same Gerard Way who was the lead singer of My Chemical Romance?. Turns out the odds were in my favour – he was the original creator of the comic The Umbrella Academy is based on. Just thought I would add that as a little interesting fact for those of you who know/are/were fans of MCR. I now just associate this show with the umbrella scene from the music video Helena.
This review is already too long but I just wanted to add that I thought this was so well cast! Shout out to all the British and Irish actors in this series too:
Tom Hopper (Luther/Number One) Merlin, Game of Thrones
Robert Sheehan (Klause/Number Four) Misfits, Mortal Engines
Ashley Madekwe (Detective Patch) Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Revenge
I legit still have so many questions about this The Umbrella Academy but in a good way. I’m looking forward to a second series that will hopefully tell me where the other 35 are and if they too are special, more on how Five’s time travel power works, what else Klaus can do and where Hazel went.
Favourite Episode: Season One, Episode Six: The Day that Wasn’t