The third season of the highly popular Netflix series “The Umbrella Academy” was released this past July. Since its final season was confirmed later on Aug.25, now is the best time to give this entertaining superhero drama a worthy shot by binging the first season.
The show stars a well versed and talented cast with roles portrayed by Elliot Page, Tom Hopper and Emmy Raver Lampan. It is based directly on the comic book series of the same name written by musician Gerard Way and illustrated by Brazilian artist Gabriel Bá. The series was published by Dark Horse Comics in 2007.
The first season of the Netflix adaptation premiered back on Feb.15, 2019. The premise follows a fictional strange event that occurred in 1989, where a select forty-three women around the world are simultaneously giving birth to newborn babies. A notable and mysterious billionaire, Sir Reginald Hargreeves, is able to adopt seven of them in order to train them in his Umbrella Academy, a child superhero team.
Years later, when Hargreeves passes away rather suddenly, five out of the seven children, now adults, reunite to mourn the loss of their late father figure.
As each one of them expresses their contrasting viewpoints on Hargreeves, the family receives an unexpected visit from their brother, Five, after jumping through time. After having disappeared for years, Five warns the family of a world-ending, apocalyptic scenario happening in the near future. What follows is a series of events surrounding the ongoing mystery of Hargreeves’ death and the duo of assassins Hazel and Cha-Cha, who attempt to pursue Five.
The first few episodes are well-executed in pulling the viewer in with stylish action scenes and unique shot composition, as well as a mix of both comedic and dramatic tones. While the plot has its strange elements on top of the addition of time travel, it never becomes too hard to follow. The unpredictability of the story and the constant twists and turns is what allows viewers to get invested in the main characters.
The family members of the Umbrella Academy are flawed, well-defined people. The writing of the show is very simple but incredibly effective, as each of the main characters bounces off each other with their distinct personalities. What makes it different from your more standard superhero tropes that seen in Marvel movies and shows is that we see these characters from a different lens. The story touches on more grounded themes of past abuse and dysfunctional familial love.
One of the many standout performances is Aidan Gallagher as Five. Due to various circumstances involving Five and his ability to time travel, he remains in the body of his teenage self despite being a man in his late fifties. Gallagher delivers a rather convincing performance of an older, grumpier man trapped in his past body. Another great standout is Robert Sheehan as the drug-addicted Klaus, whose ability to communicate with the dead leads to both funny and very tragic scenes.
Before the final season comes out, watch or rewatch the first season to fall in love with the world of the Umbrella Academy before it’s gone.