Right off the bat you notice it is different, and different can be exciting if done well. So, was The Umbrella Academy done well? In a lot of ways, yes. First off, the show’s soundtracks were amazing. In the course of watching an episode I would, from time to time, look forward to when the music would come on. Like the show, the soundtracks were different. The kind of different I appreciate. I think they even used a weird foreign-language version of Adele’s Hello at some point.
Another thing I enjoyed was the gymnastics of the time science. For the most part it did not make sense, and it was cos it did not make sense that I enjoyed it.
But don’t get carried away just yet. It’s not all good as I have a number of qualms with the first season. To be honest, season 1 felt like a mix of loud conflicting stories and themes and emotions. The writers basically gave everything a story and so the first season felt all over the place and difficult to connect to. I mean, even Vanya’s Violin has a story. Plus a lot of the characters had backstories that were either developed too rapidly or just touched on the surface.
We have Number 2 going to police academy, where he meets and falls in love with a colleague. Then he gets kicked out, breaks up with colleague. Ex eventually becomes a cop, he and ex have bad blood from their messy breakup and cos he is always nosing around police business, but somehow they find a way to work on a mission together. Unfortunately, ex gets killed and number 2 begins to seek revenge, but his seriousness with getting revenge waxes and wanes, not because he is an asshole but because so many other things are happening with other people we occasionally forget about a theme as intense as revenge. Plus, we can’t really connect with this revenge as nothing about his police academy days or love life is shown. All they did was tell us by mouth that it happened.
Another one is how number 3 is a movie star but this feels more like a prop than part of her story cos we don’t get anything about it except when we see her use it to attach herself to a cop in order to get information from a suspect. Number 3 is also a mother who lost her daughter after the divorce, and she is in love with one of her brothers.
Then number 4, the druggie weirdo that was locked in a mausoleum by his dad had a life changing gay romance in the military that happened in all of 10 minutes.
The family was scattered by number 6’s death but we were not told anything tangible about his death considering that it was serious enough to scatter their family.
They also have a mechanical mom and a chimpanzee butler that can talk.
Too much, don’t you think?
The second season is a little subtler but why for the sake of Pete was Diego, number 2, obsessed with saving Kennedy? Why was their father, Reginald Hargreaves in a secret organization that wanted the president dead? Why was this inconsequential part of the story developed, and done properly too?
On the topic of acting, beside Emmy Raver-Lampman and David Castaneda, the actors were good. I enjoyed Robert Sheehan, but not because he was great, but because he let himself be stupid. The Umbrella Academy is a good show. Watch it.
Reviewed by CHI’AZIE (Ghost Writer)