Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy- Season 1 Review

Yep, I’m not ashamed to admit that I was pretty much a bandwagon jumper when it came to The Umbrella Academy,  the Netflix series that premiered last month.

I heard everyone talking about the new show up and down my timeline, so I decided to check it out to see what the hype was about.

As it turned out, I wasn’t impressed with the first couple of episodes and was ready to throw in the towel.  It was just starting out too slow for me.  I couldn’t tell you, what made me keep going, but I did.  Let’s get into it.

The Umbrella Academy is based on a series of comics, by the same name, that were created by Gerard Way over 10 years ago. And, no, I had never heard of the comics until now,  simply because I’m not a huge follower of what goes on in the comic book world.

But, I still decided to stick with The Umbrella Academy to see where it was headed and what made it so interesting to the folks on my Twitter feed.

The Umbrella Academy opens and there are multiple women–43 to be exact– who give birth to children, simultaneously, on the same day in 1989. But, there’s nothing too strange about that, right? Well, the women, through some type of immaculate conception, conceives and plops out these babies all in a matter of hours. Shit’s starting to get a little crazy, huh?

Then, some mad scientist rich dude, Sir Reginald Hargreeves, hears about these weird births, decides to purchase 7 of the 43 babies born on that day, and raises them up in his own “sanctuary” that he calls The Umbrella Academy.

Hargreeves hardly ever refers to his adopted (purchased) children by name—only by number.

  • “Number 1 aka Luther”- has super strength and a sickeningly huge man-beast body.
  • “Number 2 aka Diego”- former police officer with a crazy high temper and a strange love for knife play. He will cut your ass.
  • “Number 3 aka Allison”- extremely gorgeous, superstar actress with a power to manipulate the mind in a split second.
  • “Number 4 aka Klaus”- flamboyant drug addict with the power to conjure the dead when he’s sober.
  • “Number 5 aka Number 5”- old man trapped in a child’s body with the ability to teleport and jump time periods.
  • “Number 6 aka Ben”- has the ability to summon eldritch creatures with tentacles and fuck shit up when needed.
  • “Number 7 aka Vanya- the ordinary one of the bunch who just practices the violin; her powers lay dormant until they don’t.

Hargreeves uses The Umbrella Academy to explore the children’s powers and to send them on crime-fighting missions for exposure, which results in them becoming famous.

Once the kids grow up, most of them become sick of the life that Hargreeves provided for them, and decide to go their separate ways, barely keeping in contact with their adopted siblings.

Then, something drastic happens that forces them back together, rears the heads of old demons, presents new ones, and sends them on their most ultimate mission yet.Is The Umbrella Academy a worthy rebound after Netflix's bad break-up with the Marvel Universe? Click To Tweet

The Umbrella Academy stars Ellen Page (Juno) as Vanya Hargreeves, the Violinist. Vanya kind of slow to the party, but, oh boy,  when she gets there, it’s a party for sure. This role fits Page very well and she plays the hell out of it.

But, my favorite characters, hands down, are Number 5 and Klaus.

“Number 5” played by 15 year-old Aidan Gallagher, best known for his character  Nicky in Nickelodeon‘s Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn,  is a pretty amazing talent. Number 5 keeps me on my toes with his loose cannon ways and his fuck-your-feelings attitude. Gallagher embodies the role of the damn near 60 year-old man trapped in a teenager’s body. He proves to hold his own, and then some, among the other actors, who are more than twice his age.

Next up for me is Klaus Hargreeves, played by Irish actor Robert Sheehan, who has starred in several British film and television projects over the last several years.  Although Klaus is the drug-addicted-ghost-whisperer, he’s also the main comic relief for the show. When Klaus shows up wearing his frilly coat, his tie-dyed cropped tee,  and his skin-tight leather leggings, I know I’m going to get every minute of my life. Sheehan gives the audience a great show with his quick-wit and his big messy hair every single time he hits the screen.

And I refuse to wrap this up without giving an honorable mention to Ms. Mary J. Blige for her role as one-half of the assassin duo, Cha-Cha and Hazel. Yep, Mary J. portrays Cha-Cha throughout the season and she doesn’t fuck around.  Witnessing her take on this crazy physical role along with displaying strong acting chops, I had forgotten that this was the Queen of Hip Hop Soul that I grew up on in the 90s. I live for every one of her gun-slinging fight scenes.  Mary J. has taken the role of Cha-Cha and nobody’s fucking with the Queen.

I’m currently patting myself on the back for not giving up on this show. I can admit that I can sometimes fall a little weary, when I feel that the character development is taking too long to develop. I’m working on my patience. What can I say?

Overall, The Umbrella Academy is another one of Netflix’s hits and it’s definitely a must-see. For anyone who is into the comic book realm and wants to witness some ass-kicking, time-jumping, power-wielding, shit-talking, action-packing, supernatural television, then this is the series for you.

The only thing I’m upset about right now is that I have to wait for Season 2 to find out if the kids will survive.

What do you think?

Written by LaToya Anitri


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