There have been increasing amounts of superhero media throughout the current decade, with Netflix’s new series Umbrella Academy being no exception to the list.
Umbrella Academy, created by former My Chemical Romance singer Gerard Way and television writer Steve Blackman, revolves around seven children all born on the same day –despite the mothers showing no signs of pregnancy beforehand– who later get adopted by the eccentric billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves. The children work under the team name “Umbrella Academy,” displaying many powers from mind control to time travel.
The series itself takes place when all the children have grown up, with their own careers and families, united due to the death of their father. With one of the missing brothers coming back from the future, hinting on an impending apocalypse, the team must solve the mystery of their father’s death while discovering how to prevent the apocalypse.
The series differentiates itself from other superhero dramas through its weird premise and unique characters. All of the characters have their own quirks and attributes: such as Klaus’ drug addiction, Diego’s accuracy with a knife, Vanya’s violin skills.
Despite the show’s unique qualities, it begins rather slow. Scenes sometimes feel stretched out, and the episodes last 50 minutes. The show focuses especially on minor subplots that serve no purpose for the grander scheme of the series. Even the murder mystery aspect of it, which should be thrilling, becomes lackluster due to a faulty narrative.
I found myself liking the characters’ powers more than their personalities. Klaus felt like a fun character, as he talked to the dead and had a gothic-like aesthetic about him. There were characters like Diego and Five on the other hand, who could throw knives and teleport in time, but came off as arrogant and unlikable.
Some of the fight scenes are either one-sided or avoidable. The team constantly fights with one another, despite having a common goal. It felt tedious watching some of the irritating quarrels because the characters were continually incapable of putting their differences aside for the ideal goal.
I do admit the show displayed some admiring qualities such as the cinematography angles that captured some thrilling scenes in the show. The special effects were mesmerizing for the eye, as it made certain emotions come out of the screen. The soundtrack paired well with the show’s action sequences. Finally, an unexpected final episode made the interesting use of time travel and suspense to tie up any plot holes within the series. Making it a worthwhile watch for friends and family into superhero dramas.