The Umbrella Academy
Release Date: 2020
Living in this pandemic is a great excuse to binge entire seasons of a show, or even whole series. I was a little late to The Umbrella Academy party after S1 released because I refused to watch it until I had the chance to read the graphic novels. Yes, I know, they’re honestly so different it wouldn’t have really mattered, but that’s just how I am. But I eventually did read volumes 1 and 2, then watched season 1. Because it’s such a loose adaptation, I ended up not writing an adaptation review for S1. But after binge-watching S2, I’ve decided: why not just write a general show review and simply not compare it to the graphic novels? So, that is what I did.
Season 2 of The Umbrella Academy picks up right where season 1 left off: the gang is about to be destroyed, with the rest of the world, by the moon crashing into Earth (thanks, Vanya). So Five does what he does best and zaps them all out of there, back to the 1960s. Unfortunately, they wind up getting scattered throughout the timeline. They all wind up in Dallas, but each a few months, or a few years, apart. By time they all meet up again, some of the characters have been living in 1960s Dallas for two whole years. Yikes. Even worse, though—they’ve brought the apocalypse back in time with them, and they only have days (yes, once again) to stop it. Double yikes.
With a premise like that, it’s easy to see why this season was such a big hit. While the premise is the same as the season before (stop the apocalypse, save the world, etc.), S2 makes the story really interesting by throwing all the characters into different days/months/years in Dallas before meeting up. So while there’s the present-day shit going on, we also get a glimpse into how these characters handled being thrown back in time, alone, all with ridiculously crazy superpowers. It was interesting to get more character development from each of the characters.
I love all the characters in some regard, but my favorite is absolutely Five. This guy is not only an old man stuck in a child’s body, but he literally spends every waking moment trying to save the world and pull his boneheaded siblings together to accomplish literally any task, all while being pursued by time-travelling assassins. Not only do I love this complex and truly heroic character (past assassin life aside), but I love the actor, Aidan Gallagher. Honestly he so perfectly embodies an old many trapped in a kid’s body. He’s so talented, and I love him. I was also excited to see Vanya’s character explored further, and—mild spoiler—that she isn’t dating a crazy psycho man, but instead is catching feelings for the woman who found and is taking care of her. THANK YOU. Seeing Ellen Page with a man last season felt forced and fake and wrong. I’m really glad her character could break out of that hetero role. Also BEN AND KLAUS—ugh. Just so in love with these guys. Honestly I don’t want to say much about it because it’ll spoil the story (if you haven’t yet binged it yourself), but take my word for it—this is a really good season.
And even if you don’t take my word for it, take others’ words. It’s got a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, and an 8/10 on IMDb. If you enjoyed S1, you’re obviously going to like this season, too. And if you’re new to Umbrella Academy, I highly recommend checking it out. It’s not your average story by a long shot, and S2 will leave you with more questions and intrigue than you were expecting. Streaming on Netflix now.