The Umbrella Academy
Season 1 of The Umbrella Academy is currently streaming now on Netflix
Review by Jared Gafford
The Umbrella Academy is a comic book that I have always wanted to read, and for some reason never got around to it. I come from the generation that grew up on “Emo Rock” which was in great part spearheaded by Gerard Way and My Chemical Romance. So there is really no excuse for why I haven’t read the book yet.
However, with the incredible amount of critical acclaim that the new Netflix original adaptation has received, I had to check it out. I knew very little about The Umbrella Academy before diving into the show. My hope was that I would love the show so much, that it would force me to go back and read the comics.
And my friends, that is exactly what happened.
What is The Umbrella Academy?
At its core, this is a story about a dysfunctional family of superheroes comprised of 7 orphans who were adopted by one Sir Reginald Hargreeves. On October 1, 1989, there were 43 women who spontaneously became pregnant and gave birth, even though none of them had been pregnant prior to this day. Hargreeves, an eccentric billionaire, decides to adopt 7 of them.
Our story starts 30 years later, as this group of superheroes is now defunct and doing their own thing. When a tragic event brings them back to their childhood home, they are forced to work together again. Even though several of them have no interest in this.
A Heartbreaking Look at Neglect and Mental Illness
One of the major themes throughout the first season of this show is neglect and its consequences. What’s unique about this is that neglect is portrayed from multiple perspectives and in different ways. Sometimes it’s the neglect of an absent father, other times it’s the neglect from one sister to another.
One of the most beautiful things about this show is the heartbreaking, yet realistic look at how constant neglect can lead to mental illness. Throw in various different superpowers and it’s a formula for disaster.
This show doesn’t just address surface level consequences either. It dives deep into the psyche of each character. We see how their upbringing has affected their everyday life. We see how it affects their relationships or lack thereof. I can’t remember the last time a comic book or superhero TV show had this much depth.
And this is only season 1!
Stunning Visuals with Incredible Music
Not only does this show hit you right in the gut with the story, but the production is outstanding as well. The cinematography throughout this first season is on another level. And the best part is that it stays that way consistently throughout the entire season. In my opinion, there are no down moments here.
The music is what got me so excited to watch every episode. Every episode has absolutely insane fight sequences with flawless choreography. But even more than that, the music is what makes these fight scenes so incredible to watch.
Considering the creator of this book was Gerard Way, I was not shocked that the show had an amazing soundtrack. But what I was impressed with was the way music was used to enhance the story that was already being told. Music has such an incredible power to set mood and tone, and this show delivers that in spades.
With artists featured such as The Doors, Queen, Radiohead, They Might Be Giants and more, this soundtrack will blow you away!
The Time for Binging Is Now!
Very few times does a new show capture me the way The Umbrella Academy did. From the first episode to the very last, I was on the edge of my seat, holding on for dear life. With only a 10 episode first season, you can easily knock this out in no time. Then you can come back and thank me when you’re done!
This is the must-watch TV show of 2019, and it very well could be the best show Netflix has released to date. And I’m a massive Stranger Things fan, so that’s saying something. Go queue up your Netflix now, and let the adventure begin!
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