TV Review: The Umbrella Academy (S1) | A Real Family in a Superhero Setting

The comic book series “The Umbrella Academy” by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá is the inspiration for this Netflix show created by Steve Blackman (Altered Carbon, Legion) and developed by Jeremy Slater (Death Note). The show has a big ensemble cast with a variety of personalities and abilities.
Members of the cast includes Ellen Page (Days of Future Past) as number seven, a meek violinist with no apparent supernatural abilities, which somewhat alienated her from her siblings. Tom Hopper (Game of Thrones) as spaceboy / Number One, an astronaut with super strength. David Casteñeda (Sicario: Day of the Soldado) as The Kraken / Number Two, a troublemaker with the ability to curve the trajectory of anything he throws. Emmy Raver-Lampman (Hamilton) as The Rumor / Number Three, who has the ability to control minds with the phrase “I heard a rumor…” Robert Sheehan (City of Bones, Mortal Engines), as The Séance / Number Four who has the ability to communicate with the dead and temporarily make them corporeal. Aidan Gallagher as Number Five / The Boy, who has the ability to jump through space and time. Justin H. Min, as The Horror / Number Six, a boy who can summon tentacled monsters through his body. Cameron Britton (Mindhunter, The Girl in the Spider’s Web) and Mary J. Blige (Mudbound) as Hazel and Cha-Cha respectively, two assassins for the Commission.

Premise: The Hargreeves, a troubled family of child heroes, now grown apart, reunite to solve the mystery of their adoptive father’s death and the threat of an impending apocalypse.

Review: This show is like a good book, a real page turner. I could hardly stop once I started. The story flows quite seamlessly despite the flashbacks and flash-forwards that trip up so many shows. The world building is unique and subtle in some ways. It feels familiar but you know you’ve stepped into another world. So when the stranger aspects of it show up, you’re not taken out of the story but drawn in.

Each characters have their lives and moments to shine, we get to know and understand them. They may seem a little one note at first but the actors – young and older versions – bring so much to their roles. The show is so well cast that even the most recognizable of the actors blend into their roles. I have to mention Mary J. Blige, I recognized the face and the voice but I forgot about the singer. She was Cha-Cha a bad-ass contract killer. I really enjoyed watching her.

Umbrella Academy really a show about family and relationships with time travel and superpowers mixed in. It’s worth the watch and worth the binge.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

You can check out or get the comics here


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