Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy, launching this week, is a superhero show, but is it super enough to land on your Netflix list?
The Umbrella Academy opens on one day in 1989, where 43 babies are born to mothers who were not pregnant the day before. Seven of them were purchased by an eccentric billionaire, Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair), who trained them up to be crime fighters at The Umbrella Academy.
Of course, as you grow up you leave home, which is exactly what those seven did. Now back together, following Hargreeves’ death, they must team up to save the world. Each assigned a number in regards to their usefulness to Hargreeves teaching methods
Our heroes are Number 1/Luther (Tom Hopper, Black Sails), who has been on the moon for the past four years and possesses super strength; Number 2/Diego (David Castañeda (Jane The Virgin) , a vigilante who is talented with knives; Number 3/Allison (Emmy Ravar-Lampman), a celebrity who can change reality by speaking ‘rumours’ out loud; Number 4/Klaus (Robert Sheehan, Misfits and Mortal Engines), a junkie who can commune with the dead, only when he’s sober; Number 5 (Aidan Gallagher), a 13-year-old who time travelled to the future where he was trapped for 50 years, and returned to the present in his childhood body; and Number 7/Vanya (Ellen Page, Juno), a violinist with no superpowers who has never allowed to join in with the rest of her siblings’ training as a result. Number 6/Ben was also adopted.
Through the 10 episodes, the first season focuses on an apocalypse that Number 5 witnesses in the very-near future and the group must come together with the mystery of how to stop it from happening altogether. As the group deals with trying to change the future, a mysterious pair of assassins, Hazel (Cameron Britton) and Cha-Cha (Mary J. Blige), are tracking the team.
The strength of The Umbrella Academy lies in its cast, with everyone giving decent performances and equal moments to shine. It’s really hard to pick a standout performance here since they all so good, but Robert Sheehan and Ellen Page are given the best stuff here.
Showrunner Steve Blackman and the writing team immerse you in this series from the get go with a narrative that plays with time, filling in gaps of the heroes past where required, giving you a full experience in this world. At its heart, The Umbrella Academy is more than a superhero show, it’s a family drama and the roles we play within it are the shows most compelling moments
The Umbrella Academy is a delightful series, even if it does struggle to get its pacing right, so do yourself a favour and set aside a weekend to enroll at The Umbrella Academy.
The Umbrella Academy drops on Netflix on Friday, 15 February.