I’ve heard of Umbrella Academy. Heard it was going to be a show on Netflix so I read it and it wasn’t bad then I watched the Netflix series and now we’re here.
So 43 kids were born at the same time in 1989 and this billionaire scientist named Reginald Hargreeves adopts 7 of the kids that were born on that day. He grooms them into a superhero team called The Umbrella Academy. The story itself is interesting so I could see how a person who has never heard of them to be intrigued by it.
So we have
Vanya (Number 7) - A violinist that is the normal one without any superpowers.
Diego (Number 2) - A hot headed Vigilante and can make anything he throws curve at will.
Luther (Number 1) - Dude a big ass Ape with super strength who lived on the moon.
Allison (Number 3) - A famous actress. She can alter reality by starting rumors
Klaus (Number 4) - An addict who can contact the dead. His powers only work when he’s sober.
Five (Number 5) - Can time travel and is the perfect assassin
Ben (Number 6) - He dead and hangs around Klaus since only Klaus can see him.
Their father dies and now they’re all reunited but the problem is they can’t stand each other and are really dysfunctional. They soon find out the end of the world is near and have to work together to stop it.
The series is basically the first 2 volumes combined into 10 episodes.
Okay enough small talk. Here’s what I liked about the series.
Diego is more fleshed out as a character than he was in the comics. He wasn’t in the forefront in the comics. But in the netflix series he’s in love with Detective Patch. He’s the closest to his robotic mom. You see his life as a vigilante and he doesn’t care about the wealth he has access to and he prefers to live in the real world. He lives in a boxing gym and mops the gym floors just to pay rent. I really liked what they did with Diego. He had depth as a character.
Five and Klaus were the most interesting characters. They both have noticeable growth and when they’re on the screen you just pay attention a bit more. Klaus embrace of addiction and his inability to feel anything changes when he experiences love and I thought that was one of the best moments of the series. Klaus story is also a bit different from the comics but they did a great job by with giving him a different story. Five experienced the apocalypse and returns as a 58 year old in a 13 year old body and his chase of trying to stop the seemingly inevitable was really interesting. Even him being in love with a mannequin was creative and hilarious. I also think they were the best actors.
Ben actually having a role in the series was cool too. I liked how he was Klaus’s conscience. Coolest ghost ever.
The way the assassins company The Commission works was interesting and hilarious. It was one of the best takes on time travel I’ve ever seen. The fact that they can just send those capsules like telegrams everywhere was funny.
Episode 9 and 10 Violent Vanya was DELICIOUS!!!!!! I am a stan for Violent Vanya. The White Violin is bae.
Well that concludes what I liked about Umbrella Academy. Let’s get to what you came for. The shit I don’t like.
I wasn’t a fan of Hazel and Cha-Cha. Yes Mary did a good job as Cha-Cha. I love Mary J. Blige. But this is where I make my “Leave it as it was in the comics” complaint. Hazel and Cha-Cha Slide were fucking ruthless in the comics. They were basically Heath Ledger's Joker or Harley Quinn but extremely violent. They were literally on some “SAW” movie traps type shit. Cha Cha did heroin in the comics and they were a fucking mystery and murdered and tortured people for fun. This whining Hazel was doing about leaving the life in the show was annoying as fuck. Hazel falling in love with Agnes was not needed. Literally just a waste of space in the story. They tried to give Hazel and Cha-Cha their own arcs but all it did was hold up the story. Realistically this season could’ve been 8 episodes. The one thing I LOVED about Stranger Things Season 1 was that there wasn’t any filler. They got straight to the point and the story got better each episode. In Umbrella Academy the story stalls at certain points and fucks up the momentum. Hazel and Cha-Cha story was not needed. Just having them pop up murdering shit would’ve been a chilling and dope touch on the show instead. The fact they didn’t even shoot Klaus while torturing him was TRAAAAAAAAAAAAASH!!!!!
The lack of showcasing superpowers. Diego and Five were the only ones using their powers everyone else was just there. I wanted more action sequences. Allison was just there. Luther big goofy ass was just there. Klaus was high as fuck so he couldn’t really do shit. The flashback was really the only time you seen them in action. The rest of the series they were just not doing shit but arguing.
Luther and Allison love story was so fucking lame and obvious and just gross. The 2 lamest characters having a love story was just pointless. The show could’ve been just Diego, Klaus, Vanya, and Five and nobody would be mad. Every time I saw their faces I knew some dumb shit was around the corner. Luther and Allison are mid as fuck as characters.
Speaking of love stories. Vanya’s love story was not needed. Now if they had Harold Jenkins just manipulate her as a friend that might’ve been better. Having Vanya dickmatized was corny to me especially when it was so obvious. All this mothafucka did was talk about her powers. How could she not see the obsession and the fact he was psycho?
Harold Jenkins story was basically like Syndrome from The Incredibles 1. Grew up worshipping The Umbrella Academy. Meets Reginald Hargreeves. Gets flamed by Reginald Hargreeves. Kills his dad. Wants to kill The Umbrella Academy. Stalks all of them and manipulates Vanya. Shit was wack. They should’ve kept it like it was in the comics and had The Conductor manipulate Vanya in the Netflix series. I think that would’ve been a stronger villain than Harold Jenkins. Dude looks like he sells insurance and brings pastrami to potlucks. Nobody tripping off dude. Actually Vanya ALONE would’ve been a better villain. The motivation for it was there. She was an outcast. Her siblings hated her. They hid her power. She was lied to. That’s enough for her to say “Fuck all of you. I’m ending the world and your lives.” I did love her power by the way. Jean Grey vibes.
The pacing is slooooooooowwwwwwwww. One of My favorite all time anime is Trigun and that’s really slow so I’m used to slow starts but man this shit was dragging.
I think they dropped the ball on this being a really special superhero story where they could’ve went so left field with it that there would be no way that anyone would compare it to X-Men. This should’ve been some disturbing shit. Like Quentin Tarantino type shit without the word “Nigger” in it.
It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great either. I won’t be watching season 1 again. Hopefully season 2 at least gives us a faster paced story and ridiculous action.
2.5 out of 5 fruit snacks.
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