The Umbrella Academy

7.8 / 10
56 min
Superheroes
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8.5
" gives "The Umbrella Academy - First episode" a 8.5."
Written by on 6 June 2019.
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The Umbrella Academy - First episode

He was a bad person and a worse father – Diego

When your adoptive father isn't really interested, your mother is an android, your butler is a monkey, you have special powers and you're being trained to save the world..... The Umbrella Academy can now be found on Netflix and it tells us several things: a superhero show doesn't have to be accurate, dark or over the top happy, but most importantly of all, it tells us that it doesn't have to be made by Marvel or DC.

The Umbrella Academy revolves around five, sometimes seven, but actually six children. Children who were suddenly born in 1989. Exactly, suddenly. The mothers weren't pregnant and all of a sudden they found themselves giving birth. Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore, House of Cards) decided to adopt as many as possible out of the 43 children. Eventually he managed to adopt seven....

© Netflix


If you think that all of this sounds illogical and slightly ridiculous, then you are correct. If you think that you want to reread the first part of this review so that you can try and make sense out of it, you can try. If you think that this is a show that doesn't make any sense at all and is thus unwatchable, then you are incorrect.

The Umbrella Academy manages, just like sudden childbirth, to completely surprise me. Each of the characters has been written well. Together they are as dysfunctional as can be, but somehow they're all perfect for each other.

The stand out character in the first episode is definitely Robert Sheehan, who portrays the somewhat unfiltered and slightly genderfluid Klaus aka Séance. The panic in his eyes when he finally manages to properly say a sentence already makes him incredible to watch. Aiden Gallagher (Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn), who portrays number five, also manages to portray his character exceptionally well. He plays a 13-year old boy, who has the mind of a 57-year old man. I looked into this and it turned out that Aiden is 15 years old. However, he manages to act as if he actually knows how an older man thinks and acts. Quite an achievement!

The rest of the cast isn't that spectacular as of yet, but that's not really possible in one episode anyway. The absurdity of the story can also be seen in the cinematography and music of the show. Whether it's a shot that displays the entire housing facility the main characters live in, so that it looks like a dollhouse or the bizarre music during a fight scene, it all seems to work.

That absurdity, combined with the great acting, the story and strange humour is exactly what makes this Netflix experiment work. If you like humour or superheroes or absurdity or entertainment or a combination of all the previously mentioned, then you should give The Umbrella Academy a try. The first episode already managed to surprise me!

An 8.5!
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