The hit Netflix series gives us superheroes like we’ve never seen before
We’re utterly and unabashedly obsessed with The Umbrella Academy. When Netflix announced that they are adapting the bestselling comic book series by Gerard Way (yup, he’s the lead singer of My Chemical Romance) and Gabriel Bá, our interest was piqued. Finally a superhero show that isn’t from Marvel or DC! And the cast includes big stars like Ellen Page and Mary J. Blige! But nothing prepared us for the big wave of love we’d feel towards the show. And we’re definitely not alone. Umbrella Academy has been reported to be the most popular and raved-about streaming series right now, based on the opening week demand. If you haven’t seen the 10-episode first season yet, first of all, what are you doing? Let us convince you why you need to be watching it right now.
1. It’s a refreshing take on the superhero genre
Whether you love or hate superhero drama, we think you’ll find something to love about Umbrella Academy. The show opens with a fascinating story that hooks us immediately: at different parts of the world, 43 babies were born on the exact same day and time, although none of their mothers had been pregnant before suddenly going into labour. A reclusive billionaire and scientist, Reginald Hargreeves, believed them to possess extraordinary powers, and so adopted seven of the kids and trained them to be superheroes as the Umbrella Academy. He doesn’t name the kids, but calls them by numbers from one to seven. Definitely not “Father of the Year” material.
We’ve got Number One aka Luther (Tom Hopper) who is super strong, Number Two aka Diego (David Castañeda) who’s knife-throwing skills are super accurate, Number Three aka Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) with powers of persuasion, Number Four aka Klaus (Robert Sheehan) who can talk to the dead (when he’s sober), Number Five (Aidan Gallagher) who can time travel, and Number Six aka Ben (Justin H. Min) who can set loose a tentacled monster from his body. And then there’s Number Seven aka Vanya (Ellen Page). Together, they have to stop the end of the world, which Five has foreseen will happen in eight days.
You probably noticed one or two well-known superhero tropes already, and there’s still more that the show borrows. But it’s so much more than a superhero show. At its very core, Umbrella Academy is a character-driven show in which it is the relationships between the characters, more than their use of super powers, that drive the main conflicts as well as the attempts to solve them. It’s all about the family, which brings us to our next point!