The Umbrella Academy is weird and I mean that in the best possible way. It’s weird, but it’s not weird for weirdness’ sake, it’s weird, but the weirdness all contributes to the story and the growth of the characters, be that weirdness in the form of a talking ape or an android mom.
What we have here is the story of a group of seven mostly-unique super-children, all adopted by an eccentric and emotionally distant billionaire and trained to become a team to save the world.
The question posed is: What happens when the X-Men grow up? Now, dysfunctional, addicted, traumatized, and otherwise damaged, the kids of The Umbrella Academy reunite when their billionaire dad dies and soon, they find themselves embroiled in a mystery that points towards the end of the world itself, an event that is being protected by time-traveling assassins and something that the family cannot hope to stop unless they stow their drama and start working together.
Sounds cliche, right? The only way to defeat it is to stick together? It’s a good thing that a show like The Umbrella Academy uses cliches as toilet paper.
The Umbrella Academy forgoes directionless randomness in favor of gleeful unpredictability that actually furthers the plot and wrecks any preconceptions or expectations. You might not like where the story goes, but it always goes in new and strange directions and you never really see it coming.
The characters are a lot of fun even though they don’t look like they will be at first. You have the strong leader, the hothead, the screw-up, the diva, and the quiet one… but these characters change and evolve throughout the story. They become better, they become lesser… no one stays the same. A guy who’s a junkie the first time you see him becomes something better and it’s not a quick fix, it’s a slow, painful, and believable progression where lessons throughout the series are learned. This is one of those shows where actions have consequences, both negatively and positively.
To say that The Umbrella Academy is a lot of fun is simply understating it. This isn’t a show you enjoy, this is a show you survive and, again, I mean that in the best possible way.
This is the type of series that sees likable characters go on journeys with a dozen unexpected turns. Heck, you’re not even sure who the antagonists are and the ones who you think are the antagonists end up being sympathetic and heroes in their own rights.
I just loved it. I loved it so much. This is the type of Superhero television show that shows why the superhero genre will never die — there are just too many good opportunities to tell great stories.