Taylor Mitchell, A&E Editor
The Umbrella Academy is a comic book series written by former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way, originally beginning publishing of its first limited series in 2007. It has since done two more limited series with the first issue of the third being released in October of 2018. With the series meeting critical and fan acclaim it was only a matter before the series got picked up for a Tv show or movie. This brings us to the Netflix Television adaptation The Umbrella Academy
The show starts with the miraculous event of 43 children being born the same moment all across the world, despite none of their mothers being pregnant until they went into labor. Sir Reginald Hargreeves, an eccentric and reclusive billionaire, then decides to adopt as many of these children as he can, which predictably is only seven, in order to train them as a superhero team. 20 years later the children, which have long gone their separate ways, reunite for their adoptive father’s funeral. Sadly, things start to fall apart as they learn of a looming threat and that things about their childhood may not be what they seem.
I am going pretty light on plot this time because the story and writing are by far the greatest aspects of the show. The dialogue is top notch and the story feels pretty satisfying. The one issue I will give is that near the end of the season the pacing just kicks into overdrive, which can be pretty jarring. This only really comes into effect on the last couple of episodes though, so it doesn’t drag down the whole thing to much. It’s because of this I would say that the show is stronger at the beginning than the end, which drags it down from the great heights it climbs to.
The greatest achievement of the show is its characters. They are all written and performed incredibly well. In particular I want to give massive credit to Aidan Gallagher and Robert Sheehan who play Number 5 and Number 4/ Claus. Gallagher’s only main acting credit up to this point has been a Nickelodeon show (though granted an Emmy award winning one), yet he is by far the most fun and engaging actor in Umbrella Academy. The fun thing about 5 is that he is an old man in a 15 year old body, and somehow Gallagher sells that with a level of authenticity that is astounding. Sheehan also played a part that would be hard to balance out for most actors incredibly well. Claus often rides the line between annoying fool and tragic addict, ad Sheehan brings a lot of delicacy to towing that line that helps keep the character believable and not cartoonish.
If there is one big acting problem I would say it comes from Ellen Page, who plays Number 7/Vanya. I won’t go into why buy for most of the season Vanya is on medications that specifically bring her down and even her out, which Page does a wonderfully job of portraying. The catch comes later when Vanya becomes more emotional, and Page doesn’t sell that emotion at all. Admittedly, this is a generally issue I have with her acting in most things, she just never seems to emote in quite the right way. It’s always too much or too little, usually too little. I will say this on crops up at the end though, and all the other performances stay stellar throughout, so it may not be a huge issue.
All in all The Umbrella Academy is a really good show and everybody should give it a shot. It does have a few minor issues, but rest assured they are minor.
The Umbrella Academy gets 8.5 golden Breihans out of 10