The new Netflix original based in the comic from the mind of My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way, arrived last month to beautiful results. I admit I’d heard of this story due to my taste in music and being a fan of My Chemical Romance but I wasn’t familiar with the characters or story. Upon watching the trailer, I knew it was something for me and so my wife and I set upon our binge journey.
Of the cuff the quality is top notch with Pogo, the primate Butler, looking like he was animated for film and not TV. Not all of the effects are perfect like Pogo but he alone us extremely impressive. It goes to show the level of quality that Netflix is determined to provide and makes the recent price increase a little easier to swallow.
The characters in Academy are what I love to see, flawed and imperfect. While overall likeable, they are deeply troubled and eccentric. Klaus is a junky who can’t help but get in his own way, Allison is full of vanity and in limbo as a mother, Luther is the bold outwardly confident leader who struggles deeply with his sense of self and confidence, Diego is so obsessed with justice and his ego that he can’t see past his own shadow, Vanya feels like the outsider, and never 5 is just a plain jerk. With all these poor qualities, each character is loveable and fascinating in their own right.
The story is not a conventional hero’s tale and the powers of the umbrella academy are unconventional as well. The ability to curve thrown objects, see the dead, and command minds by saying you heard a rumor are similar to other powers but a fun enough twist on the genre that it kept it interesting.
Time travel, the end of the world, and secret organizations are some of what comprise the story of Umbrella Academy. There are some predictable moments but overall the story takes the audience in unexpected directions and ends on a cliffhanger that leaves the viewer wanting more. The Umbrella Academy is charming, fun and exactly the kind of television I like to see. I look forward to the eventual season 2.
4 out of 5 Couch Cushions and a throw pillow!!!