Superheroes, the end of the world, and a talking monkey: The Umbrella Academy Review


The Umbrella Academy was released on Netflix on February 15, 2019.

Melissa May and Kelly Colanto

The Umbrella Academy is a ten-part Netflix original series that was released on February 15, 2019. The series follows six adopted siblings struggling with the aftermath of their terrible childhoods and trying to find a way to save the world from its impending destruction. It is based on the comic series of the same name, which began publishing in 2007 and was written by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá.

The show was directed by five different people throughout the span of the series—Peter Hoar, Andrew Bernstein, Ellen Kuras, Stephen Surjik, and Jeremy Webb—each of whom directed two episodes. It is rated 76% on Rotten Tomatoes and has an 85% audience rating.

The series stars seven main actors: Tom Hopper (Luther Hargreeves), David Castañeda (Diego Hargreeves), Emmy Raver-Lampman (Allison Hargreeves), Robert Sheehan (Klaus Hargreeves), Aidan Gallagher (Number Five), Justin Min (Ben Hargreeves), and Ellen Page (Vanya Hargreeves). The casting of hundreds of people, beyond just the featured seven, was done by Libby Goldstein and Junie Lowry-Johnson. The casting was perfect and each actor’s look exactly matched the personality and character they had to portray. Beyond just the casting, the writing of the show deserves credit as well. Every one of the characters had lines that fit incredibly well with their personality. Each character’s personality— whether serious, on the lighter side, or somewhere in between— was well-developed and the lines paired with them flawlessly.

The plot for the show was amazing and quite unique. On a fall afternoon, 43 women around the world, who were not pregnant at the start of the day, suddenly gave birth at the same time. An eccentric billionaire named Reginald Hargreeves set out to adopt them all but was only able to adopt seven of them. The seven children were named Luther (Number One), Diego (Number Two), Allison (Number Three), Klaus (Number Four), Five (Number Five), Ben (Number Six), and Vanya (Number Seven). Six of them were gifted with abilities far beyond the ordinary. Luther has super-strength, Diego can throw knives incredibly accurately, and Allison can convince anyone of anything by beginning her sentence with “I heard a rumor that…” Klaus can communicate with the dead, Five can teleport and time travel, and Ben can access monsters (specifically a Kraken-esque monster) from other dimensions and unleash them through his body, while Vanya does not possess any powers. Reginald Hargreeves used his children’s special abilities in order to form an “academy” of crime-fighting superheroes.

As each of them grows up, they all diverge paths (and Number Five goes missing), seemingly in hopes of forgetting their pasts. The siblings had not seen each other in years when the series picks up, so when their father dies and they are all brought together again, things are quite tense. However, after the funeral, the missing Number Five returns from the future and reveals the scary truth: that the world will end in eight days. At this point, the main plot begins to play out: the siblings will have to work as a team in order to stop the apocalypse whilst facing their individual challenges along the way.

Some of the best and most well-developed characters throughout the entirety of the series are Five, Diego, and Klaus. They all undergo huge developments, even in the nine days that the show covers. By the end of the show, it is nearly impossible to not have clear-cut favorite and least favorite characters based on their time in the series.

At this point, The Umbrella Academy only has one season, and it has yet to be renewed for a second season. We strongly believe it should be renewed, as it is definitely one of the best recently released television shows. Overall, the new series was an absolute hit and was the perfect blend of humor, drama, and action. Go check out The Umbrella Academy, streaming now on Netflix.