One of the best Netflix shows that took the world by storm last year (2019 was a fantastic year to be a Netflix subscriber) was the first season of The Umbrella Academy, based on the Dark Horse comic book of the same name by Gerard Way. Filled with great quirky humor, lovable characters, and a fantastic story, season 1 was an absolute delight to watch. So, it brings me great joy to say that season 2 has managed to be even better.
For those who are unaware of The Umbrella Academy, as it is a very obscure comic book, in the mid-20th century 43 women gave birth despite not showing any signs of pregnancy before the day began. An “entrepreneur” named Reginald Hargreeves adopted 7 of the children, and over the years, the children displayed powers and he trained them as The Umbrella Academy in order to prepare them to face an unknown threat. Unfortunately for them, they soon learn that the apocalypse is tied to them and they must fight amongst themselves to stop it.
Past this point will include SPOILERS for Season 1.
At the end of Season 1, we see Five (Number 5/The Boy), played by Aiden Gallagher, save the Umbrella Academy siblings by time-jumping them to the past just before the moon-asteroid, caused by Vanya (Number 7/The White Violin), played by Ellen Page, destroyed the entire world. Season 2 picks up right where we left off as we open with each of the siblings being scattered across the early-60’s. Five is the last to land, and when he does, he sees that somehow President Kennedy was never shot and declared war on the Soviet Union, leading to a nuclear apocalypse in 1963. To prevent said nuclear apocalypse, Five travels back ten days before it happens and seeks to reunite his siblings who have all drastically changed over their few months/years spent in the sixties.
This show is downright brilliant. The story is remarkably woven and offers twists and turns that keep you wanting more through to the very end. The characters and those who play them are all fantastic. The 1960’s set pieces in this season are beautifully done. There is very little that I can nitpick from this show. My only gripe is the occasional use of modern music as the non-diegetic music to various scenes despite the 60’s setting.
Every performance is fantastic. My personal favorites from Season 1 were Robert Sheehan as Klaus (Number 4/The Seance) and Justin H. Min as Ben (Number 6/The Horror), and they continue to deliver their amazing talents. Min’s take on the Ben Hargreeves character (one of my favorite comic book characters), after watching this season, may be one of my favorite characters in currently running television as he brings such an incredible nuance and heart to the character. Tom Hopper’s portrayal of Luther (Number 1/Spaceboy) continues to delight, despite playing a much less pivotal role this season. Emmy Raver-Lampman as Allison (Number 3/The Rumor) is brilliant this season, especially due to her character’s interaction with the 60’s civil rights movement and her guilty conscience regarding her use of her powers. David Castañeda as Diego (Number 2/The Kraken), Ellen Page, and Aiden Gallagher all give fantastic performances as well, with Page and Gallagher once again stealing the show.
There are multiple moments in this season that will become talking points in great moments of television conversations. Between the opening 3-minutes of the season, Five’s time in a hotel, every heart to heart Ben has with another character, Vanya’s “new family” and so on, this season brings so much to remember for years to come. I am desperately hoping we get Season 3 ASAP. This is a must watch show.