We live in a place where there is nothing more common than superhero movies. You have DC pumping out decent films as of now with various failures along the way, and Marvel with their hits coming out on such a common schedule.
I have always loved these heroes. Spider-man was the most common part of growing up for me. They are people we look to with their clear morals who are on the right side of good mentalities. But as of now, I’m starting to hate them. I am burnt out on Marvel and DC with their flashy good people or their dark and gritty “we gotta save the world” stories because it’s all the same. These movies are great, but they are a bit much at times with such a clear and constant schedule.
Of course, I turned on Netflix one day to see yet another superhero show. Originally, I approached it with the idea of it being a bad movie review, but I was surprised.
“The Umbrella Academy” is a superhero show based on the Dark Horse comics by the same name. With the original comics being written by My Chemical Romance front man Gerard Way, this show still carries some of the key marks of a well-done show.
The characters in the show, to say the least, are all unlikable with the exception of the main character, Vanya. She is a person without powers in a family of superheroes. She is the crux of the show, and the main thing that keeps people into it because she is the closest to the audience. The sad part is that even she falls short of being a stand-out character. With her effectively being a fish out of water she should at the very least have some interesting dialogue to help flesh her out as a more complete character, but even then that is not the case. She feels stunted, never really showing emotion until the end.
It’s kind of like watching a brick wall; yeah, it can be extremely detailed and contain some interesting pieces, but in the end it's still a brick wall.
I actually felt for her when she was having a hard time with her family and the situation that she was put in, because all of the people in her life seem so much more special to her. They don’t feel like her, and they shouldn’t for the betterment of the show.
Other main characters suffer from being extremely rigid characters with literally one thing going for them. Luther is your strictly- by-the-book person who needs more orders to move forward than a car and gas.
Number Five is an old man trapped in the body of a child, and that is supposed to make the dark things that he says come off extra edgy. This instead backfires and just makes him look like a pompous jerk who literally cares about nothing. This is the character who wants to save the world; he is the most annoying part of it.
Diego is the edgy Batman stand-in who has the power to control knives. If you removed his powers, nothing would really change because he never really even uses them outside of a few shots from time to time. Alison is the person with arguably the coolest power that unfortunately is used less than the number of times the show tries to make you take it seriously.
Klaus is up there with Vanya with his sidekick ghost companions helping him with all of his goals and providing the nice shaming that the drug addict deserves for being horrible to everyone around him.
As for how the show was shot, it has very slow-moving pieces with less of a focus on creating a need for an action scene as much
as how they want to progress the story.
Simply using the excuse that these are people with super powers so they must be always fighting is a little overplayed at this point. When there are fight scenes, they are brutal, violent and bloody as you would expect from a show that is trying to take the gritty style of superheroes while also fully utilizing it.
The times that this show may stumble and mess up at a basic point are not as often as you might hear from other reviewers who have panned this show, and in some ways, I agree with them. But I find this to be way more entertaining than the next DC or Marvel property that everyone already knows
about. With fantastic performances from characters who are hard to even like at some points, this show had me binging it by the fourth episode. This show is a very solid seven out of 10.