Red’s Recommendation of the Week: The Umbrella Academy

This show is, simply put, just delightfully weird.

The Umbrella Academy is a quarantine must watch for anyone who’s into sci-fi, graphic novels, time travel, and just generally weird shows. You definitely have to kind of go with it in this show since it really leans into the bizarre, but hey that’s to be expected when you base a show off a comic written by the lead singer of My Chemical Romance.

“I’m Not Okay” still slaps to this day.

It stars mostly unknown actors, but features prominent roles from Ellen Page (Inception, X-Men, Juno) and Mary J Blige (music superstar) rounding out the cast. The Umbrella Academy has a couple of goofy moments that are to be expected when adapting graphic novel artwork to live action (think Wolverine’s yellow jumpsuit), but the show actually deals with a lot of heavy topics too: drug addiction, suicide, and tons of childhood trauma just to name a few.

The show begins on a day in 1989 when 12 children were all born at the same exact time to unsuspecting women all around the world who weren’t pregnant when the day began. Like the Immaculate Conception on steroids. Some quirky billionaire then travels around the world to essentially adopt/buy as many of these kids as he can (he gets 7) because these can’t be ordinary children. Well he’s right and he brings them all to live and train together as a team of kid superheros. They all have abilities ranging from super strength, to teleportation, to even conjuring the dead. All of the kids, except for Ellen Page, which is unintentionally hilarious if you remember the Family Guy Justice League…and Meg episode.

Anyways, the kids fight crime together under the moniker The Umbrella Academy, but the show actually starts 17 years later after they’ve all grown up and drifted apart. They’re brought back together by tragedy and are now adults who are all understandably pretty fucked up from a childhood as kid soldiers raised by an emotionally void billionaire who gave them NUMBERS for names.

It’s a mix between a number of genres that shouldn’t really work when thrown together, yet somehow it does. You have elements of a murder mystery/sci-fi/super heroes/time travel/gothic opera/buddy cop/dry humor and it oddly works in the end.

I won’t give away too much, but when one of the main characters learns of the exact date of the apocalypse (eight days away) he has to recruit his brothers and sisters as they try and figure out what the hell is going on and how exactly they can stop it.

The Umbrella Academy definitely isn’t for everyone, but I’ve had enough friends DM me after I posted a pic of the show asking me “how is that?” People are curious and this show is weird AF, but I just finished season 1 and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

So I recommend checking it out because what else are you doing these days? Oh and if you like it, Season 2 just dropped on Netflix so you’ve got about 20 hours of binge TV ahead of you.

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