Netflix Review: The Umbrella Academy, a suspenseful, fun, and gruesome new original series

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With lots of twists and turns to keep it interesting, The Umbrella Academy is a show that will keep views on the edge of their seats, clamoring for more!

If you’re looking for something fresh to watch, I would recommend giving new Netflix original series The Umbrella Academy a chance. The show, based on an American comic book series written by Gerard Way and illustrated by Gabriel Bá, premiered on February 15th. It was developed by Steve Blackman and Jeremy Slater.

The Umbrella Academy follows a family of seven siblings with superhuman abilities, all mysteriously born on the same day to mothers who were not pregnant before going into labor (along with 36 other unknown characters!). These kids were purchased and adopted by an eccentric rich genius, who did not provide much paternal affection but instead gave them numbers for names and a really important purpose, training them to fight bad guys (and *SPOILER ALERT* as we learn much later in the season, stop the world from ending). There is a lot of mystery around the origins of pretty much all of the characters, and a lot of other things as well.

The main cast includes our seven hero siblings: Tom Hooper as Luther (aka Number One), David Castañeda as Diego (aka Number Two), Emmy Raver-Lampman as Allison (aka Number Three), Robert Sheehan as Klaus (aka Number Four), Aidan Gallagher as Number Five (name unknown), Justin H. Min as Ben (aka Number Six), and Ellen Page as Vanya (aka Number Seven). The main antagonists of this season are two time-traveling bounty hunter-like characters playfully named Cha-Cha, played by Mary J. Blige, and Hazel, played by Cameron Britton.

The show is suspenseful, intriguing, flashy, fun, and gruesome. Dull but bright colors make it a very pretty picture and the music is fantastic. During the intense fighting scenes when people are getting killed, you hear very upbeat danceable music. It adds such a dark, sarcastic tone, keeping things light and whimsical even though they are very intense.

Season 1 starts as a segmented story that comes together more and more towards the end, with multiple storylines, following the various characters that end up blending together. I enjoyed this puzzle-like storytelling, but it gets complicated when you also throw in lots of flashbacks and time-travel that retells parts of the story. All that together can be too much and confusing at times. It's not a clean linear storyline, so following along can be tricky.

Overall, the show is weird, intense, and really fun, with lots of twists and turns that keep things interesting. It is appropriately labeled as a sort of science fiction/black comedy/action/drama. It is also very binge-worthy, as each episode ends, you will be hungry to watch the next one. By the end of Season 1 we still don’t have answers to all of the questions that arise, but I guess we will just have to tune in for Season 2 to find them out.