The Umbrella Academy Season 1 Review

February 2, 2019 at 4:31am
By Jason Stettner

This is a Netflix Original Series based on a comic that follows a family of super heroes. They came together as children under a structured father type figure and are now emotionally stunted adults. This might be due to them being numbered instead of named, or that they didn't get a whole lot of attention while young. You get glimpses at this past over the course of the series, and it helps provide some context as to why they're all weird now. They each have their own problems, and are forced to meet each other again after the passing of their cold father.

Things continue to progress as the future and past meet, there are indeed elements of time travel present. They explain this all rather well, whereas for me it is quite difficult to give complete context on this one. I don't want to spoil anything, which is why I won't go too far into the essential time element. The episodes are well structured, there's an overall plot and a sense of mystery. There's also a looming danger, which some of the characters are aware of. This builds over the course of the season with some random unique twists along the way. Other characters are present as well, not just the main family. There are close companions to the core group, some time bending hitmen and others that monitor the rules.
The Umbrella Academy Season 1 Wallpaper
There's a lot to balance, and they mostly nail it. There's lot of gritty, intense action and that's supported with well presented character development. There are quieter moments of emotional impact, these are balanced with lots of action and the use of some rather creative powers. The most interesting moments are when the ensemble is together, but they do have some rather great scenes when split apart into smaller groups. They use the cast effectively, showcasing the powers as time progresses and you really get a good presentation on each of the family members.

The mystery is revealed in a way that keeps you intrigued and invested in what's going on. You're always aware of the impending doom, but the journey to get there is shrouded in mystery and it should surely surprise you. The effects were actually really great here, looking realistic and having a grounded element to it. It's certainly graphic, so be prepared for a darker series. Nothing here is too strange, except for the general circumstances around who these people are and the cast surrounding them. It's definitely a weird ensemble, and they lean into that every chance they get.

The Conclusion

The Umbrella Academy Season 1 delivers something fresh, a bit strange and perhaps an interesting mystery as a broken family comes together to deal with it. They have a great cast of characters with various motivations, and many problems. I thought Number Five (Aidan Gallagher) was an absolute stand out delivering someone with experience, but playing the youth angle well and you'll see what I mean as you watch it.

I also felt Vanya (Ellen Page) was handled well with a unique spin there as she deals with being an odd one out and still trying to be accepted into the general team. They've all got problems, this creates many separate story lines and they generally covered it all very well. They presented the mystery in an interesting way and while I saw certain things coming, they still managed to add some surprises. The visual quality is great here, the effects are excellent and this is a high quality series.

The Umbrella Academy Season 1 Review at Home with Streamed Viewing
Screening was Provided by Netflix

Rating Overall: 8.5

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner