TV Review: The Umbrella Academy Season 2 ★★★★☆

5 mins read

The year is 1963 in Dallas, Texas. A roaring military tank rolls down the crumbling streets as armed men scramble and bullets fly. A very dishevelled looking boy, dressed in what looks to be a school uniform stumbles from a side alley into the chaos, known as his given alias Number Five (Aidan Gallagher). As he stands and watches the scenes in horror, confusion overcomes his expression as he wonders where he is – better yet, when he is. 

The Umbrella Academy was the third most-watched TV show on Netflix as of last year, and now it appears the second season is shortly catching up. With its witty characters, punchy soundtrack and quirky social media presence, the excitement surrounding the new season has thrived in the past year after the ultimate cliffhanger of whether the beloved characters survived, despite the delays due to the coronavirus. 

This season opens with the unlikely heroes stuck in the 1960s after they attempted to jump to avoid the end of the world in 2019. Although this isn’t the peaceful life they all hoped for, as they now have a tiny problem that followed them along the way – a nuclear apocalypse.

Yes, you heard it right, another apocalypse. It appears in the beginning as lazy writing at first, but unlike last season – the writing is far sharper and fast-paced. As the episodes go on, you almost forget that the dilemma they are facing is the same as the last one.

The cast of The Umbrella Academy Season 2. Credit: Netflix

This time around the plot stems far more upon just family matters as the show delves into important themes, including racism and homophobia, through the characters of both Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) and Klaus (Robert Sheehan) Hargreeves. The writers never shy away from the issues surrounding America in the 1960s, and also take the opportunity to highlight that the same discrimination still happens today.

What truly stands out is the levelled mixture of both suspenseful orchestral backing tracks, mixed with upbeat cheesy pop. The most memorable fight scenes don’t just stand out because of their choreography, but because Backstreet Boys and Billy Joel is blasting in the background.

At first it seems completely out of the ordinary to have such cheerful songs about a TV show surrounding an impending apocalypse and focusing on the days leading up to the Assassination of John F. Kennedy (which by the way, is extremely important to the storyline) but the award-winning Showrunner Steve Blackman handpicks some of the best music to aid the audience with the odd atmosphere.

We also see more of the array of superpowers too, including lots more of Ben Hargreeves (Justin H. Min) who went from a co-star in the first season to a main character this time around. The season finale pulls us into perhaps one of the best fight scenes the show has ever seen, and the true potential of what happens when they all band together.

Despite the similar storyline, the change of scenery, timeline and a change of pace really makes this season just enjoyable as the first. The show-runners have found their blueprint and are sticking with it, but that doesn’t make it a bad thing. The mixture of heart-wrenching emotions and horseplay really takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions and you may ever fall in love with the characters even more.

Whether you’re looking for your next binge or something to pass the time, The Umbrella Academy is an easy watch for everyone with its balance of bizarre characters and quirky take of time travel its sure to become a hit on Netflix in 2020.

Featured image: IGN Entertainment Inc.

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