Keepin’ It Reel: The Umbrella Academy

Netflix Original Series

In this issue, I’m going to shake things up a bit in celebration of the spring semester being halfway through. After questioning a few students around campus, I discovered that the majority of them do not have time to go to the movie theater, so they wait on movies to hit Amazon, Redbox or Netflix. After discovering that, I’ve decided to review a brand-new Netflix original series that I am sure has been least once on everyone’s Facebook timeline: “The Umbrella Academy.”

The few teaser trailers posted on social media did this series no justice. “The Umbrella Academy” is a perfectly balanced mix of 20th Century Fox’s “X-Men” and the ever-growing popular science fiction series, “Doctor Who.” The plot is so unique that you have to watch three whole episodes before you truly get a grasp of what is going on.

Within the last twenty minutes of the first episode, I was hooked and could not stop watching until it was completely over. “The Umbrella Academy” was a successful shot in the dark and I cannot wait to see what Netflix is going to do with it in the next season, which has already been confirmed and is in the making.

“The Umbrella Academy” is a series created from a comic series about a group of superheroes with strange abilities, like controlling knives mentally or persuading reality to change with just a sentence. The sibling rivalries are a little more aggressive than in most normal households, but this household is anything but normal. Nevertheless, the undying sibling love is still present and stronger than ever. They fight together as a team against foes, while still fighting each other in their own personal battles. There’s nothing more challenging than living with your adopted siblings, unless you have an uncaring ‘father,’ a robotic ‘mother’ and were raised by Pogo, a talking chimpanzee who appears to be the only intelligent soul in the house.

The series begins in Russia as a strange phenomenon is happening to a mass number of women. Forty-three women all gave birth on Oct. 1, 1989, but they were not pregnant when the day began. Eccentric and reclusive billionaire Reginald Hargreeves takes it upon himself to adopt as many of these children as he possibly can, for reasons not revealed until later in the season.

Unfortunately for Sir Hargreeves, he was only able to adopt seven children. But to his surprise, they were gifted with incredible abilities. Later in the first episode, we are introduced to five of the seven children, over a decade later, as they mourn the loss of their obsessive and neglectful father. Sometime toward the end of the episode, Number 5, one of the adopted kids, returns after he disappeared for over 10 years and reveals that he has been stuck in the future where the world has ended. He and his five other siblings have eight days to save the world from complete destruction. Now, they are in a race against time to change the future from its disastrous fate.

This series began as a difficult watch, as most series do, but by the end, I was pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out. Rating this series is a little more difficult than rating a movie at the theater, but I am going to give it an 8 out of 10, due to its uniqueness and growing popularity. The suspense and a decent amount of fighting action combine together to create a truly original plot line that is guaranteed to be enjoyable for any science fiction or fantasy fans. I am looking forward to seeing what crisis our makeshift family of “superheroes” will face next.