The world ends in eight days and seven dysfunctional heroes must find a way to stop it. Based on the comic series by the same name, “The Umbrella Academy” is Netflix’s most recent original endeavor.
On the first day of October in 1989, 43 women gave birth. None of those women were pregnant when they woke up that morning. A Russian woman, for example, sat next to a pool in a bright yellow one-piece bathing suit and a blue swimming cap. She flirted with the boy sitting next to her. To get his attention, she laughed and winked, cannon balling into the water. Her body bobbed up and down, and blood pooled beneath her. When she reemerged, her stomach was bulging, and she cried out in pain. When eccentric billionaire Reginald Hargreeves discovered that all 43 children were born with special gifts, he travelled the world in his aircraft to collect as many as he could. He ended up finding seven.
The show then fast forwards 30 years into the future and introduces viewers to the now dysfunctional adult children. There’s Number One, Luther, who has super human strength and prefers his own company in outer space to that of any human on earth. Number Two, Diego, is a knife wielding, superhero wannabe who wears his mask proudly and listens to police scanners to save lives. Allison, Number Three, is a celebrity who can verbally convince people to do whatever she wants. She dislikes her brother Klaus, also known as Number Four. He is a druggie who can communicate with the dead. Number Five has no other name. He is a long-missing time traveler who has the wisdom and wit of 40-year-old man but is stuck in the body of a 13-year-old boy. Number Six is dead—he has been for a while—but Klaus can still see him, of course. He once was able to summon extra-dimensional monsters. Number Seven, Vanya, is oddly unremarkable in comparison to her adopted siblings, minus the fact that she can flawlessly play a Phantom of the Opera medley on her violin. Her father disdained her growing up, so she exposed him and the vulgar treatment he inflicted on her and her siblings through the ultimate clapback: “Unextraordinary: Growing Up as Number Seven.”
In her role as Vanya, Ellen Page (“Juno,” “Inception”) is truly the star of the show. She plays the demure, reserved Number Seven with ease. Number Five, Aidan Gallagher—who is still relatively new to the television industry with his most prominent role in “Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn”—is electric, his expression and subtle charm captivating. Robert Sheehan (“Fortitude”), who plays Klaus (Number Four) is also a standout of the show thus far. He is masculine in his mannerisms but effeminate in his style, and somehow he pulls it off marvelously.
With a standout cast and a unique plot, viewers can easily overlook the complexity and oddness of the storyline, falling deep into The Umbrella Academy’s universe. Yes, the show has a lot going on and it is a tad overwhelming, but this show is anything but boring. It’s intriguing and creative, and I must admit, I hit the “Watch Next Episode” button before it could start counting down from 15 seconds.