by The Cowl Editor on March 21, 2019
Film and Television
by Madeline Weaver-Nolting ’19 A&E Staff
Netflix has created another original TV series that is taking audiences by storm. Picture an X-Men series flooded with music and darker themes; that is The Umbrella Academy. The Umbrella Academy, like X-Men, is based on a comic book series and follows a group of adopted children that have supernatural abilities. Forty-three women gave birth to 43 children on the same day without being pregnant the day before. The children were born with superpowers, and an eccentric billionaire adopted seven of them. The children are now adults and must come together when their father suddenly dies. Add in the end of the world fast approaching and the mystery of not being sure how it will happen, The Umbrella Academy has a riveting plotline filled with suspense.
The quirky nature of the show makes the audience love all the characters, even the bad guys. The characters are not perfect, which helps them seem like real people. Their dysfunctional relationships with each other also provide comedic relief.
The cast is led by the X-Men star Ellen Page and contains a lot of newcomers. These are breakout roles for many of the actors. For instance, Emmy Raver-Lampman is a former Broadway star, and this is her first big break after Broadway. The cast is also diverse—Tom Hopper is from England, David Castañeda is Mexican-American, and Robert Sheehan is from Ireland. Another well-known star in the series is the singer Mary J. Blige, who plays a villain sent to ensure the end of the world.
One of the most unique aspects of The Umbrella Academy is the use of music. The comics were written and created by Gerard Way, musician from the now retired rock band My Chemical Romance. As an executive producer of the show, it is obvious that his love of music plays a big role in shaping how the music is used in every episode. The show especially uses fast songs when fights occur. With older hit songs like “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen and “In the Heat of the Moment” by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, music plays an important role in defining the show.
The well-established movie and TV review company Rotten Tomatoes even gave the show a 76 percent rating. The critics said, “The Umbrella Academy unfurls an imaginative yarn with furtive emotion and an exceptionally compelling ensemble, but the series’ dour sensibility often clashes with its splashy genre trappings.” The overwhelming use of music and action is not for everyone, but the show definitely serves as an adrenaline rush from the comfort of your bed.