Published 07/31/2020 9:44 AM
Last year Netflix landed a surprise hit with "The Umbrella Academy". Now, at the end of July 2020, the series is going into a second – noticeably weaker – round.
To stay on top of the big streaming horizon, Netflix had to become more self-sufficient. The Marvel series “DareDevil”, “Jessica Jones” and Co. were sold bit by bit. A replacement had to be found as quickly as possible for the resulting gap. This resulted in "The Umbrella Academy" and the associated story of a patchwork family with superpowers.
This extraordinary family was born on October 1, 1989, through a series of unusual births. The billionaire Reginald Hargreeves tracked down seven of these mysterious children and adopted them before training them. These children are called Allison, Ben, Diego, Five, Klaus, Luther and Vanya. It was up to them to prevent an impending apocalypse, but it turned out to be the trigger.
After successfully escaping the Apocalypse in 2019, the superhero troop traveled back to the 1960s. Five again failed to control everything, so the group spread over several years. In view of their longer stay, everyone is building their own life. Allison joins a civil rights movement, Klaus founds a sect, Luther becomes a boxer, Vanya becomes a nanny and Diego ends up in a mental asylum.
This distraction and the subsequent gathering are not wrong in themselves, but the series takes too long to do this. There is no real reunification after episode 2 or 3. In fact, the characters only come together again in the second third of the season. So the second season can never reach the group dynamics of the first season. The countless side actions also fizzle out and are only touched upon.
For example, the civil rights movement that Allison joins. The conflict and the exclusion of African-American society are historically exciting, but are only addressed on the surface. A real depth, such as in the recently published series "Watchmen" is far from being reached.
The same applies to the pale antagonists. If you had two character-strong and exciting antagonists in the first season with Cha-Cha and Hazel, they will be replaced by three Swedish siblings in the new season. However, they have neither a background story nor their own conscience comparable to that of Hazel.
However, you remain true to yourself in the basic design. The action scenes are beautifully implemented and only bristle with references to “Matrix” or “Kingsman”. In some cases, however, this does not go hand in hand with the apparently low budget for effects. Then slow motion scenes look ridiculous rather than cinematic.
Ultimately, “The Umbrella Academy” remains only a very shattered picture. The storytelling of the second season is simply too slow and offers little room for innovation. The story of the siblings continues logically, but the season finale also feels like you've already seen it. Little remains of the initially loving, action-packed as well as different superhero series. In the end, as shown in the course of the season, it is just a hot infusion, which unfortunately does not smell of lavender.
The second season of "The Umbrella Academy" will be available on Netflix from July 31, 2020. In the player we have the trailer for the new season for you.