THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY (Netflix, February 15, 2019)

Series Premiere: February 15, 2019
Netflix

Based on the Dark Horse comic series, this is the story of seven children adopted by eccentric, heartless millionaire inventor Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore), six of them raised to be crime fighters and to use their extraordinary gifts, with the third, Vanya, told she is powerless and a disappointment and left alone to study the violin and be considered superfluous by everyone. When Sir Reginald dies, his surviving kids come together for his funeral, and to

Where’s the Love? “Leader” Luther (Tom Hopper) and adoptive sister Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) have a forbidden love thing going on. And love leads family muggle Vanya (Ellen Page) into some conflict with her family… and the world…

Why You Should Watch: There are some knockout performances, especially by Aidan Gallagher as the time travelling Five, an elderly man trapped in an adolescent body, and Robert Sheehan as the punk rock strung out Klaus, who sees dead people. Also, the general wackiness of this most dysfunctional of families, and its retainers, and its problems, and the time travel, and the impending apocalypse, and their childhood trauma, etc. etc. is just so bananas its hard to look away. Forbidden love is always a selling point too, isn’t it? And: AMAZING SOUNDTRACK. Like, the BEST.

Why You Shouldn’t: Some of the most ludicrous fight/action/shooting scenes ever, with bullets and punches flying but oh, darn, missed again! Also, Ellen Page’s understated Vanya is… an interesting choice, and the general ludicrousness of this alternate now, in which people can be casually sent to/from the moon but in which there are no mobile telephones (which would make most of the plot-driving difficulties of this series impossible) is hard to understand.

3 1/2 stars.

SEE REVIEWS JUST LIKE THIS, ALONG WITH ESSAYS, INTERVIEWS AND SO MUCH MORE IN ROMANTIC INTENTIONS QUARTERLY. ISSUE 4 — OUT NOW!

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