Bring along your finest monocle because we have a date with a sequined mannequin beauty. This week we are covering Netflix’s Umbrella Academy.
Released: 15 February 2019
Creator: Gerard Way
Writer: Steve Blackman, Jeremy Slater
Cast: Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Justin H. Min
Breakdown and Analysis
- Number One (Luther/Spaceboy): Daddy issues.
- Number Two (Diego/The Kraken): Mummy oedipus issues. Diego is great to have around. The way he goes from 0 to 100. He wouldn’t be great for a real life situation, but in a show it is fun watching him wanting to burn it all to the ground.
- Number Three (Allison/The Rumor): Her powers were the most confusing and frustrating. When you watch something, you are entering into a world. If it’s a good story, it starts to dictate what the limitations are of this world. What can, what cannot be done. Usually through trial and error with the character or just plain exposition. In the series, there were no limitations in what she could do or how much of someone’s free will they would have to relinquish. She was more manipulative in the comics to the point of her using the power on the husband and also on Luther. We ended up with a watered down, lofty, indecisive character. To have her only use it on her child undoes any goody-goody nature. What are the rules and her restrictions? She was groaning on the floor when the Swedes visited, so could she not use it then? In regards to her powers, she can’t be caught so to not use it was confusing. We didn’t feel the chemistry and her being married just felt like a story to fill in time. Her lack of tenacity watered her down.
- Number Four (Klaus/The Seance): On surface level, Klaus is a fun character full of salaciousness and frivolity. But when you peel the presenting layers, we see more depth to him. He has anchorage within the group, and when they do listen, he has a lot to offer. Dave was the only person he loved more than himself. Klaus is the most satisfying character to watch. He was sure of himself, it was more us understanding him and what he went through. Klaus and Ben is what kept KT going through the meandering storylines. KT could live a thousand lifetimes with them. Once the tether has latched on emotionally, we feel all we need to feel. He has immense power, which we see in the first season. We never got to see the intensity of this power again. Klaus as a cult leader makes a whole lot of sense. In way of character development, complication and fanfare, Klaus was magnificent to watch.
- Number Five (Five/The Boy): We latched onto Five the quickest in the show. He knows what needs to be done and is super effective. A lot of this probably had to do with him being alone for so many years. He is the leader in every sense of the word. Whether he would be if he had grown up with them, is something that is to be explored. There wouldn’t be a show without him. He is the foundation of the Umbrella Academy.
- Number Six (Ben/The Horror): Is it about Ben’s possession ability strength or the willingness of the person to be possessed. KT believes his possession power is his own in that he stopped the apocalypse by possessing Vanya. Still not clear why, how and who is responsible for his death. We lament that possession came after death, which opens the dialogue of whether they all gain this power when they die. Ben talked about wanting to feel a hug and not fully receive. The emotional crescendo was him asking Vanya for a hug. Don’t kill off characters for emotional payoff then bring them back.
- Number Seven (Vanya/The White Violin): The plot device with all the powers in the world. Everything you want to throw at this archetype, she would rise above all. It was hard to latch onto her as a character. Vanya is the indie podcast of The Seven. KT has qualms when a character becomes the most important component to the show. Jack Bauer, Michael Schofield and Adabese rolled into one. All plotlines have her involved somehow. At the end of season one, she triggered the apocalypse and does the very same in season two. We are constantly edging to an apocalypse two seasons later. Why doesn’t Vanya kiss all her siblings so they can have her power too? Can she do the same thing to Ben’s corpse? When Ben was hugging her, why was she not kissing him then?
- The first half of season two felt like Naruto Ostrich filler level. What season one did for Umbrella Academy is an experience we will never get to experience again. In season two, there was a lot lacking in emotional investment. We were told we were supposed to care. All the comic relief was hampered by its lack of overarching narrative. We know what we are working towards so having to wait 5 episodes was tedious.
- It was sad that Pogo died. But does anyone really die? It is reaching the anime level of no one dying.
- The Handler is only interested in herself. She is efficient. They allude to an entanglement with Five. To believe anything she says is a detriment to all.
- There were around 43 babies born and we agree that Lila was one of them. Probably not a part of the Sparrow Academy. She was so naive and Oti did not buy it. She was given a report and took everything in a weird way.
Unrelated but vital points
- KT said entanglements on the podcast before it became a term for pop culture.
- You’re either the leader or you are not.
- Acting is a craft. Thespians still exist.
- Merch idea: Klaus is the gateway.
- We temporarily became the Soap Opera podcast. KT spoils a pivotal death, Oti doesn’t believe a spoiler is necessary because it was so long ago.
- Bold & the Beautiful was the coca cola and Day of our Lives is Pepsi.