My love for The Umbrella Academy was clear from season 1, with its quirky, irreverent take on the superhero genre. Season 2 would finally solve the cliff-hanger ending, but would its appeal wane with the shifting story?
Well I’m delighted to report: absolutely not! In fact, there’s as much if not more to love here 🙂
Backing up a bit, and we’re still following the lives of the seven adopted Hargreeves siblings, each with a different super power: the ability to talk to the dead or to make people do what you say, teleportation, super strength, etc. At the end of season 1 (spoiler warning!) their attempts to save the world went a little awry, and the attempt then to save themselves ended up with Five’s time travel ability taking them all back to the 1960s – only, not the same part of the 60s.
And so we have the group split up and out of time, each facing challenges. Alison perhaps has it worse, horrified to find herself facing racial segregation. She and Vanya must both face less than ideal attitudes toward women. The boys perhaps fare a little better, with Klaus in particular… well, I’ll leave that to the viewer. Klaus is always my favourite, and his storyline here is a wonderful tonic to some of the darker things! Close second is Five, who is possibly the star of this season. As the youngest cast member, his ability to handle a complicated role is very impressive – and pretty amusing!
As the group start to drift back together, things are of course not perfect. The Commission is still after them. They may have brought a new apocalypse back with them. And then there’s the daddy issue…!
So yes: season two is still *fabulous* and bonus: it comes with a fantastic 60s soundtrack. The balance between the individual stories and the wider, Earth-destroying kind of issues, is played perfectly. By turns dark and fun, deep and wacky, there’s never a dull moment. If I had any complaints, I found one new main character rather grating, somehow, but oh – the way that could widen the story… bring on season 3!
First broadcast: August 2020 (Netflix UK)
Episodes: 10 @ ~50 mins each
My rating: 9/10