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Toth

The Umbrella Academy

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I have seen that some people on the board had already watched it, but strangely there is no thread yet.

So what's up with Netflix' new series? In 1989 the eccentric billionaire Reginald Hargreeves adopts 7 kids with strange powers in order to turn them into a superhero team. 30 years later the surviving children reunite at their father's funeral, but his nightmarish training and emotional abuse had turned them all into messed up wrecks who are so focused on their own scars that they keep hurting each other even when genuinely trying to reconnect. Unfortunately the Umbrella Academy now has to work together to prevent the coming apocalypse...

Here's the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DAmWHxeoKw

I have watched the first 6 episodes and so far I like it very much. Maybe it's the heartwarming style of that last episode I had watched that causes this impression? In any case, it presents itself less as a genre deconstruction but rather a reconstruction in which the characters gradually start to work together again and (very slowly) overcome their flaws. At least it feels like they have become far less abrasive than in the first two episodes, where many of them are really hard to like. Then again, I really like Number 5, obviously Klaus and Allison. Even Ben and Diego I have come to appreciate. The only one I find hard to like really is Vanya... I really want to like and relate to her distant and shunned background and even though she (obviously) warms up as the story progresses, she can't really keep up with the others.

The show presents itself as very wacky. The music and dancing scenes are slightly reminding me of Sense8, but lack its energy and cinematography. The camera work is just too lazy for my liking ( exceptions are two scenes of Five to "Istanbul, not Constantinople" and "Run Boy Run" that were truly terrific. I also didn't know that ice cream trucks can jingle "Flight of the Valkyries". XD

As you can see, the show does manage to intertwine dark moments and humor, making it morbidly hilarious in many ways. Even the villains are basically beleaguered bureaucrats despite viciously murdering people left and right. I'm curious what more they will have in store for us.

 

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Eight episodes in, I'm loving it. Robert Sheehan is absolutely killing it. 

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I’m 9 episodes in and I think this is terrible. I care about no one, too much emo and outside of a few scenes, just pure stupid.

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Are we to assume this is an alternate timeline 2019 where cellphones do not exist? So much plot contrivance revolves around there being no possible way to communicate someone who is not in the same building.

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Morpheus said:

Are we to assume this is an alternate timeline 2019 where cellphones do not exist? So much plot contrivance revolves around there being no possible way to communicate someone who is not in the same building.

I think yes, we should. Given how they are using tape recorders and gramophones as well as having retro billboards and old cars featuring heavily. Despite some modern cars being egregiously standing around in the background.

It should be noted though that the story in the comics it's adapted from is actually supposed to take place in 1977. I'm not quite sure why they changed that...

Edited by Toth

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Posted (edited)

Finished this and enjoyed it, but it's not a home-run. I'm familiar with the original comic, and this adaptation is very different in a lot of ways -- the zaniness and weirdness is way toned down,, it's heavily re-structured (including fluffing the story out by pulling in elements from the 2nd limited series follow-up) -- but it still captures some of the odd-ball charm of it. I think it could have been much more of a surreal mood piece than it ultimately became, but it was fun enough, and certainly had a lot more time for characterization than the initial six issue comic series. Although too much time, maybe -- I think they could have trimmed two episodes of total length without any great sense of loss.

The stand-outs in the cast were Robert Sheehan as Klaus and Aidan Gallagher as Number Five (he was amazingly convincing playing a 50-something in a 13-year-old's body).

Spoiler

I don't think I really care for the way the villain played out in the story. The Orchestra Verdammten  with Leonard secretly being the Conductor would have been more fun. And he should have had a power of some sort, tied to the Apocalypse Suite. It's the one thing I find odd about Way's Umbrella Academy, namely that we're literally told these seven children were just some among over 40 ... and yet he never does anything with the 36 or whatever kids with powers who Hargreeves didnt' take in. Some died young, I believe, but still, there ought to be some other heroes/villains/somethings with powers.

 

Edited by Ran

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as someone who absolutely hates gerard way, i found my self enjoying this far more than i expected. never read the comic (for reasons explained just prior) but thought its a good fun show, and the soundtrack is pretty kick ass. 

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I'm interested but decided to opt for doom patrol (probably my unconscious preference of a weekly schedule release than a "if i haven't watched the whole season within a week, i'll never be able to discuss the show/episodes" released at the same time and I'm really enjoying it. It's fully embracing the weird and looks surprisingly polished.

The odd thing is that Gerard way currently writes Doom Patrol and created umbrella academy so i suspect the enjoyment of one means the enjoyment of the other. It's just a bit unfortunate the two have been pitted against each other.

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Doom Patrol is supposed to be more weird and fun than Umbrella Academy. Wish that was all released at once.

Finished it last night and didn’t get any better. Will likely avoid a second season.

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Posted (edited)

I will probably avoid the next season too.

I don’t have the DC service so no Doom Patrol, though Grant Morrison’s run is a longtime fave.

Edited by Morpheus

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19 hours ago, a good and nice guy said:

as someone who absolutely hates gerard way, i found my self enjoying this far more than i expected. never read the comic (for reasons explained just prior) but thought its a good fun show, and the soundtrack is pretty kick ass. 

Out of interest why do you hate Gerard Way?

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I didn't read the books, so I can't comment on the adaptation.... but I thought it was thoroughly enjoyable...

 

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9 episodes in and I'm enjoying it so far, though I do share an opinion, that especially Vanya is the most unlikeable character of all, while the most likeable being probably Pogo and Hazel. :)

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Yes, I watched it, thought it was mostly meh. Pretty good on visuals, and good music and song choices.

The characters are not very likable. It takes awhile to get going, but I started liking it somewhat around episode 5-6. The story was way too over the place, but occasionally it did have good small arcs, like Klaus's story, and the stuff between Hazel and Cha-Cha. Ultimately, I felt that some of these little plots distracted a little much from the main one.

Spoiler

I didn't like that it ended in sort of a cliffhanger. Though I did like the part with the moon, mainly because it there was a small clue in an earlier episode, which I didn't catch, but it was funny how Five failed to mention the moon no longer being there, to begin with.

 

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It was decent, and sometimes absolutely great.

It had a really cool weird aesthetic that I liked, with surprising oddness that came out of nowhere more often than not. It did occasionally push on the "I'M SO QUIRKY LOOK LIKE JUNO" thing, but it didn't make me go nuts with it most of the time. 

The music was awesome. I really, really loved the music. 

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Posted (edited)

I finished it last weekend myself. I thought it to be pretty good all things considered. Surely had its flaws, overstretched the willing suspension of disbelieve especially in regards to how horrible of a shot these hardened assassins have, but I guess that's mostly supposed to be rule of cool. I did my research on the comics parallel to it and find that some of the changes were done very well. Both that the 'adopted children from all over the world' part makes more sense now that not everyone is white, but also that Ben has become a more or less proper character (who also seems to be the single most nicest sibling from what we can see). It also seems that the siblings are not quite as nasty in this as they are in the source material... which makes dread the source material, actually.

Spoiler

I guess next season it will turn out that Hazel just so happened to have jumped into exactly the same time-frame as the Umbrella Academy did? Or that all the other commision guys will be back as their younger selves because they obviously act outside of time? I just fear that they might retread plot from the already more or less adapted Dallas arc then... though did I also see right that the siblings were turned into their younger selves? Maybe they did some kind of mind jump and have the ability to do everything over again... Though this comes with the problem that I'm not convinced some of the child actors can keep up with Aiden Gallagher's acting. Especially Vanya's child actress was too stiff to my liking. And I don't mean in the scenes where she is already broken, but for example in the scene where Grace was introduced and she utterly failed to convey fear when Grace fixed her broken neck.

I'm also honestly hoping we are going to see more of Eudora. Damn, for an original character she was pretty amazing and I had hoped up until the end that Klaus was going to conjure her up for Diego again. But no, she kept being out of focus. So frustrating to see her gone after just 3 episodes... Now they should be able to save her as well when starting over from the past.

 

Edited by Toth

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I just finished watching and found it absolutely charming. I grew up with 5 siblings and the family dynamics really resonated with me. 

The best part was the sets. I am familiar with some of the locations but 5's desk job is in a place that I am really familiar with as I volunteer there as a telescope operator trainee. I got quite the thrill out of seeing it.

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I’m only 3 episodes in but I really like it so far. I chose Doom Patrol over watching this as I’d heard such mediocre things about it but it’s a ton of fun. Knowing it’s a comic book adaptation helps I think, it definitely gives off that vibe.

I really like Juno in it, god her face is so sad!

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I finally finished this show today. It was alright, but not great. Not gona lie, I like the Doom Patrol much more. I really liked Number 5 and Klaus, but found just about every other character to be kind of annoying. I was also able to pretty much predict were the plot was going from the second Is saw Vanya take her first pill.

 

Not a bad show by any means, but a very predictable one. I give it a 7/10. Doom Patrol on the other hand is probably a 9/10 for me right now, and there's still ten episodes to go. Not gona lie, that shows giving me some real Farscape/GotG vibes, despite taking place completely on Earth.

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