It’s 5:14 pm
Recently I notoced that the second season of The Umbrella Academy had hit Netflix. Being that I don’t have have Netflix still and that guest writer Stacey Bryan had written about Season One so well,I thought it best to go back to Stacey and ask her to cover Season 2.
Being that Stacey is pretty busy with her own writing on her blog “Laughter Over Tears“,I was really happy that she agreed to come write about Season 2 of the show. Season One of The Umbrella Academy has been released for the home market in case you are like us and still need to catch up…..
43 of them are all born on the same day in 1989 by women who showed no signs of pregnancy at the start of the day. 7 of them are adopted by a mysterious, wealthy entrepreneur who raises them as siblings, though they’re not related.
Each has a unique, bizarre power that Hargreeves, their adoptive father, trains them to control in preparation to save the world from an unspecified threat…which later turns out to be the apocalypse.
It’s always an apocalypse, isn’t it?
But this one will be brought on by none other than one of the very siblings the strange Sir Reginald Hargreeves was raising in order to “save the world.” And that was season 1!
When season 2 of The Umbrella Academy, a Netflix series based on the comics of Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba, premiered in July of 2020, the famously dysfunctional superhero siblings found themselves thrown back in time. They’d avoided the apocalypse…but only for now. Unfortunately, it would follow them, even to a different era, because, really, you can never completely escape an apocalypse, can you?
There’s a lot of admiration out there for season 2 of The Umbrella Academy; many fans consider it better than season 1, largely due to the fact that it takes place in the ‘60s so it’s all period. I did appreciate the period locations, costuming, and ambiance too, because that always takes extra effort. I’ve always wished I had a bunch of brothers and sisters like the Waltons, except this would be more like the Waltons meets The Avengers.
Season 2 sees Klaus (who can speak to the dead, including their dead brother Ben) sort of accidently becoming a cult leader (because…of course he would), Luther, whose DNA has been partly infused with a gorilla, turning to underground fighting in order to survive, and Diego, who can bend the trajectory of the knives he throws with impeccable aim, being committed to a mental institution for plotting Lee Harvey Oswald’s death.
Because whenever we travel back in time, we all want to keep Kennedy from being killed, don’t we? Either that or kill Hitler.
It’s interesting to note that two of the storylines, ones involving Allison and Vanya, are not in the original comics. Allison, the sibling who is a famous black actress in the present day, abruptly finds herself immersed in the racist mores and attitudes of the 1960s. Imagine falling out of the air onto a sidewalk somewhere, you’re completely disoriented and frightened, you run into the nearest coffee shop for help, and it’s your worst nightmare: everyone in there stops talking and turns around in disbelief and growing outrage, because you’re black and you had the audacity to enter a white-only establishment.
Allison can manipulate reality with a mere suggestion. But she restrains herself from using her gift, choosing instead to deal with the almost unbearable conditions of a 1960s Texas with group activism. Very honorable. But a lot slower and probably a hell of a lot more thankless than being able to say, “I heard a rumor that you don’t believe you’re superior to black people but you love everybody equally because we’re all human beings in this world,” with instantaneous positive results.
Vanya, the master of manipulating sound waves, and probably the most powerful of all the siblings, is hit by a car upon arrival in Dallas and is taken in by the woman who hit her. Personally, I find Vanya’s character the least intriguing, largely due to the rumpled, droopy clothing they present her in and her muted personality, which I understand is symbolic of “masking” her true immense power beneath a kind of “eyeglass-wearing Superman at the newspaper persona”, on top of which, of course, she was badly affected by her repressive, abusive upbringing . But I don’t know—she still annoys me.
The real issue, though (for me, at least) is the story the writers cooked up for Vanya to fall in love with another woman and later convince her to run away and kidnap the son from his father. Yes, the father is possessive and misogynistic—who wasn’t been back then, and in Texas? Not saying it’s okay. Just facing reality.
But considering Vanya was taken in by these people, cared for, given a job while she tries to regain her memory (which got wiped during the car accident), is her only thanks really to break up this family? The fact that the mom she falls in love with realizes that she’s gay doesn’t give Vanya the moral go-ahead to become a homewrecker. Isn’t one more heroic when one doesn’t give in to their every whim or desire, especially at the cost of ruining someone else’s happiness?
Maybe Vanya isn’t meant to be seen as heroic, and neither are her siblings, because they’re definitely more maladjusted family than trained superheroes—which is part of the fun. But I felt that this storyline in particular was sloppy writing, self-indulgent, unbelievable and cast Vanya in an especially selfish and unattractive light.
I think season 2 was as good as season 1, not necessarily better. My opinion. The unveiling of their father as a very mysterious being—something I wasn’t expecting at all and won’t reveal for spoilers—was a nice twist.
I look forward to season 3 and especially look forward to seeing Five again (that’s his only name!) the time-traveling, time-puncturing 58-year-old sibling stuck in the body of a 13-year-old and who brims with spunk and sass. He seems to be the heart and soul and most certainly the brains behind the troupe’s adventures, and he was as surly and hilarious as ever this time too, walking around stiffly with his elbows at awkward angles in a great display of body awareness as if he really WAS 58 years old.
For those wanting something different but not too different, something sprinkled with a little darkness but basically light and enjoyable, tune into The Umbrella Academy, binge ‘em, and have the popcorn or beer ready, to boot. Why not? We’re all still stuck inside, right? The nutty, emotional, unbridled U.A. siblings, at least for the duration of 10 episodes each season, will aid greatly in our forgetting that for a little while. And laughing always helps. We need all the endorphins we can use right now!
You can read Stacey’s overview on Season One of the The Umbrella Academy here. I also like to thank Stacey for her time and graciousness in agreeing to guest blog for us!!
Are you are a fan of “The Umbrella Academy”? What are your thoughts on Season 2,leave a comment below and share your opinions and where do you want Season 3 to go.