It combines charm with danger, unity with objective — the recipe works and if it’s the same again for the third season then we are in for a rewatchable trilogy.
This review of Netflix series The Umbrella Academy season 2 contains no spoilers. The second season will be released on July 31, 2020.
Amazon has The Boys and Netflix has The Umbrella Academy — both alternative superhero series’ that are difficult to separate in quality and impact. Both second seasons are releasing a month apart. Now that I’ve witnessed The Umbrella Academy Season 2, I can only make an early prediction that this will take a lot to beat. The family returns and it’s more outrageous than ever — the writers have opted to jump the story up a gear, making it as wild and energetic as possible. This comic book adaptation is quickly becoming the new staple of the Netflix platform and it utterly deserves it.
Following on from the last season, the family of superheroes find themselves thrown into different years in the 60s; it’s a wonderful idea to find a reason to separate the characters so they have to find each other again in their own dysfunctional and misguided ways — the reason is time, with Five at the epicenter of the adventure trying to find his siblings. It brings that anticipation of Season 1 where the audiences are not quite sure of how all the plot points are going to match up once the characters rejoin.
And like Season 1, The Umbrella Academy Season 2 brings forth a doomsday proposition — and no, it’s not that 2019 apocalypse; it’s close to the assassination of President Kennedy and for some reason, the Americans have started a deadly nuclear war with the Soviets. The Umbrella Academy finds themselves days away from another ‘end of the world’ scenario and they need to jumble their way to fix it so it does not happen.
Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy Season 2 enjoys the prospect of the 60s with its well-entwined themes to signify the times and provide education to the masses. Allison has embarked on a civil rights movement, finding a black community as a resounding example — the writers have chosen to heavily amplify the movement and what it meant to be a black person in America at that time with white people frothing from their mouths at the prospect of a black person sitting in a ‘white-only’ cafe. It’s this attempt to teach history while revving a superhero plot that makes the second season all so special — it’s not a time-traveling plot, it’s a 60s plot, and thus it allows the characters to immerse themselves in a world that they never grew up in, encouraging all of the family to develop differently. Morals are tested and perspectives are changed.
As for the chemistry; it remains in Season 2 as the cast seems to gel together better than ever. There’s a real sense of fun that ekes out of the screen while the characters interact with each other; there’s a real sense of love for the story and it shows. It combines charm with danger, unity with objective — the recipe works and if it’s the same again for the third season then we are in for a rewatchable trilogy.
And bringing it full-circle — The Umbrella Academy Season 2 continues to rely on that family dysfunctionality that alerted our brain waves in the first season. Being a superhero is secondary — being human is primary and that brings a certain magic to the story that is rarely seen in this genre. With a soundtrack that adds sugar to the spice, it would be shocking if this Netflix series does not become award-winning.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.