The Umbrella Academy
Available on Netflix SA
3 stars out of 5
Be warned. If you start watching the TV adaptation of Dark Horse comics’ The Umbrella Academy, you will probably not stop and you will binge it and get too little sleep and hate your life and take it out on your colleagues, who will force you to write a review about it.
But it’s worth it. The show is a delicious snack with excellent production values and a compelling narrative thread that keeps you coming back for more.
The plot is complex, but unravels simply. The characters are interesting and divergent, and the end of the world never looked this good.
I thought I came from a dysfunctional family – but this is apocalypse-level dysfunctional. The seven siblings at the centre of this time-travelling sci-fi romp were born when their mothers across the globe fell pregnant on the same day and then gave birth immediately. Their children all have superpowers, obvs.
But these are not all fine-tuned powers and are, for the most part, secondary to the fluffy but compelling family drama that plays out.
Known as a teen gang fighting evil, the siblings must reunite much later in life when their famous father (he adopted them) dies. They bring as much self-destruction as they do heroism to the plot, and that’s refreshing.
The action is steered by two time-travelling assassins, one played by Mary J Blige, who keep the plot in control and ups the stakes.
All in all, it’s no less fun than reading your favourite comic books.