With its first season, Netflix's The Umbrella Academy delivered a surprisingly subdued and mood-filled take on the manic comic book series from Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá. Audiences adored it and showed that support by making it one of the most-watched original streaming series of 2019. That adoration wasn't wholly shared by critics, however, with many calling out Umbrella Academy's mystery-driven pacing and overly gloomy atmosphere as faults that weighed down the source material's wackiness.
The Umbrella Academy will make everyone's lives explosive against when Season 2 debuts on Netflix on July 31, and it might be a surprise for fans to learn that early reviews for the second season are far more positive and celebratory than they were for Season 1. Part of that is the shift to a slightly more streamlined narrative. Following last year's would-be catastrophic finale, the six living (and one deceased) members of the Hargreeves family are all transported to Dallas by Number 5. Only, it's the early 1960s, and everyone arrives separately, causing them to each carve new lives out for themselves in the past, for better (new loves and friendships) or for worse (racism, assassinations).
In general, Umbrella Academy Season 2 again earned high marks across the board for the ensemble cast. And for Digital Spy, whose review made the strangely unavoidable comparison to that other dysfunctional team-up drama Doom Patrol, the new season gives that cast much more emotional material to play with, and all while bucking traditional superhero stereotypes.
The AV Club dropped some mighty kind words on The Umbrella Academy Season 2 (via Season 1 shade) by saying showrunner Steve Blackman & Co. managed to correct the many issues that reviewer had with the initial outing. Their review also pointed a spotlight on two of the new cast members: Yusuf Gatewood, who plays a movement-leading activist, and Ritu Arya, who becomes a close confidante to Diego.
Another comic book adaptation gets name-checked in CNET's review, which somewhat praises the thick line between Umbrella Academy's political motivations and those of HBO's Watchmen, saying it gives Season 2 a more clarified balance between its dark plotting and its conversational levity.
Just to note, The Umbrella Academy's cast includes Ellen Page, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Tom Hopper, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, David Castañeda, Colm Feore and Justin H. Min. While another new addition to the cast is Sneaky Pete's Marin Ireland.
Over at io9, the consensus seemed to be that Season 2 is a marked improvement over the first, and is solid in its own right. However, the review posits that The Umbrella Academy still hasn't quite figured out how to fully flourish within the world it has created, at least without fully embracing the up-and-down chaos of Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá's comic series.
To that end, several reviewers shared the mindset that Umbrella Academy isn't quite as faithful to the book's tone and energy as it could be, especially since Season 2 adapts what amounts to a small chunk of the second comic book arc. Still, the show is definitely having a good time as it goes through this new journey.
Someone who wasn't having a good time at all, however, was apparently the person who wrote GQ's review of Season 2. Currently, the critique in question is the only Rotten score keeping Umbrella Academy from hitting a perfect 100. And those complaints look a little something like this:
Having completed its production during quarantine, The Umbrella Academy Season 2 debuts on Netflix on Friday, January 31, at 3:01 a.m. Be sure to tune in and stay up to date with CinemaBlend's coverage and exclusive interviews. In the meantime, head to our 2020 Fall TV schedule to see what premieres are on the way soon.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.