Based on the comics series from Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, the Netflix series “The Umbrella Academy”, in its first season, followed its source material ancestor and zeroed in on a bunch of adopted family members with incredible abilities. This motley group (The Hargreeves) was then faced with the inevitability that a cataclysm of explosions and fallout would come to pass if they did not unite as one, and as we all know, that is precisely what happened.
In Season 2, this misfit family of the Hargreeves is once again burdened with the same directive: time travel and preventing global catastrophe.
Unlike another recent Netflix offering, “Dark”, which was also primarily concerned with time-traveling and an eventual apocalypse prevention, here the psychological toll of that constant cycle is brushed off. “The Umbrella Academy” does not bother itself with any meaningful past or future. And that is probably what makes this one fun as hell.
In Season 2, the Academy members time travel into the middle of Dallas in 1963. Their shenanigans continue in an entertaining, unpredictable stream that moves the saga forward into a truly outlandish territory — while retaining some of the first season’s fundamental shortcomings in pacing and plot cohesiveness. Again, that is what adds to its uniqueness as well.
However, this season messes up once it gets too knotted in how cool its ideas look and sound. It ends up overstuffing the plot with characters and beats that do not really need to be there. There is a trio of unnamed Swedish assassins who contribute almost nothing to the plot, yet they pop up in nearly every episode for no ultimate purpose. The ongoing mystery about the origins of Reginald Hargreeves (the pervading patriarch), proves to be another flimsy stab at the first season’s attempt to make its viewers root for legal incest, contributing nearly nothing to the storyline. Spending time on these hinders somewhat hampers Season 2, lacing it with a lack of urgency that makes it seem dangerously slow given the impending apocalypse knocking on their front doors. Nevertheless, “The Umbrella Academy”, makes up for what it lacks with its sense of style and humor, thereby distracting viewers from the gaping abyss of nonsense lurking in its very core.