UMBRELLA ACADEMY Season 2: Great Acting, Terrible Morals
By Trevor Jones, Contributing Writer
THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY is a dark superhero series on Netflix. It’s based on the Dark Horse comics of the same name. After premiering in 2019, the series was a smash hit among young adults.
The second season of UMBRELLA ACADEMY features exceptional acting but the show embraces so many morally objectionable elements such as homosexual relationships, ultra-violence, and a fictional cult, that we can’t recommend it for any discerning viewer.
To recap the first season, the Umbrella Academy fails to prevent the apocalypse. In a last ditch effort, Number Five teleports the crew from 2019 to 1960s Dallas, Texas. With a new doomsday on the horizon, the seven Hargreeves must unite once again to save the world. This time, they will face segregation, Swedish mercenaries, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
The acting is top-notch. The stand out is Number Five (Aidan Gallagher), a 59-year-old man stuck with a 13-year-old body. Despite the actor being the youngest in the cast, Five offers the deepest emotional range. He steals every moment.
In terms of worldview, UMBRELLA ACADEMY is predominantly secular with some Christian leanings. The heroes care for their neighbors, serve the greater good, and overcome prejudice. Several U.A. members form bonds with people from the 1960s. The U.A. save them from danger out of genuine love.
Unfortunately, UMBRELLA ACADEMY brings many objectionable elements. The most prominent is its emphasis on homosexuality. Vanya kisses a Texan mother right behind the Texan father’s back. The series justifies this adultery by portraying the father as an abusive psychopath. Even without a Christian lens, cheating on one’s spouse is morally reprehensible.
In terms of content warning, the series features intense blood, gore, and violence. In one scene, Five slays twelve people with an axe while pop music plays. One Swedish man dies in a gruesome explosive mine trap. People are shot, stabbed, and shanked in numerous ways. There’s on screen alcohol consumption, a few instances of drug use, frequent swearing, and a few implied sex scenes.
To counteract these heavy elements, the series intersperses itself with surreal elements. The U.A. tangle themselves up with the Communist conspiracy, a corrupt time travelling organization, and Swedish mercenaries. The cast often points out the absurdity of these conflicts, yet remains grounded through their emotional struggles. The Academy knows when to take itself seriously and when to have fun.
The show also employs humor and pop song montages. The humor ranges from mundane conversations to surrealism. In one subplot, Klaus accidentally starts a cult, or as he calls it “an alternative spirit community.” He tries to convince his followers he is a fraud, but it backfires. In another scene, a follower grinds her body on him, but he jumps out in time.
In conclusion, the second season of UMBRELLA ACADEMY is difficult to recommend. The intense violence and the way the series condones immoral behavior makes it hard to swallow. MOVIEGUIDE® doesn’t recommend this show for mature Christian audiences.