What do you get when you cross the Kids Next Door, The X-MEN, The Ted Bundy Files, Ghostbusters and the disturbing descent into the mind of a man comparable to Nikola Tesla? You get my new favorite binge worthy series on Netflix: The Umbrella Academy.
The ten episode first season stars probably no one you’ve ever heard of save Mary J. Blige, who I’ve personally seen act for the first time in this series and Juno’s Ellen Page or, who plays the odd child out, Vanya, the seventh sibling in a family where the other six have superpowers and fought crime together before growing up and disbanding after realizing that their adopted billionaire father was kind of a sociopath. Keep reading for a nifty little list of why this should be on your watch list.
It deals with relationships
The entire family is dysfunctional, and it deals with the ins and outs of navigating these sometimes difficult but important relationships. The people closest to you will let you down sometimes, and even worse, you may let down yourself. But the show encourages its viewers to come to terms with who you are and to forgive yourself and others, for the good of yourself. It’s OK to start over, as long as the relationship has the potential to be healthy. It also teaches that it is OK to let go of what no longer serves you.
It deals with forgiveness
Forgiveness is a big theme in the show. Most things that happen to the characters, they feel and choose to react to the events that happen around them reflect the relationships that they have with themselves. Vanya, the ostracized sister, basically looses her sh*t and almost ends the world because the pain of what her adopted father and siblings did to her continues to haunt and follow her, even now that they are all adults. If you allow low level energy like hate, regret, anger, it will and must consume you, and it will take everything down with it.
It deals with the importance of environment
Mental health and upbringing is extremely important. I always like to think of the age old argument nature vs. nurture. How much of our environment shapes us, or rather, did we have something inside us all along? In the show, one of the main characters’ boyfriend turns out to be a horrific serial killer, abused by his father, and ridiculed and mocked by just about everyone else. I don’t condone killing of any kind, but it does force me to consider the question, this boy, that grew up to be a ‘monster’, was it really his fault? The decisions that he ultimately made were his and his alone, but, if all you know is violence in the absence of love, what did you expect?
It deals with time travel
I’m obsessed with physics and the idea that time travel and other dimensions exist. One of the siblings is able to time travel, and uses his abilities to help his siblings try to save the world from the apocalypse after his dramatic return from his very long hiatus after disappearing as a child. Jumping to the future, and he realizes that he is the only survivor of a catastrophic event, so working as a hitman, he bought time to jump back in time to warn his siblings, only, as a 58 year old alcoholic man, comes back as a 13 year old boy. I like how realistically the show depicts the phenomenon. No one knows what effects time travel would have on a body, but age regression doesn’t seem that far off.