The Umbrella Academy: Season 2

STREAMING REVIEW:

Netflix;
Action;
Not rated.
Stars Ellen Page, Tom Hooper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Colm Feore, Justin H. Min, Ritu Arya, Yusuf Gatewood, Marin Ireland, Kate Walsh.

Season two of the Netflix series “The Umbrella Academy,” which debuted July 31, is a binge-worthy, action-packed, emotional roller coaster, although it suffers from a few contrived plot points.

As the season begins, the time jump that left us on the edge of our seats at the end of season one goes awry and scatters the superhero siblings in time in and around Dallas over a three-year period starting in 1960. Some, having been stuck in the past for years, have built lives and moved on, certain they’re the only ones who have survived.

The villains this time around are a trio named “The Swedes” who are there to prevent Five from again changing the timeline as it seems the siblings brought the apocalypse back with them. “The Swedes” fulfill the same role as the iconic Hazel and Cha-Cha from season one, but they lack the same charm and comedy that made the original duo such a great part of the show. This new trio seems to have a greater history that unfortunately doesn’t get explored, leaving us with little attachment to their story.

While we may not get much in terms of backstory on “The Swedes,” season two isn’t lacking in expanded history for the members of the Umbrella Academy. We get to see more background behind the interpersonal connections of the different siblings, as well as how it affects their interactions now. The characters we already grew to love in the first season only become more fleshed out.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

However, the plot sometimes bogs down in order to present the emotional aspect of the show. Some episodes seem stretched to fill the season, as certain conflicts feel unnecessarily manufactured.

Still, despite a few weaknesses, season two is a satisfying continuation to season one of the comic book-based series, and it leaves us waiting in anticipation for the future of the Hargreeves siblings and the Umbrella Academy.

Season Two of “The Umbrella Academy” (Christos Kalohoridis/Neflix)

Netflix Inks Deal With Comic Publisher BOOM! Studios

Netflix has inked a first-look deal for live action and animated series with BOOM! Studios, the publisher behind such comic book franchises as “Lumberjanes,” “Something Is Killing the Children,” “Once & Future” and “Mouse Guard.”

BOOM! Studios CEO and founder Ross Richie and president of development Stephen Christy will executive produce all shows developed through the pact.

The deal marks a new partnership between the two companies, although Netflix and BOOM! collaborated before, including partnering on the upcoming feature film The Unsound directed by David F. Sandberg, based on the graphic novel by Cullen Bunn and Jack T. Cole. BOOM! also debuted a graphic novel series in 2019 tied into Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.

Follow us on Instagram

“BOOM! characters are innately special, they’re colorful, diverse and varied and their stories have the power to ignite something in all of us,” Brian Wright, VP of original series at Netflix, said in a statement. “We can’t wait to bring these stories from the page to the screen to fans in every corner of the world.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“We generate 20-plus new original series a year and are thrilled to partner with a company that is as prolific as we are,” BOOM!’s Richie said in a statement. “BOOM!’s unique partnership model of controlling the media rights to our library benefits creators by positioning them to be packaged with high-end directors, screenwriters and producers. We’re thrilled to continue our track record of translating our best-selling award-winning library with the best TV talent in the business but now with the undisputed leader of the new streaming era.”

Netflix Orders ‘The Sandman’ Series Based on Neil Gaiman Comics

Netflix has ordered 10 episodes of the Warner Bros. Television series “The Sandman” based on Neil Gaiman’s DC comic book series.

A blend of modern myth and fantasy in which contemporary fiction, historical drama and legend are interwoven, “The Sandman” follows the people and places affected by Morpheus, the Dream King, as he mends the cosmic — and human — mistakes he’s made during his vast existence.

The writer/showrunner/executive producer will be Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman, “Grey’s Anatomy”) with Gaiman (Good Omens, Coraline) and David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, “Krypton”) writing and executive producing. Gaiman, Heinberg and Goyer will co-write the first episode.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“We’re thrilled to partner with the brilliant team that is Neil Gaiman, David S. Goyer and Allan Heinberg to finally bring Neil’s iconic comic book series ‘The Sandman ’ to life onscreen,” said Channing Dungey, VP of original series at Netflix, in a statement. “From its rich characters and storylines to its intricately built-out worlds, we’re excited to create an epic original series that dives deep into this multi-layered universe beloved by fans around the world.”

Comcast Xfinity Highlights Behind-the-Scenes Diversity of Superhero Stories

In celebration of Black History Month, Comcast Xfinity is offering the new short film Groundbreakers: Heroes Behind the Mask, which spotlights some of the contributors behind America’s favorite superhero stories, shows and movies.

“Comics, sci-fi and animation have long been popular genres within the African-American community,” said Keesha Boyd, executive director of multicultural consumer services at Comcast Corporation. “We hope viewers will be inspired by this content and learn more about the powerful contributions this community has made to the world of sci-fi entertainment.”

The 12-minute program includes interviews with:

  • Phillip Boutte Jr., costume illustrator for Marvel’s Black Panther, Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time and Warner’s Justice League;
  • Cheo Hodari Coker, showrunner of Netflix’s “Luke Cage”;
  • Dr. Sheena Howard, award-winning author of Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation;
  • Alitha E. Martinez, comic book illustrator best known for her work drawing Marvel’s “Iron Man” and contributed drawings to comic book series “World of Wakanda”;
  • Reginald Hudlin, film writer, director and producer with credits including Marshall” and the graphic novel Black Panther: The Complete Collection;
  • Floyd Norman, Disney’s first African-American animator with credits including Mulan and The Jungle Book, and subject of the documentary An Animated Life;
  • Phil LaMarr, voiceover actor for several characters in the DC Comics Animated Universe and Star Wars: Rebels;
  • Ciara Renee, actress who played Hawkgirl on the CW’s “Legends of Tomorrow.”

 

The short film is available at the “Black Film & TV” destination on Xfinity on Demand, online at xfinity.com/discovermore, on the Xfinity Stream app or by saying “black film and TV” into the Xfinity X1 Voice Remote.

In addition to Groundbreakers: Heroes Behind the Mask, Xfinity On Demand will offer several new films celebrating historical heroes this February, including Voices of the Civil Rights Movement, BET’s Madiba, TVOne’s Behind the Movement, Smithsonian Channel’s Malcolm X: The Lost Tapes, and The Africa Channel’s Fighting for King and Empire, along with special premiere clips for the upcoming Black Panther.