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.

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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 to Bow Limited Series With Amy Adams and Adam McKay

Netflix has announced the limited-series drama “Kings of America” with Amy Adams and Adam McKay.

The series centers on the stories of three powerful women whose lives were inextricably intertwined with the world’s largest company: a Walmart heiress, a maverick executive, and a longtime Walmart saleswoman and preacher who dared to fight against the retail giant in the biggest class-action lawsuit in U.S. history.

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Adams (“Sharp Objects”) will star as one of the leads and executive produce via her production company Bond Group Entertainment along with Stacy O’Neil.

McKay (“Succession”) is attached to direct the first episode and executive produce along with Betsy Koch via Hyperobject Industries.

Adams and McKay most recently worked together on Vice, which went on to receive eight Academy Award nominations, including a Best Supporting Actress nom for Adams. They first collaborated on McKay’s 2006 comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

Netflix’s ‘Umbrella Academy’ Top Binge on TV Time Charts

Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy” was the top binge, while the BBC’s “Get Even” was the top show on the rise on the TV Time charts for the week ended Aug. 2.

The second season of “The Umbrella Academy” hit screens July 31. The series, based on the comic books of the same name, follows a group of superheroes adopted at birth by a mysterious billionaire who face the end of the world. As season two begins, the time jump scatters the 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 series also came in at No. 2 on the rising show chart.

Top rising show “Get Even,” which streamed beginning in February on BBC’s iPlayer service, July 31 began streaming on Netflix. The British crime show follows four private school classmates who team up to expose schoolwide injustices.

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TV Time is a free TV viewership tracking app that tracks consumers’ viewing habits worldwide and is visited by more than 1 million consumers every day, according to the service. The weekly “Binge Report” ranks shows with the most binge sessions. A binge session is when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the app in a given day. The “Shows on the Rise” chart is calculated by determining the week-over-week growth in episodes watched for a given program. The network displayed is the network where the show first aired (e.g. “Friends” on NBC).

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 Top Binge Shows Week Ended Aug. 2 by Share of Binges:

  1. “The Umbrella Academy” (Netflix) — 5.55%
  2. “Good Girls” (NBC) — 2.87%
  3. “Modern Family” (ABC) — 2.40
  4. “Friends” (NBC) — 1.53%
  5. “The Office” (NBC) — 1.46%
  6. “Dark” (Netflix) — 1.35%
  7. “How to Sell Drugs Online Fast” (Netflix) — 1.25%
  8. “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC) — 1.24%
  9. “One Piece” (Fuji TV) — 1.24%
  10. “Cursed” (Netflix) — 1.18%

 

Top “Shows on the Rise” Week Ended Aug. 2 by Rise Ratio:

  1. “Get Even” (BBC iPlayer) — 98.9%
  2. “The Umbrella Academy” (Netflix) — 97%
  3. “Locked Up: El Oasis” (Fox Espana) — 95.5%
  4. “Last Chance U” (Netflix) — 92.2%
  5. “Good Girls” (NBC) — 83.6%
  6. “Wynonna Earp” (Syfy) — 75.9%
  7. “Euphoria” (HBO) — 48.9%
  8. “Manifest” (NBC) — 25.3%
  9. “Shameless” (Showtime) — 24.2%
  10. “The Alienist” (TNT) — 19.3%

‘Umbrella Academy’ Climbs to No. 2 on Parrot Digital Originals Chart; ‘Stranger Things’ Remains No. 1

Netflix’s “Stranger Things” took the top spot on Parrot Analytics’ digital originals rankings the week ended Aug. 1, its seventh consecutive week at No. 1. The popular series had 55.2 times the demand of the average series, while demand for the show dropped 5.6% from the previous week.

“The Umbrella Academy,” also from Netflix, jumped up to No. 2 with a 68.9% jump in demand expressions, the proprietary metric Parrot uses to gauge a show’s popularity. It had been No. 13 the previous week. The second season of the series debuted July 31. It had 49.1 times the demand of the average show.

The Disney+ live-action “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian” slipped a spot to No. 3 for the week, though it was up 8.2% in demand expressions during a week in which is was announced it had earned 15 Emmy nominations, including Best Drama Series. It had 48.1 times the demand of the average show.

Netflix’s “The Witcher” rose a spot to No. 4, growing demand 6.5% to gain 36.7 times the average show.

DC Universe’s “Titans” slipped to the No. 5 spot with 35.8 times average demand and expressions down 1.1%.

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A “digital original” is Parrot’s term for a multi-episode series in which the most recent season was first made available on a streaming platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or Disney+.

The top overall TV series was again Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants,” with 111.6 times average demand. “Stranger Things” was No. 6 on the overall TV list.

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Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures demand for TV content in a given market through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites. Results are expressed as a comparison with the average demand for a TV show of any kind in the market.

Netflix Rolling Out Seven Classic Black Sitcoms From 1990s and Early 2000s

Netflix is rolling out seven Black sitcoms from the 1990s and early 2000s on its service in the coming months: “Sister Sister,” “Moesha,” “The Parkers,” “Girlfriends,” “The Game,” “One on One” and “Half & Half.”

“These shows made us laugh, and cry, and sing along with those catchy theme songs,” wrote Bradley Edwards, manager of content acquisition, and Jasmyn Lawson, manager of Strong Black Lead, in a company blog. “And mostly importantly, we felt like we saw ourselves on screen — in some cases for the very first time. Every week we were able to tune in to see people, families and friends that looked like us and characters whose everyday ups and downs reflected Black life in an authentic way.”

The shows have been on top of members’ wish lists, they wrote.

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“From the first days of Strong Black Lead in February 2018, our comment sections have been filled with members asking about this kind of classic Black content,” they wrote. “So we worked with our content team to make it happen — starting in 2019 with classic Black films like Love & Basketball, B*A*P*S, and Love Jones. The conversation on social media was larger than we could have ever anticipated. And once we had the wish list of series from our members, we were excited to discover they were available.

“We want to give each its due so we’re staggering the release of these beloved series to ensure our members have time to enjoy them.”

“Moesha” will bow Aug. 1, followed by the first three seasons of “The Game” on Aug. 15. “Sister Sister” arrives on Sept. 1, with “Girlfriends” launching on Sept. 11 to mark the 20th anniversary of its premiere. “The Parkers” debuts on Oct. 1, followed by “Half & Half “and “One on One” on Oct. 15.

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“The goal of Strong Black Lead is to celebrate and lift up Black Hollywood,” they wrote. “These trailblazing shows are a huge part of that story. From the classic clown funeral episode of ‘The Parkers’ to Moesha’s mind-tripping meet-up with Brandy, we’re thrilled that our members can now enjoy these amazing classics.”

Netflix, HBO Dominate Primetime Emmy Noms, With Disney’s Original Streaming Series ‘The Mandalorian’ Grabbing 15 Noms

It’s the Netflix/HBO Primetime Emmy Awards slugfest with the two media giants generating 267 combined nominations, including Netflix’s record 160 nominations for the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards, which were announced July 28 in Los Angeles. HBO held the previous record for nominations with 137 in 2019.

HBO’s “Watchman” generated the most nominations with 26, with Amazon Prime Video’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” was next with 20. Netflix’s “Ozark” and HBO’s “Succession” trailed with 18 nominations each. Notably, upstart Disney+ scored 15 nominations for Jon Favreau’s breakaway original hit “The Mandalorian.”

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Other standouts included Netflix’s “The Crown” and “Hollywood,” with 13 and 12 nominations, respectively. Others include: Unbelievable,” and “Unorthodox,” and comedies “Dead to Me” and “The Kominsky Method,” as well as its competition series “Nailed It.” NBC (47) and ABC (36) led all broadcasters with 83 combined nominations.

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WarnerMedia Entertainment received 112 total nominations, which included TBS (4) and truTV (1). In addition to “Watchman” and “Succession,” the former Time Warner company generated 11 nominations for “Westworld,” 9 nominations for “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” eight noms for “Insecure,” six for “Euphoria,” five for “Big Little Lies.” “McMillion$” generated five, followed by “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” with four; “A Black Lady Sketch Show (3); “Bad Education,” one nomination for “I Know This Much is True,” one for “The Outsider,” one for “The Plot Against America”; “Catherine the Great,”  “Silicon Valley (1); “Ballers” (1); “We’re Here” (1); “The Apollo,” (1); “We Are The Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest (1) and one for “Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements.”

Jimmy Kimmel is scheduled to host the live show on Sept. 20 from Los Angeles.

Netflix’s ‘How to Sell Drugs Online Fast’ Top Rising Show, ABC’s ‘Modern Family’ Top Binge on TV Time Charts

Netflix’s “How to Sell Drugs Online Fast” topped the shows on the rise while the ABC sitcom “Modern Family” was the top binge on the TV Time charts for the week ended July 26.

The second season of “How to Sell Drugs Online Fast” debuted July 21. In season two, the three friends Moritz, Lenny and Dan want to figure out how to sell drugs online faster. Their business is growing exponentially, and the trio can hardly keep up with demand. Their private lives are also moving up a gear. Lisa is getting suspicious about Moritz’s odd behavior, Dan is determined to prove to his father that he can stand on his own feet, and Lenny stumbles into an online romance with a mysterious coder. The series also took the bronze on the binge chart.

Coming in at No. 2 on the rising show chart was another Netflix show “Ashley Garcia: Genius in Love,” which follows a 15-year-old teen who moves across the country to pursue a career in robotics. Season two of the series hit screens July 20.

Taking the silver behind “Modern Family” on the binge chart was Netflix’s “Cursed,” which debuted on the service July 17. Based on the upcoming book of the same name, the series is a re-imagining of the Arthurian legend, told through the eyes of Nimue, a teenage heroine with a mysterious gift who is destined to become the powerful (and tragic) Lady of the Lake.

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TV Time is a free TV viewership tracking app that tracks consumers’ viewing habits worldwide and is visited by more than 1 million consumers every day, according to the service. The weekly “Binge Report” ranks shows with the most binge sessions. A binge session is when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the app in a given day. The “Shows on the Rise” chart is calculated by determining the week-over-week growth in episodes watched for a given program. The network displayed is the network where the show first aired (e.g. “Friends” on NBC).

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 Top Binge Shows Week Ended July 26 by Share of Binges:

  1. “Modern Family” (ABC) — 2.48%
  2. “Cursed” (Netflix) — 2.28%
  3. “How to Sell Drugs Online Fast” (Netflix) — 2.22%
  4. “Dark” (Netflix) — 1.78%
  5. “Friends” (NBC) — 1.59%
  6. “The Office” (NBC) — 1.58%
  7. “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC) — 1.26%
  8. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC) — 1.24%
  9. “One Piece” (Fuji TV) — 1.24%
  10. “Dark Desire” (Netflix) — 1.14%

 

Top “Shows on the Rise” Week Ended July 26 by Rise Ratio:

  1. “How to Sell Drugs Online Fast” (Netflix) — 95.5%
  2. “Ashley Garcia: Genius in Love” (Netflix) — 92%
  3. “Norsemen” (NRK1) — 86.1%
  4. “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” (HBO) — 80%
  5. “The Alienist” (TNT) — 78.2%
  6. “Indian Matchmaking” (Netflix) — 71.1%
  7. “Kissing Game” (Netflix) — 48.6%
  8. “Skin Decision: Before and After” (Netflix) — 43%
  9. “Cursed” (Netflix) — 41%
  10. “Absentia” (AXN) — 33.2%

‘Stranger Things’ Tops Parrot Digital Originals Chart For Week Ended July 25

Netflix’s “Stranger Things” took the top spot on Parrot Analytics’ digital originals rankings the week ended July 25, its sixth consecutive week at No. 1. The popular series had 60.1 times the demand of the average series, while demand for the show dropped 6.75% from the previous week.

The Disney+ live-action “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian” rose a spot to No. 2 for the week, though it was down 4.6% in demand expressions, the proprietary metric Parrot uses to gauge a show’s popularity. It had 45.6 times the demand of the average show.

The Disney+ animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” slipped to No. 3, with 43 times the average demand and expressions down 12.4%.

DC Universe’s “Titans” rose to the No. 4 spot with 37.2 times average demand and expressions up 1.6%.

Netflix’s “The Witcher” rose to No. 5, from No. 9 the previous week, growing demand 3% to gain 35.4 times the average show.

Netflix’s “Warrior Nun” placed at No. 10 with 30.2 times average demand and a 10.7% drop in expressions. The action series was released July 2.

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A “digital original” is Parrot’s term for a multi-episode series in which the most recent season was first made available on a streaming platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or Disney+.

The top overall TV series was again Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants,” with 108.2 times average demand. “Stranger Things” was No. 4 on the overall TV list.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures demand for TV content in a given market through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites. Results are expressed as a comparison with the average demand for a TV show of any kind in the market.

Netflix Adds Singapore Original Movies, TV Shows

Netflix has inked a distribution deal with Singapore’s MediaCorp, enabling access to more than 50 titles in the SVOD pioneer’s service offerings in Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei.

Dubbed “Singapore, Now Streaming,” the Netflix platform will offer content in August, including Best of The Noose, The Wedding Game, The Golden Pillow, Growing Up and Vettai in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.

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The Wedding Game

“As a Singaporean growing up with a lot of these classic shows and films, I am incredibly excited to enrich the Netflix catalog with these best-in-class Singaporean stories that are made in Singapore, by Singaporeans, for Singaporeans, to celebrate this National Day (Aug. 9),” Raphael Phang, manager of content acquisition at Netflix, said in a statement.

Jesslyn Wong, VP of content distribution at Mediacorp, said the partnership with Netflix underscores the value of content collaborations.

“We are confident that Netflix users will be captivated by our curation of Singaporean tales told by Singaporean talent, and hope this taste of our uniquely local flavors will encourage new and existing audiences to explore the extensive array of wonderful work we have to offer,” Wong said.

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Netflix Gets ‘Framed’ by Google Nest Hub

In the battle to bring Netflix to connected devices in the home other than the television, portable media players and desktop computers, Google has licensed the subscription streaming behemoth to its line of Nest and Nest Max smart picture displays and speakers.

Netflix subs can now stream content through the Google Home or Assistant app, which then appears on the 7-inch Nest or 10-inch Max displays. Google reportedly outbid Amazon’s Echo Show for the initial streaming rights. Key to the distribution deal is the fact Nest users also have access to YouTube and Google Photos, among other features.

Nest devices also offer Ultrasound sensing, which allows the display to show text and content in larger format when the user is far away and smaller when closer.

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Nest and Max also offer users access to Hulu, CBS All Access and Dish Network’s Sling TV. Amazon Echo Show affords users streaming access to Prime Video, Hulu and other third-party streaming services marketed via Amazon Channels.