Umbrella Academy First Reviews: Exhilarating Season 2 Ups the Stakes, the Crazy, and the Fun

Critics say that the new season, free of world-building, streamlines the story of the super-powered Hargreeves clan.

by | July 27, 2020 | Comments

The Umbrella Academy season 1 bewitched Netflix viewers with its story about the Hargreeves family of uniquely powered kids. In the series, based on the comic book series created and written by ‎Gerard Way and illustrated by Gabriel Bá, billionaire industrialist Sir Reginald Hargreeves adopts seven of 43 babies born on the same day to random women, who had shown no signs of pregnancy the day before. Sir Reginald creates The Umbrella Academy to train his children to one day save the world. In season 1, they failed, instead becoming responsible for the 2019 apocalypse.

Season 2 picks up in the 1960s, where Five (Aidan Gallagher) has time-traveled his siblings, scattering them across several years in and around Dallas, Texas. Some have cultivated lives by the time Five lands — just in time for a nuclear doomsday caused by their timeline meddling.


(Photo by Netflix © 2020)

In addition to Gallagher, The Umbrella Academy season 2 stars Ellen Page as Vanya, Tom Hopper as Luther, David Castañeda as Diego, Emmy Raver-Lampman as Allison, Robert Sheehan as Klaus, Justin H. Min as Ben. Colm Feore returns as Sir Reginald Hargreeves, Cameron Britton as Hazel, Jordan Claire Robbins as “Mom” Grace, and Adam Godley voicing Pogo. The new season welcomes Ritu Arya as Lila Pitts, Marin Ireland as Sissy, Yusuf Gatewood as Raymond Chestnut, and Kris Holden-Ried, Jason Bryden, and Tom Sinclair as a trio of killers hunting the seven through time.

Season 1 is Certified Fresh at 75% on the Tomatometer, and season 2 has surpassed that score by a wide margin based on early reviews. Here’s what critics are saying about season 2 of The Umbrella Academy:

Is The Umbrella Academy Season 2 Better Than Season 1?


(Photo by Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix © 2020 )

More banana pants crazy than the first season with plot twists you won’t see coming and the perfect amount of gore. Another must binge wild ride for the Hargreeves! — Tessa Smith, Mama’s Geeky

Even with an overarching plot that resembles a lot of season one, this do-over the siblings get is entirely worth it. — Katey Stoetzel, The Young Folks

Employing dry Wes Anderson-style humour and end-of-the-world exploits worthy of Heroes, the second season of The Umbrella Academy is just as — if not more — wacky than the first. — Sabrina Barr, Independent (UK)

While Season 1 worked to establish the world in which they lived as well as their relationships to each other within their unique family structure, Season 2 allows each character to grow into themselves fully. — Carissa Pavlica, TV Fanatic

The Umbrella Academy’s second chapter ends up being perfectly good and just shy of great, which is saying something, because the show overall does feel like it has a stronger sense of what it’s trying to be. — Charles Pulliam-Moore,

Flamboyant, entertaining and enriched by a remarkable cast, season 2 of The Umbrella Academy tweaks everything it needed to to belt a tune that resonates with its light and dark elements. — Jennifer Bisset, CNET

Season two realises the true potential of these characters without failing them in the same way, digging deeper into their collective trauma while improving on everything that made season one so special. — David Opie, Digital Spy

Retaining all the charm of its predecessor, The Umbrella Academy’s energetic, creative second season extends the mythology in ambitious and unexpected new ways. — Shaun Munro, Flickering Myth

The Umbrella Academy was annoyingly watchable in season one… The best thing that can be said about season two, then, is that it is that same show but good. — Sam Barsanti, AV Club

What’s The Umbrella Academy Season 2 Like?


(Photo by Netflix © 2020)

A fantastic mix of X-Men meets Back to the Future, Season 2 is an incredible ride. — Grace Randolph, Beyond the Trailer

Season two takes all of what you love so much from season one and brings it all a major step forward through more refined storytelling and situation — and time period — that tests these characters in new ways. — Perri Nemiroff, Perri Nemiroff

The Umbrella Academy is what you get when you mix Wes Anderson with Matthew Vaughn, stuff them full of Red Bull and Adderall, and give them a Spotify Premium subscription. Yes, that’s a compliment. — Brandon Katz,
Observer (UK)

Maintaining the show’s distinctive, offbeat style – think the Coens doing superheroes – and sharp-edged sense of humour, not an episode passes without a great gag, impressive visual beat or fantastic music-driven sequence. — Dan Jolin, Empire Magazine

So How’s the Family Unit? 


(Photo by Netflix © 2020)

Blackman really leaned into the superhero element when telling this story. The show is at its best when the family is together or when they are paired off together and thankfully that happens throughout most of the season. — Dorian Parks, Geeks of Color

There’s precious little that’s really original in the second season of The Umbrella Academy, but the familiarity works well for a show about family. — Samantha Nelson, Polygon

Now that the characters are firmly established and removed from the shadow of the time and place of their upbringing, [It] feels looser and funnier, with heroic moments that are often bigger and more exciting. — Cynthia Vinney, CBR

Perhaps it’s because the new time period, new enemies, and new revelations which await these characters are way more fun for an actor to sink their teeth into. — Allie Gemmill, Collider

The Umbrella Academy’s second season expands on its idea in fun ways while giving us more of what we love about its titular team. — Spencer Perry,

Do Any of the Characters Stand Out in Season 2?


(Photo by Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix © 2020 )

Sheehan and Gallagher are still the standouts, but Ritu Arya is a fantastic new addition. — Grace Randolph, Beyond the Trailer

[Ellen Page] has crafted this delicate and vulnerable side to Vanya that we have rarely seen, but it’s addictive to watch and yes, we need to see more of it in season three. — Abigail Gillibrand, Metro (UK)



(Photo by Netflix © 2020)

It’s both exhilarating and heartbreaking, and ultimately it brought me joy. In a year when it feels like the world is ending in real-time, The Umbrella Academy gives me hope. — Michelle Swope, Nightmarish Conjurings

Despite some familiarity, The Umbrella Academy’s brand of charming fun can’t be beaten. Fingers crossed that when it comes to season three, they don’t stray too far from the winning formula. — Huw Fullerton, Radio Times

The conflict is well-paced and resolves satisfyingly, and the story flows with a rhythm that pulls the viewer along like the inexorable course of time itself. — Michael Ahr, Den of Geek

Brimming with confidence, season 2 elevates The Umbrella Academy into one of the best shows on television. — Ian Thomas Malone, FanSided

Smart, stylish and hugely entertaining, the second season once again pushes the boundaries of the superhero genre with the quirky and bold vision of Gerard Way. — Nicola Austin, We Have a Hulk

Adjusted Score: 96.034%
Critics Consensus: Proof that time can heal almost all wounds, The Umbrella Academy's exhilarating second season lightens its tonal load without losing its emotional core, giving the super siblings room to grow while doubling down on the time traveling fun.
Synopsis: Five warned his family (so, so many times) that using his powers to escape from Vanya's 2019 apocalypse was risky.... [More]

The Umbrella Academy season 2 launches on Netflix on Friday, July 31

Tag Cloud

Pirates ID Apple TV Plus crime thriller Captain marvel rotten Star Wars Opinion revenge sequel romantic comedy Thanksgiving ABC hispanic Classic Film toronto supernatural Awards Mudbound Family Reality Competition Netflix Christmas movies fast and furious Paramount Hallmark Christmas movies slashers YA asian-american classics TCM Tomatazos ratings Lifetime PlayStation news crime drama zero dark thirty CW Seed worst movies jamie lee curtis FOX Pop TV Mary Poppins Returns LGBT Watching Series politics MSNBC Discovery Channel Horror blockbuster mockumentary zombies RT21 NBC National Geographic directors Marathons See It Skip It Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt free movies El Rey Trailer stoner stand-up comedy SDCC Tarantino TBS Red Carpet criterion documentary psychological thriller Amazon festival 2015 facebook documentaries game of thrones stop motion vampires singing competition Spring TV teaser universal monsters TV renewals cancelled TV shows police drama 007 E3 Ghostbusters Spectrum Originals hollywood Summer psycho X-Men mission: impossible Animation President cancelled TV series Nat Geo Apple TV+ American Society of Cinematographers The Academy nature a nightmare on elm street aliens TLC The CW Photos cartoon Heroines ESPN Pet Sematary anthology Vudu Pride Month Television Critics Association TNT OneApp Bravo Musical Tumblr obituary TIFF romance cancelled television finale independent Sony Pictures best Drama rotten movies we love Acorn TV FX San Diego Comic-Con Creative Arts Emmys Chernobyl Disney streaming service Set visit Crackle Black Mirror BET AMC Trivia Walt Disney Pictures Winners Rom-Com television werewolf foreign 2018 kids period drama book Valentine's Day dc The Walking Dead crime Western The Purge TCA 2017 Kids & Family RT History YouTube Red Superheroes Song of Ice and Fire worst FX on Hulu Hear Us Out Best and Worst name the review Grammys Toys Stephen King Mary Tyler Moore cinemax Hulu Television Academy Masterpiece First Look Logo Amazon Prime 2016 DC Comics Nominations Certified Fresh CBS ABC Family space YouTube spain Holiday Tubi 2017 twilight 45 Syfy Superheroe ITV SXSW comic books serial killer chucky Musicals BBC witnail Women's History Month children's TV breaking bad football Peacock Endgame The Arrangement ghosts CMT IFC Films sitcom based on movie DirecTV Fox Searchlight casting Paramount Network PBS Hallmark Starz concert Shudder series Infographic transformers TV 20th Century Fox reboot robots Britbox Lifetime Christmas movies TCA Winter 2020 richard e. Grant italian dceu Martial Arts OWN green book Mary poppins Anna Paquin die hard 4/20 Writers Guild of America Elton John BBC One quibi crossover Disney+ Disney Plus Pixar VOD Schedule VH1 screenings award winner Warner Bros. sag awards Shondaland BAFTA Video Games Fantasy Mystery WarnerMedia FXX medical drama zombie Travel Channel emmy awards Biopics GIFs renewed TV shows Calendar canceled Universal BBC America unscripted Country Interview APB Polls and Games Fox News TCA Film Festival mutant black versus HBO Max Nickelodeon venice spanish language canceled TV shows Apple game show satire christmas movies 24 frames justice league video on demand australia blaxploitation scorecard Cosplay YouTube Premium hist Podcast spinoff Crunchyroll political drama Comedy Central scary movies toy story Disney tv talk 2020 adaptation The Witch comiccon cults Cartoon Network Music Fall TV harry potter Binge Guide Marvel Studios Trophy Talk critics 2019 WGN History Avengers Esquire Oscars historical drama war animated Turner Funimation Disney Plus Winter TV Comics on TV Brie Larson joker Star Trek NYCC Lionsgate SundanceTV Emmys Marvel thriller true crime technology TruTV dark nfl remakes halloween tv screen actors guild TCA Awards latino Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Premiere Dates parents Quiz Comic Book cops Amazon Prime Video USA cooking Rocketman docudrama cancelled dogs movies archives 71st Emmy Awards Emmy Nominations MCU comics Showtime video IFC HBO Go Food Network GoT First Reviews Spike south america reviews A24 miniseries A&E halloween E! PaleyFest Ellie Kemper Academy Awards New York Comic Con comedies Marvel Television travel anime Turner Classic Movies MTV GLAAD Election Box Office Cannes Sundance Now superhero TV Land Dark Horse Comics cars disaster DC Universe Netflix doctor who binge sequels Arrowverse festivals Countdown 21st Century Fox spy thriller french Sci-Fi adventure talk show natural history CBS All Access franchise spider-man Baby Yoda Comedy Freeform indiana jones discovery dramedy streaming japanese dragons Rock biography cats Holidays laika Adult Swim movie all-time Lucasfilm films Columbia Pictures elevated horror BET Awards Awards Tour Extras Action USA Network composers social media diversity VICE LGBTQ indie DGA DC streaming service Black History Month Character Guide Sundance 72 Emmy Awards Epix Year in Review Disney Channel Sneak Peek Amazon Studios spanish science fiction Sundance TV sports HBO Film CNN Mindy Kaling strong female leads Christmas child's play Super Bowl nbcuniversal batman Ovation golden globes boxoffice comic Rocky theme song Reality Pop what to watch Teen