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So I was a fan of the show, very rarely do I watch a show from the start. I usually wait 4 seasons because the way tv works, cancellations, the plot/characterization goes to hell or behind the scenes drama that has cast leaving or being replaced etc. This show happened to catch my interest so I was right there watching season 1 when it came out. Season 2, I definitely saw a bit of a down turn in my expectations but season 3 absolutely ruined it for me.

This post is just a free for all for those of us who watched the show. What did you like about it? What disappointed you? How did you feel about the characters? Any ranting you want to get out? I know I have some.

I'll go first, I really liked how this was a show focusing on family relationships. Yes there was romance and drama, however the core of the characters arc were their dysfunctional relationships with each other. And I really enjoyed seeing that explored. The way they were all so messed up from the abuse of their childhoods and yet so flippant about it. You could just see each of them as a different way childhood abuse presents,the way it shapes a person, while also not focusing heavily into it.

I kind of was intrigued by how badly they treated each other, you could see the competitiveness and how when they were young they saw each other as competition to please their "father". But they also all clearly loved each other, they're just so damn emotionally stunted. All this made for some interesting interactions, and also some really horrible ones(forgetting Klaus was kidnapped and tortured).

I quite like how Five was in the show, I think the actor really added that 'old but young' air about him. It's a hard thing to portray but I thought it was well done. His character serves to move the plot forward but also gives a lot of laughs. The fact he's such a tragic character through it all, the way he's just really broken deep down and the glimpses of that we see are very compelling. Missed opportunity to not go further into that in season 3, and really dissect his trauma.

I liked how Allison was the "main girl," she was the star and the one sort of holding everyone together. We don't see enough of that with black women on screen. And also I really loved her big sister vibes, she was definitely selfish and I think it stems from her powers and how her father made her use them(he really tried to make these kids sociopaths, Ben legit murdered people). Yet she also had a big capacity for kindness and love. Her dynamic with Vanya was very sweet and I wish they got more sister moments, I wish Vanya had given her the attention Allison was giving. But I could see this became the Ellen Page show very quickly. And they absolutely tanked her character in season 3. Not only did they lean into the angry black woman stereotype but they retconned her entire personality. Allison is smart, cunning, patient, brave, yes impulsive but also kind. Her reactions in that season did not make sense, or track with previous characterization.And at the end of season 2 she had made her peace with a lot, grown and coped.

Vanya in season 1 was definitely interesting, very introverted character who wore her baggage on her sleeve. You look at Vanya and you can tell she's not okay, she may be coping better then Klaus but her life is empty and she herself is empty. The drugs(crazy she's been on them since four or something) seem to numb her to an extreme rate. The ostracization from her siblings too, if this was a psychological experiment people would have a field day with the socialization of the kids. Her mental breakdown and the fact that she was a dark character, not just because of what was done to her, but again because of the nature of her powers. Would of liked for her to really lean into the White Violin. Season 2 was a cop out, she was a non person with no memories for the bulk of it, and then just some sort of exterior character being told things the audience already knows. Little character development imo. As for season 3, they threw her in the trash, absolutely gutted her. Even worse because this was already a heavy male led cast, they not oy ruined that but they wrote horrible storylines for the female characters.

Klaus is pretty tragic, so clearly messed up. Someone who was badly abused , then there's his powers, which he can't get away from, that torture him night and day. I always imagined for him everyday was a horror movie, constant Insidious levels jump scares and appalling images. Don't think the cgi expressed that well enough. He just can't manage to cope with anything, and then he lost Dave and no one knew what he went through. He also can't seem to be serious and express himself in any way. Ben who's with him all the time as a constant companion and sort of non person. Ben's powers and the way he was made to use them are really messed up. I think he hates being dead but at the same time being alive wasn't much better for him. Having what amounts to cthullu in his stomach does that to a person.

I hated Luther season 1, he was a sad character who seemed socially awkward and unable to think for himself. The way he wasn't allowed to be a person and his loneliness were interesting, but he also would lash out and hit his siblings. Especially Klaus, his rage was always directed at those weaker then him. He was comic relief in season 2, though seeing him work through what his father put him through was okay. Season 3 he was nothing.

Diego was such a noir/crime character, pretty classic vigilante trope written out. His interactions with his siblings made him more interesting, also the fact a majority of his character was a front. he's very insecure and again, not able to handle what he went through as a kid. He seems to be more vocal about it then the rest ify his siblings though, clearly calling Reggie a monster.

Lastly, I do read fanfiction so I've always had that bit of extra content to peruse through. They really were able to dive more into the family relationships in fandom and I've read some pretty interesting ones that went way more AU. It's always been if canon disappoints you, you have fanficiton to fall back on. But for Umbrella Academy it's been really ruined. Everything has been transed, even things I'd bookmarked 3 years ago. Authors really went back and changed whole fics, for what I don't know. But it just really breaks any enjoyment you have about it. I have some good ones that haven't been supremely changed up saved thankfully, but reading new ones is like wading into toxic sewage waste. Feel free to share any fanfic recs on here!

Anyways, would love to hear what people think. I want a TRA free space to talk about this show and here's a great place. I think I'll do posts like this for other shows I've watched as well, even movies etc.

So I was a fan of the show, very rarely do I watch a show from the start. I usually wait 4 seasons because the way tv works, cancellations, the plot/characterization goes to hell or behind the scenes drama that has cast leaving or being replaced etc. This show happened to catch my interest so I was right there watching season 1 when it came out. Season 2, I definitely saw a bit of a down turn in my expectations but season 3 absolutely ruined it for me. This post is just a free for all for those of us who watched the show. What did you like about it? What disappointed you? How did you feel about the characters? Any ranting you want to get out? I know I have some. I'll go first, I really liked how this was a show focusing on family relationships. Yes there was romance and drama, however the core of the characters arc were their dysfunctional relationships with each other. And I really enjoyed seeing that explored. The way they were all so messed up from the abuse of their childhoods and yet so flippant about it. You could just see each of them as a different way childhood abuse presents,the way it shapes a person, while also not focusing heavily into it. I kind of was intrigued by how badly they treated each other, you could see the competitiveness and how when they were young they saw each other as competition to please their "father". But they also all clearly loved each other, they're just so damn emotionally stunted. All this made for some interesting interactions, and also some really horrible ones(forgetting Klaus was kidnapped and tortured). I quite like how Five was in the show, I think the actor really added that 'old but young' air about him. It's a hard thing to portray but I thought it was well done. His character serves to move the plot forward but also gives a lot of laughs. The fact he's such a tragic character through it all, the way he's just really broken deep down and the glimpses of that we see are very compelling. Missed opportunity to not go further into that in season 3, and really dissect his trauma. I liked how Allison was the "main girl," she was the star and the one sort of holding everyone together. We don't see enough of that with black women on screen. And also I really loved her big sister vibes, she was definitely selfish and I think it stems from her powers and how her father made her use them(he really tried to make these kids sociopaths, Ben legit murdered people). Yet she also had a big capacity for kindness and love. Her dynamic with Vanya was very sweet and I wish they got more sister moments, I wish Vanya had given her the attention Allison was giving. But I could see this became the Ellen Page show very quickly. And they absolutely tanked her character in season 3. Not only did they lean into the angry black woman stereotype but they retconned her entire personality. Allison is smart, cunning, patient, brave, yes impulsive but also kind. Her reactions in that season did not make sense, or track with previous characterization.And at the end of season 2 she had made her peace with a lot, grown and coped. Vanya in season 1 was definitely interesting, very introverted character who wore her baggage on her sleeve. You look at Vanya and you can tell she's not okay, she may be coping better then Klaus but her life is empty and she herself is empty. The drugs(crazy she's been on them since four or something) seem to numb her to an extreme rate. The ostracization from her siblings too, if this was a psychological experiment people would have a field day with the socialization of the kids. Her mental breakdown and the fact that she was a dark character, not just because of what was done to her, but again because of the nature of her powers. Would of liked for her to really lean into the White Violin. Season 2 was a cop out, she was a non person with no memories for the bulk of it, and then just some sort of exterior character being told things the audience already knows. Little character development imo. As for season 3, they threw her in the trash, absolutely gutted her. Even worse because this was already a heavy male led cast, they not oy ruined that but they wrote horrible storylines for the female characters. Klaus is pretty tragic, so clearly messed up. Someone who was badly abused , then there's his powers, which he can't get away from, that torture him night and day. I always imagined for him everyday was a horror movie, constant Insidious levels jump scares and appalling images. Don't think the cgi expressed that well enough. He just can't manage to cope with anything, and then he lost Dave and no one knew what he went through. He also can't seem to be serious and express himself in any way. Ben who's with him all the time as a constant companion and sort of non person. Ben's powers and the way he was made to use them are really messed up. I think he hates being dead but at the same time being alive wasn't much better for him. Having what amounts to cthullu in his stomach does that to a person. I hated Luther season 1, he was a sad character who seemed socially awkward and unable to think for himself. The way he wasn't allowed to be a person and his loneliness were interesting, but he also would lash out and hit his siblings. Especially Klaus, his rage was always directed at those weaker then him. He was comic relief in season 2, though seeing him work through what his father put him through was okay. Season 3 he was nothing. Diego was such a noir/crime character, pretty classic vigilante trope written out. His interactions with his siblings made him more interesting, also the fact a majority of his character was a front. he's very insecure and again, not able to handle what he went through as a kid. He seems to be more vocal about it then the rest ify his siblings though, clearly calling Reggie a monster. Lastly, I do read fanfiction so I've always had that bit of extra content to peruse through. They really were able to dive more into the family relationships in fandom and I've read some pretty interesting ones that went way more AU. It's always been if canon disappoints you, you have fanficiton to fall back on. But for Umbrella Academy it's been really ruined. Everything has been transed, even things I'd bookmarked 3 years ago. Authors really went back and changed whole fics, for what I don't know. But it just really breaks any enjoyment you have about it. I have some good ones that haven't been supremely changed up saved thankfully, but reading new ones is like wading into toxic sewage waste. Feel free to share any fanfic recs on here! Anyways, would love to hear what people think. I want a TRA free space to talk about this show and here's a great place. I think I'll do posts like this for other shows I've watched as well, even movies etc.

17 comments

I loved season 1. Everything about it really appealed to me, the humour was great, the pacing was just right, the music choices were stellar. Robert Sheehan is fantastic in it, it’s like the perfect role for him.

Then season 2 happened. I thought everything about it was just a bit off. Even the music wasn’t as good. Having Vanya forget everything was the biggest cop out. It would have been much more interesting to have her struggle with what she had done. It felt like it was done so that the other characters wouldn’t be justified in being angry with her. I liked Sissy, and her character development was interesting, but Vanya basically wasn’t even a person so it seemed very forced. It also just felt overall like we were waiting for stuff to happen all season, whereas season 1 I was actually interested in what was happening in the moment.

I wasn’t interested in watching a season of the Ellen Page transitions show, so I gave it a pass. I saw a bit when my dad was watching though, and maybe it was just because it was late in the season but it seemed like a mess so I think it was going downhill regardless.

Then season 2 happened. I thought everything about it was just a bit off.

I feel you so much on this. The tonal shift from season 1 was pretty jarring to me. We left season 1 thinking the siblings had all come together as a family and then bam season 2, they're all seperate. Meaning no personal growth, and no narrative growth between character relationships. Nothing that happened in season 1 was really dealt with, and mostly played for laughs. The Vanya thing was so off-putting, she just became a plot device with her memory issue. The only reason season 2 was okay was because of the strength of the cast, they all have a lot of charisma and can make the script really pop. But not even they could save the TRA show it became in season 3. Especially when the script went into the gutter.

Yes exactly! Even if they had eventually separated them, if it had just begun with them together it would have flowed much better. It felt lazy.

Truly, just missed opportunities and bad direction. Sigh...this is why I used to enjoy the fanfics so much, much harder to nowadays.

OT but I tried to get into it, I really tried. I cannot deal with shows that require remote babysitting because the characters all talk super low for a dramatic effect and then the music is booming. I gave up after FIVE MINUTES! I don’t give shows much of a chance when they do this crap because it kills all enjoyment to have to constantly change the volume.

I feel your pain. I recommend the volume leveling settings. They kind of suck but it's still better than the audio roller coaster.

[–] Lilith 4 points Edited

I don't have any kind of analysis to share. I thought it was an interesting story and the character were relatable because my family is dysfunctional too.

I just want to say that I was really sad when the new season came out after Ellen Page went trans. The latest season with her character becoming Viktor was was painful just seeing previews for it, nevermind sitting through a whole season. I read about her going through abuse and her sexuality and I feel for her and think she must be very confused and lost in all the rhetoric around gender. It's like this for so many young women who identify out of womanhood.

I also just loved Vanya and I've always liked her acting. It is difficult to accept never seeing her in female roles again. Maybe there is something about the type of roles she portrays that I always connected with. And it won't ever be the same.

People rag on her acting for Vanya, but season 1 she did a very good job. Season 2 is when you start to see the cracks and probably some behind the scenes issues. It was more Ellen then Vanya a lot. It is sad, she's really lost everything to this, I know her wife left her but I think her wife was the one who even introduced her to this crap. She looks pretty alone now, doesn't seem to do much but talk about her "transness".

Yeah I believe it. This gender stuff is a cult. It just subsumes a person's whole identity. :(

I loved the first season. I didn't know the comics, but a friend of mine got me into the show when we were traveling together shortly after season 1 had come out. I have very fond memories of us sitting in our AirBnB's living room in the evenings and watching it.

(Plus, when I saw that Robert Sheehan was in it, I figured that should be a good sign, and I was right about that. Him and Aidan Gallagher are probably the strongest actors on the show, at least in the "siblings group".)

I also all in all enjoyed season 2, but realized that I didn't necessarily share many of the 'mainstream' opinions in the rest of the fandom. (During season 2 I started engaging with the fandom for the first time.) For example, I did not think that Vanya's lesbian love story in the second season was done well / convincing at all. Just because you are complimenting another woman's dress one time or generally like spending time together, doesn't mean you are obviously in love, which was something the subreddit tried to sell me on (when I mentioned I didn't feel the chemistry). Then they told me I obviously just wasn't "queer", so I didn't "get it", and my "homophobia was showing". I'm a bisexual woman. But sure.

Another thing I had big issue with in both seasons was the Allison/Luther love story. That's another thing the subreddit tried to convince me was just fine. But to me they wanted to have their cake and eat it to with that one: Either the story is that this group of people grew up like siblings and consider themselves that. Then they shouldn't date each other, neither as teenagers nor later as adults. It might not technically be incest, but you know. OR the show says that they can date, because they aren't actually siblings and just grew up as if they were in a boarding school together. Okay, fair enough, but then you can't have Allison go "But you are my SISTER!" at Vanya. You are telling me, she sees Vanya as her sister but somehow doesn't see Luther as her brother? Nah, it's one or the other.

Anyway, I noped out of the show after learning that they would trans Vanya, because apparently Ellen can only ever play characters that are exactly like her. after initially saying they wouldn't. I probably would have kept watching if that hadn't happened (even though just looking at Ellen annoys me these days). But now it is what it is. Made me sad though. They ruined a perfectly fine show.

That's a really sweet memory you have! I learned about the comic but never got into it, I didn't like how Vanya was killed in it. Felt too cold for my tastes, I prefer sibling relationships lol.

On Robert Sheehan, have you seen Misfits? Loved him in that. And yes Aiden really had a breakout role here, very talented. I did love the actors who played Diego and Allison too, never seen them in anything else but they really brought it for this show. I know the Luther guy from Merlin.

For season 2, I said Vanya was a non person, so your point on it not being convincing rings true for me too. I just thought she wasn't ready for a relationship, not in season 1 or 2. She never even seemed really into Leonard either, just felt like something happening for the plot/her being used and manipulated. What she wanted was to be needed, in whatever form that took. I think Sissy was probably gay, she seemed very repressed and it would makes sense for that time the way her life went. But Vanya didn't even know her own name FFS, the entire thing felt like a cop out for actual character development. And then they threw it all away! So now we have a lesbian story but haha nope she was a man all along. Such bull.

Yeah the Allison/Luther thing was weird, glad they ditched that season 2. To be honest I think they were just very codependent and the way they were raised left some blurred lines on boundaries. They only had the sibling group and didn't really interact with outside world until they all left, and I don't think Reginald cared for teaching them anything like emotional regulation etc. They latched onto each other and confused those feelings for romance.Still very weird. But media does the whole 'not blood related so not incest' thing a LOT. We all know who's pushing for it.

I never thought the show was high art but I still enjoyed the hell out of it. It was something different to what's usually on screen. And it's also sad because season 3 had a higher budget, didn't watch the entire thing but saw many clips and much better CGI and other effects. Just wasted on a season that made no sense and was all style without substance, plus the weird transing crap.

On Robert Sheehan, have you seen Misfits? Loved him in that.

That's where I remembered him from. And so I expected his part at least to be fun to watch, even without knowing anything about the story. He didn't disappoint.

By the way, since you watched season 3: Did they bring Dave back in some form? I remember from season 2 that while Dave still joins the military, he seems to join a different branch than in the original timeline. And I thought maybe they would use that to alter his destiny altogether, i.e. he wouldn't die in the war.

I think Sissy was probably gay, she seemed very repressed and it would makes sense for that time the way her life went. But Vanya didn't even know her own name FFS, the entire thing felt like a cop out for actual character development.

Good point about Vanya.

I always read the relationship with Leonard in a way that she wasn't really into him, she just thought she was in love because he was the first person to make her the most important person in his life. But that we as the audience were supposed to understand that and not actually buy it as a true love story. Even before the official reveal of his true character.

The Sissy relationship on the other hand I thought we were supposed to completely buy into as this great tragic love story, but to me it was basically just as unconvincing as the Leonard one. Just in an unintended way. I did like the actress who played Sissy and the character in general. I would also have been up for a lesbian relationship for Vanya - even though at the time it did already feel like the writers were pandering to Ellen Page. I just didn't think the two of them had any believable romantic and/or sexual chemistry with each other.

Yeah the Allison/Luther thing was weird, glad they ditched that season 2.

I enjoyed Allison's story line in that season, and while I don't think her life always should revolve around her relationships with men, I did like her husband in that timeline and was actually sad when she had to leave him behind.

By the way, since you watched season 3: Did they bring Dave back in some form?

Not from what I saw, season 3 plot was major shit anyways. They introduced the sparrows then killed them all off except for one of them. Just wasted screen time. Also despite Klaus being heavily traumatized by his father and hating his guts, they team up for some reason to explore Klaus's powers. Which is a montage of Reginald murdering him over and over for science or whatever. The he betrays him of course, Luthor dies too and Klaus ghost manifests him, but that retcons in the final episode. They also brought back Harlan because this became the Ellen Page show again, it was lame. The entire season was so weak.

she just thought she was in love because he was the first person to make her the most important person in his life

That's how I read it too, and not forgetting Leonard was actually manipulating her to think that way. Tons of gaslighting/isolating her and making her paranoid about her siblings. Vanya could of totally had a lesbian relationship, after she had some character development and dealt with some shit. By taking away her memory they robbed her of that much needed development. I thought the actress for Sissy was pretty good as well.

Yeah I liked Allison in season 2 too,she really found a happy medium, it did feel sad she got married so quick. She was only there a year and again she couldn't be without a guy. She seems to need constant outside validation, especially from a romantic partner. What they did to her in season 3 was criminal.