MAJOR SPOILERS for Seasons 1 and 2 of The Umbrella Academy.
So Season 2 of The Umbrella Academy dropped last week, and my sister and I blew through all ten episodes pretty quickly. IT’S SO GOOD. I love The Umbrella Academy because it’s a family drama disguised as a superhero show. Yes, there are superpowers and explosions and time travel and a few apocalypses, but these things all serve the purpose of bringing the Hargreeves siblings back together after years of estrangement. These things also make it possible for them to work through their traumas and rebuild their relationships with each other. Though this show has great special effects, flashy visuals, and fantastic music montages, it’s a character-driven show, not a plot- or effects-driven show. The plot and the effects help further the characters’ journeys, which is why The Umbrella Academy is such an amazing show.
This post features SPOILERS for both Season 1 of The Umbrella Academy and the DCEU film SHAZAM!.
I’ve started noticing that Western visual media really likes using Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” for high-energy sequences. It’s popped up in no less than two TV commercials that I’ve seen since the release of Bohemian Rhapsody last November. One commercial featured the people in the ad singing it while walking, running, or doing other high-energy things, while the other one used the original recording with Freddie Mercury’s vocals. It’s also apparently showed up in works like Shaun of the Dead for action scenes. My new favorite Netflix obsession, The Umbrella Academy, uses it for an action scene in this way, while the new DCEU film SHAZAM! uses “Don’t Stop Me Now” for a comical superhero training montage. I bring this up because I think one of these two uses of the song works better than the other, and I want to talk about why that is.
First of all, which characters do these scenes involve, and what are they doing?