I haven’t done many “reviews” or whatever you want to call them in a blog post for some time. This isn’t really going to be a review, but instead a writer’s perspective on two things I recently watched. I might start doing this with some things I’ve recently read as well.
First up is Umbrella Academy Season 2. I enjoyed the first season, although I’d have to say all the members of the Academy aren’t people I’d want to hang out with in real life. They’re really messed up individuals, which makes them interesting characters. There was a real depth and soul to the story line, something which seems to be lacking in most modern TV shows.
An overall squandered opportunity: that’s how I would characterize Umbrella Academy Season 2. It wasn’t awful and definitely was worth watching, but sadly it could have been so much more. However, the seeds of what was wrong with Season 2 were present in Season 1, so ultimately I wasn’t shocked. I’m talking about Vanya, who becomes even more of a Mary Sue in the second season (spoilers are coming, so you’ve been warned).
Basically, the writers have made the same mistake which we see in certain superhero stories: a character has ill-defined and seemingly limitless powers which work great for doing whatever is necessary to move the plot along. Apparently, Vanya can save people’s lives by sending tiny glowing orbs into their digestive track or lungs (not sure which) but that gives them powers like hers. She can fly, project huge waves of energy which only harm the bad guys (super convenient, right?) and so forth.
The other members of the Umbrella Academy have limits baked into their powers, even though some haven’t fully explored those (cough cough, Klaus). Also, the plot started to really fall apart in the final episode, which was disappointing. The most glaring error was absolutely zero foreshadowing that Lila had any powers, let alone that nifty trick of replicating powers. It sure would’ve been nice if there had been some hint at that, even if we all missed what it meant and then had that moment of epiphany, which is a great storytelling device.
Still, even with the flaws I don’t regret watching the second season of Umbrella Academy. With how things left off I have hopes season three could be even better.
I also recently watched X-Files Season 7, the episodes titled Sein und Zeit and Closure. I hadn’t seen them in many years and had forgotten many of the plot intricacies. With the surprisingly deft way these episodes deal with loss, grief, and moving on by finally giving Mulder closure about the disappearance of his sister as well as the sudden death of his mother, I’d have to say these are some of my more favorite now. David Duchovny does an excellent job portraying his character moving into a final acceptance of a difficult truth and embracing the peace that comes with such a move. It’s truly a beautiful thing.
I’m busy working on another book at the moment with one in the final stages of being readied for publication. A reveal will be coming sometime, although at the moment I’m not sure when. I’ll have some other exciting news in the near future as well, so stay tuned.
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