The Umbrella Academy is certainly one of Netflix’s best shows currently airing right now. It perfectly blends drama, comedy and action into one heady cocktail of superhero goodness.
With the second season leaving things on an agonizing cliffhanger, we’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle of having to try and find something similar while you wait.
Our top 10 TV picks for alternate viewing should be enough to see you through until season 3 drops!
To keep things simple for skim-readers we’ve added what similarities these have.
Of course for all the shows we’ve reviewed, we’ve also added a handy link so you can check out our full thoughts on that series and see if it’s something you want to invest your time with.
So without further ado, we present 10 TV shows that should whet the appetite when you’ve finished streaming The Umbrella Academy.
Similarities – Time Travel & Characters
When it comes to under-rated sci-fi, 12 Monkeys must be near the top of the list. This incredibly thrilling show completely surpasses its big screen brother to produce something really special.
The story itself is relatively unchanged from the film; a time traveler jumps back to stop a plague from wiping out Earth. Only, the lore and ideas go so much deeper than that.
After an enjoyable first season, 12 Monkeys introduces a shadowy group called the Army of the 12 Monkeys. What ensues from here is an incredible journey that’s well worth experiencing.
Similarities – Banter, Characters & Tone
When it comes to a tight-knit group of teenagers forming an unlikely group, British series Misfits fits the bill. It’s a smartly written series that balances a combination of laugh out loud moments with much more profound bouts of drama.
The result is something that’s cleverly written and features a pretty diverse group of characters you can’t help but get behind.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
Similarities – Quirkiness & Tone
Based on the books of the same name, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is a frenetic, witty, intelligently paced show with a great mystery at its heart.
At its essence lies an eccentric, enthusiastic amateur sleuth called Dirk who whisks up unimportant nobody Todd on a supernatural, time bending adventure to solve a strange mystery.
The show begins as a comedy and quickly grows into a really engrossing, endearing comedic drama that’s well worth checking out.
Similarities – Visual & Story
Legion is a challenging sci-fi series that exists somewhere within the weird space of the X-Men universe. However, it’s also one of the more unusual and visually stunning shows you’re likely to see in quite some time.
The show revolves around a super mutant named David Haller. This troubled young man spends his time institutionalized after being diagnosed as schizophrenic.
What follows is an unforgettable journey that makes Legion one of the more unforgettable shows to grace the small screen.
Similarities – Story & Characters
At first glance you’d be forgiven for writing off Travelers as another generic sci-fi show. After all, a collection of people coming together to try to stop the world from total annihilation is hardly the most original of ideas.
Where Travelers stands out is the unique way it manages to weave its unique premise through a well written plot and believable, complex characters.
The show does well to conclude its three season run with an epic finale that does just enough to conclude the tale. However, it also leaves the door open for a possible reboot further down the line.
Similarities – Characters & Action
Doom Patrol is one of the quirkier superhero shows out there and much like The Umbrella Academy, thrives on its character-driven set-up. Doom Patrol really leans into its absurdity and the character development thrives because of it.
The characters are interesting, with multiple issues that manifest across the two seasons.
The team have their own problems to contend with and the second season does end on a pretty abrupt cliffhanger. However, there’s some excellent material here that’s well worth checking out.
Heroes Season 1
Similarities – Characters & A Sketchy Government Agency
It’s important to make the distinction here that only season 1 bears much semblance to The Umbrella Academy. While the heroes (no pun intended) in this series don’t wear capes and show off their powers, it is one of the better examples of character writing and creating believable heroes in the modern day world.
Serving as an origin story, Heroes manages to take the superhero ideas onto the small screen in a really compelling way.
The characters are well written, given some decent screen time, and the extended run-time is enough to flesh everyone out and build up to a climactic showdown at the end.
Unfortunately season 2 onward sees a sharp decline in quality so your mileage with this may vary.
Similarities – Characters & Action
Stargirl is a teen drama at its heart but it excels in its action sequences and tightly written story. The characters all have compelling arcs and the various villains are given an equal amount of screen-time to understand their motivations.
Stargirl is one of the few superhero shows that allows its action to do the talking. With some neat special effects, this one manages to shine across its 13 episodes.
Similarities – Time Travel
Dark is the quintessential sci-fi thriller. While this has more in common with season 2 of The Umbrella Academy, it’s still a must-watch for any sci-fi fan.
The story is engrossing and full of big themes and ideas. This makes it one of the best German series released in quite some time.
Across three seasons Dark’s story matures and evolves to unprecedented heights creating one of the best time travel series ever written. While I appreciate that sounds like hyperbole, it really is that good.
If you haven’t seen it already, do yourself a favour and stream this one!
Similarities: Characters & Story
Sense8 is one of the more ambitious (and expensive) projects green-lit by Netflix. Following the exploits of various people around the world suddenly sharing a connection, Sense8 starts and finished strong.
Gorgeously shot and boasting some truly beautiful locations, Sense8 backs up its impressive cinematography with 8 cerebrally charged narratives intertwined together to form one interesting story.
With two seasons and a feature film to its name, Sense8 is a gripping mystery drama that’s well worth checking out.
So there we have it, our 10 TV show picks to keep you busy during the agonizing wait for season 3 of The Umbrella Academy.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!