The power of the first episode

I watched the first episode in the first season, after the last episode of the 2nd series, realising I had bailed on the episode only after a few minutes. That’s how much of a chance I was willing to give the already popular show.

A mere 2 minutes and 50 seconds to judge the episode. Still, the television series kept waving it’s index finger to invite me in. “You’ll love me, I promise.”

Oh, you have no idea how much I would love you.

The unreliable first episode

I have read several books bought on my Saturday afternoon exploration of first pages. As soon as I find a somewhat intriguing cover or title, I have to open up the book to read the first, and sometimes the second page. As with television series, I know the first episode can suck because it is a pilot, therefore it is wise to watch the second to be sure that the decision, lurking since the start of my read, is rightfully validated.

Also, I have read pages three and onwards, giving up on the book by page ten, disappointed that I bought the book in the first place. There will be more on this on a later date, including introducing a character who is revolting or adding vividly described sex scene which seemed to be merely for the authors’ pleasure.

The demise of the page one rule

Yes, there is something to be said for being in the right state of mind when watching a show or reading a book. Several times my interest has been peaked and I chose to keep it in the to watch list. I have never felt like such a fool as I did when I continued watching The Umbrella Company. My pride was a bit hurt but it never felt so good to be wrong.

This show has the trifecta I am looking for in the filmed media, be it films or television series.

  1. Complexity to the story
  2. Filmed with frames to accentuate the scene
  3. Music, both the score and added published artists.
Complexity of the story

I can rarely foresee what will happen next in the episode. It is a treat of complexity that keeps on giving in a natural flow. The weirdness is as ingenious as when they discovered peanutbutter and jam sandwiches. It just works.

Frames that accentuate the scene

The angles are shifting and keeping you on your toes so you embellish yourself in the scene only to be surprised when the episode is over and you just need one more.

Music

Jeff Russo is the composer of the show who is a favourite of mine. It just made sense because he doesn’t add music to a film. He adds a supporting character to the story that makes the ones written in the manuscript shine.

BONUS! Creative Title Cards

For each and every episode there is a new ingenious title card, shaping the opening sequence into the logo of thee umbrella company. I am most thankful to Christopher Hudspeth of the BuzzFeed staff for creating a ranking as he aptly calls “All of “The Umbrella Academy” episode intros ranked from pretty creative to utterly brilliant.” I couldn’t agree more!

Watching this show was a humbling learning experience in who cares about the rules and trusting your gut feeling when you get a feeling that a book or a show might be for you.

I will most definitely watch the two seasons again in a few months. Yes, it is that kind of show.

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