What We’re Watching Today: The Umbrella Academy

A scene from the Umbrella Academy. (Screengrab)
Updated 17 May 2019
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What We’re Watching Today: The Umbrella Academy

  • This Netflix original series is adapted from the comic book of the same name by writer Gerard Way
  • Season one of “The Umbrella Academy” is streaming now and Netflix has ordered a second

JEDDAH: Forty-three babies are born on the same day in 1989, each of them with a different superpower. Seven of the infants are adopted by an eccentric billionaire, who emotionally abuses them and bends them to his will, shaping them into a team of heroes known as the Umbrella Academy.

Fast forward to the present day and the academy members, now estranged, reunite for their adoptive father’s funeral and to solve the mystery of his sudden death.

This Netflix original series is adapted from the comic book of the same name by writer Gerard Way, the former lead singer with rock band My Chemical Romance, and artist Gabriel Bá. Witty and fun, “The Umbrella Academy” has wide audience appeal, thanks to its diverse cast, and a strong emotional heart as the siblings embark on a journey toward reconciliation.

The intriguing dynamic between the seven siblings and their complex relationships with their father and each other elevates “The Umbrella Academy” and makes it special. You will relate to the characters and find little bits of yourself in the siblings: Allison’s selfishness, for example, Luther’s blind trust in his father, Diego’s rebellious side or Klaus’s peculiarities.

Season one of “The Umbrella Academy” is streaming now and Netflix has ordered a second.


What We Are Reading Today: Democratic Equality by James Lindley Wilson

Updated 17 August 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Democratic Equality by James Lindley Wilson

  • It mounts a bold and persuasive defense of democracy as a way of making collective decisions

Democracy establishes relationships of political equality, ones in which citizens equally share authority over what they do together and respect one another as equals. 

But in today’s divided public square, democracy is challenged by political thinkers who disagree about how democratic institutions should be organized, and by antidemocratic politicians who exploit uncertainties about what democracy requires and why it matters. 

Democratic Equality mounts a bold and persuasive defense of democracy as a way of making collective decisions, showing how equality of authority is essential to relating equally as citizens, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.

James Lindley Wilson explains why the US Senate and Electoral College are urgently in need of reform, why proportional representation is not a universal requirement of democracy, how to identify racial vote dilution and gerrymandering in electoral districting, how to respond to threats to democracy posed by wealth inequality, and how judicial review could be more compatible with the democratic ideal.