‘The Umbrella Academy’: Alcohol Influenced This Season 2 Song Choice

The Umbrella Academy‘s showrunner Steve Blackman loves music. It plays an essential part in making The Umbrella Academy the incredible Netflix series that it is. Find out which song on the season 2 soundtrack was inspired by a few alcoholic beverages. 

Umbrella Academy
L-R: Robert Sheehan, Justin H. Min, Aidan Gallagher, Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, David Castaneda, Emmy Raver-Lampman | Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix

Music is a character in ‘The Umbrella Academy’ 

As showrunner Blackman pointed out during a Reddit AMA, “[Music is] another character of the show.” 

When it comes to choosing music for The Umbrella Academy, Blackman says there’s a process. Unlike most shows, Blackman picks music before shooting begins. This way, he’s able to incorporate songs into the script, giving the actors an idea for how a scene should feel. 

“I encourage my writers to put the music into the scripts,” he explained. “That way, the actors can listen to the music ahead of time and we can all share the collective ‘vibe’ of the song.” 

‘The Umbrella Academy’ Season 2 soundtrack featured several memorable songs 

Fans will remember some of the songs from season 1, like Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now.” With such memorable song choices in season 1, Blackman knew he had to choose just as many in season 2.

Thanks to music supervisor Jen Malone — who is up for an Emmy for her work on Euphoria — Blackman curated the playlist.

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“[Jen] offers us different choices and helps clear all the songs,” Blackman said on Reddit. “We couldn’t do it without Jen Malone and her team.” 

In season 2, there’s the incredible Swedish cover of Adele’s “Hello,” and Maxine Nightingale’s “Right Back Where We Started From.” Then there are the less conventional, more unexpected song choices, like the Butthole Surfers’ “Pepper” playing over a scene where Vanya (Ellen Page) gets dosed with Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). 

But there was one choice that stood out to many fans. And that choice was one Blackman says was influenced by alcohol. 

Steve Blackman chose ‘Everybody’ by the ‘Backstreet Boys’ after a few drinks

“I was in Toronto where we shoot the show,” Blackman explained during the “Crank the Music” episode of the Behind The Scenes | The Umbrella Academy podcast. “I was with a few other writers that I had flown up because I needed their help. We were all up there; it was very late at night. And we might have had a cocktail or two.” 

Blackman had to figure out a song for the scene where Klaus (Robert Sheehan) leaves behind his cult for good. 

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“It had to be a great moment because there were going to be great VFX that were going to happen in that moment between Klaus and Ben,” he continued.

We wanted a song that sort of explained how Klaus’ teachings would have worked over the three years as a cult leader. We thought ‘What would be a wonderfully absurd thing he could say as parting words to Keechie and the cult that he’s never going to see again?’

That’s when Blackman recalled the lyrics to “Everybody.” 

“Love the Backstreet Boys, but those lyrics kind of don’t make a lot of sense when you hear them together,” Blackman conceded. “We said, ‘that’s the perfect song.’ They sound sort of profound, [yet] they don’t at the same time, and that’s the last lyrics Klaus [will] tell his followers before runs.” 

Blackman and other writers didn’t consider any other song for that scene. The work of the Backstreet Boys was just what it needed. Plus, as Blackman pointed out: “[‘Everybody’] is a kick a*s song.”