Review: Wednesday

by | Dec 13, 2022 | Opinions | 0 comments

Netflix revives a story that started over five years ago, the story of Wednesday Addams. The beloved member of the Addams family has given fans a sense of hope for unconventional people throughout decades. The character of Wednesday defies the usual sisterly role of being overly cheery, superficial, and, frankly, dumb. Instead, she plays the role of a smart, mischievous sibling destined to become a mad scientist or serial killer. The show Wednesday premiered on Nov 23 and has already surpassed Stranger Things as one of the top English-language-based series just two weeks after its release. 

In the series, Wednesday is thrust into the drama of her parents’ past at Nevermore Academy and tasked with defeating a creature that’s on a killing spree, all while dealing with her emerging powers. Overall, the show is full of twists, turns, and surprise guests along the way. 

The titular character Wednesday is played by Jenna Ortega, mostly known for her roles in Scream 5, You, and her Disney Channel show Stuck in the Middle. The actress is the perfect choice to revive the character in this live-action spin-off based on her past work. 

Within the limited screen time they have, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Luis Guzmán, who play Morticia and Gomez, gave a rather dull performance. From the costumes to the chemistry, nothing about their character portrayals resembles The Addams Family (1991) or The Addams Family TV Series (1964). What made the characters of Morticia and Gomez so compelling in the older versions was the spark between the actors and the sexual chemistry that drew them together, which made them a couple people would be envying for years to come. The chemistry between Zeta-Jone and Guzmán, or their lack of, is no comparison to that of Angelica Hustons and Raul Julia in Addams Family (1991) and the sequel, Addams Family Values (1993). The romance was forced, and every time they kissed – Zeta-Jones looked as though she was being held at gunpoint. The rest of the Addams family was given little to no screen time, including the brother, Pugsley, played by Isaac Ordonez. 

The rest of the casting was good, with most of them giving a convincing performance. Enid Sinclair, played by Emma Myers, is the perfect contrasting character to Ortega’s Wednesday. Her unusual but loving chemistry with Wednesday leaves the audience with a sense of happiness and hope for Wednesday’s future at Nevermore Academy. 

The show brings a dead character to life (not that Wednesday would like that) and turns her into the vertex in a love triangle. 

While Wednesday had a small love interest in The Addams Family Values (1993), the Netflix original made it a focal point of the 2022 show. The romance between a local human boy named Tyler, a fellow Nevermore Academy student, Xavier, and Wednesday Addams was a prominent part of the story. This love triangle could be compared to that between Katniss, Gale, and Peeta in The Hunger Games or between Edward, Jacob, and Bella in Twilight. The love triangle subplot took away from the real theme of being an outcast. The entire point of Wednesday Addams is to be unconventional – to not follow the basic rules of young adult novels or to be a regular teenager with a crush. Wednesday Addams was meant to lead herself through an extraordinary life where her name was not defined by the man by her side. The ending of the show, however, maintains that she is the hero of her own story regardless of the persistent love triangle plot. 

Netflix has yet to say whether a season two is in the works but with the outpour of support and its popularity, it seems inevitable that a second season will be in development soon.

Image Credit: Netflix

Leanna Bressan

The Griff

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