On November 23, 2022, Netflix released Wednesday. The show has quickly taken off; in its first week alone it garnered 341.23 million hours watched. It is extremely popular with teens and young adults.
Wednesday is a spin-off of the popular The Addams Family(1991) movies as well as the original The Addams Family (1964) sitcom series. Both of these predecessors follow the Addams family which initially debuted in a series of 150 unrelated single-panel cartoons. The series was first released in 1938 and continued to be published in The New Yorker for over 50 years. Since this first rendition, the Addams family has been adapted to many other media formats.
The original and all the remakes follow a seemingly odd and somewhat disturbing aristocratic family. The Addams regularly participate in many bizarre or horrifying activities which typically involve violence. The is led by the father, Gomez, the eccentric multi-billionaire who is deeply devoted to his wife. The mother, Morticia, is just as eccentric as her husband and is known to be “the real head of the family”.
Morticia and Gomez originally had two children. Pugsley, the youngest child, is known for lacking courage and is often clumsy. The older child, Wednesday, is the focus of the 2022 spin-off. She’s known for being obsessed with death and all things violent. Wednesday lacks emotion and has a “gothic” personality. She often scares those around her and has trouble getting along with people. There is a third child, Pubert who was born in Addams Family Values (1993), however, in the Wednesday show, the choice to remove Pubert altogether from the show was taken.
Wednesday follows a 16-year-old Wednesday as she starts life at a new boarding school for “outcasts”, known as Nevermore, after an incident at her past school. In the past, Wednesday has always been a younger pre-teen without much depth, so seeing her as a teen girl starting a new life resonated with a lot of the younger generation. Wednesday proceeds to go on many adventures while dealing with a recent spree of murders and a decades-old mystery. She meets many people along the way and starts to care for others, in her own twisted way.
A fellow FLHS student, Janae McElhaney (10) described the show as “very intriguing to watch and it gives a different perspective on a character that doesn’t fit society’s standards”
The show quickly grew in popularity, not only because of Jenna Ortega’s outstanding performance as Wednesday Addams but also because the show was directed by the famous Tim Burton. Burton is known for directing many famous films such as The Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride, Beetlejuice, Alice In Wonderland, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Usually, Burton’s films have a gothic or horror element which is why he was the perfect fit for a show like Wednesday.
The character Wednesday is portrayed by Jenna Ortega, a rising star who has starred in many popular films and shows such as Stuck in the Middle, Scream, X, You, The Babysitter: Killer Queen, and many more. Jenna worked diligently alongside Tim Burton to ensure that Wednesday Addams was done justice by her performance. One of the many details they worked to perfect was Wednesday’s behavior, body language, and facial movements. If you plan on watching Wednesday, watch closely: Jenna doesn’t blink unless under some sort of societal pressure. This minor detail is only one of many that allowed Wednesday’s character to come to life. The show was even filmed in Romania to encourage a “gothic” atmosphere.
If you’re a fan of mysteries and complex and dynamic relationships consider checking out Wednesday!
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