Wednesday: Season 1 – Summary/ Review

While Jenna Ortega makes a superb Wednesday, unfortunately, they put her in a world reminiscent of the “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” with boy drama and a mediocre mystery.


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Title Card for Wednesday, featuring Wednesdays's face

While Jenna Ortega makes a superb Wednesday, unfortunately, they put her in a world reminiscent of the “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” with boy drama and a mediocre mystery.

Network Netflix
Created or Developed By Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Tim Burton
Based On The Works of Charles Addams
Executive Produced By Alfred Gough, Miles Millar
Genre(s) Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Young Adult
Noted Characters
Pugsley Addams Isaac Ordonez
Morticia Addams Catherine Zeta-Jones
Gomez Addams Luis Guzmán
Wednesday Addams Jenna Ortega
Larissa Weems Gwendoline Christie
Tyler Hunter Doohan
Xavier Percy Hynes White
Enid Emma Myers
Uncle Fester Addams Fred Armisen
Bianca Joy Sunday
Yoko Naomi J. Ogawa
Ajax Georgie Farmer
Rowan Calum Ross

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Summary

Thanks the being expelled, after getting revenge on behalf of Pugsley, Morticia and Gómez agree to have Wednesday attend their Alma mater, Nevermore Academy. There, Morticia’s former roommate, Larissa Weems, is principal, and with Nevermore founded and for the likes of Wednesday, sirens, vampires, werewolves, and more, it is assumed she’ll do well there.

Unfortunately, Wednesday pushes back and quickly tries to escape, but even with a peppy roommate in Enid, and boys like Tyler and Xavier making their feelings known, Wednesday eventually settles in. Especially after someone tries to kill her and she stumbles upon multiple secrets and mysteries.

Review


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Our Rating: Positive (Watch This)

Notable Performances, Moments, or Episodes

Wednesday glad to see Uncle Fester
“Wednesday glad to see Uncle Fester,” Wednesday, “If You Don’t Woe Me By Now,” directed by James Marshall, 2022, (Netflix)
  1. Jenna Ortega playing Wednesday as someone who shut down after experiencing trauma at a young age and seeing cracks in her defense against the world when people made moments for her to feel safe enough to be close and feel

Highlights

Slowly Watching Wednesday Bond With People And Move Beyond Her Trauma

From what we’re told from the jump, Wednesday’s disposition stems from the trauma of a pet being killed, and since then, the only people she lets her guard down for are those she doesn’t have to worry about. Mind you, she still forms bonds, gets attached, and shows she likes or loves people in her own way. However, compare how she is with Uncle Fester to everyone else; it is a night and day comparison.

But with how Ortega plays Wednesday, you can see moments where there is the desire to feel, show emotion, and not drain herself to avoid disappointment or pain. You can see it with Enid, as she becomes less of an obligation or liability and slowly evolves into an asset. With Tyler and his consistent pursuit of her, and his help, there is immense confusion on how to handle his affections. And it is in the tug of war shown in Ortega’s face you can see longing, fear, hesitation, and a litany of other emotions. All of which you can see Wednesday wishes to hide yet finds uncontrollable in the rare moments she isn’t in control or allows herself to give up control.

It Killed Off Notable Characters

Presenting the threat of characters dying is cowardly, but actually killing off characters takes courage, and while the first death is a throwaway since there is little known about the character, the rest? Oh, their deaths are notable, and the hole they leave has to be filled in a pending season 2. Now, I won’t say anyone who dies has a moment that will make you tear, scream at the screen, or anything like that, but it does help bolster the villains more than the mystery Wednesday had.

How The Show Handled Gomez’s Murder Mystery

1990 Gomez (Lucius Hoyos) after being arrested for the murder of Garret
“1990 Gomez (Lucius Hoyos) after being arrested for the murder of Garret,” Wednesday, “You Reap What You Woe,” directed by Gandja Monteiro, 2022, (Netflix)

The main mystery of season 1 of “Wednesday” is investigating Rowan’s disappearance, who this Hyde monster is, and who controls them, but the best mystery is whether Gomez is a murderer or not. Now, it could be due to knowing who Gomez is, how much interest is put into him and Morticia when they went to Nevermore in the late 80s to early 90s or just the quality of writing. Either way, the Gomez murder mystery completely eclipses the one you are supposed to focus on this season and leads you to hope the second season of “Wednesday” uses this as a precedent, not the Hyde case.

Low Points

The Big Reveals/ Confessions Of Who The Hyde Was And Their Controller

The entire journey to find who is the Hyde, who is controlling them, and even why, to a certain point, was lackluster. That entire storyline relied completely on Wednesday’s personality and how she interacts with people. As for the investigation itself, the discoveries, who is involved? It’s disappointing, especially with the aforementioned Gomez mystery being so strong.

It almost makes it seem while they knew how to write Wednesday, regarding her dialog, as for making a storyline for her, beyond her opening up to people and allowing herself to feel, they didn’t know what to do with Wednesday.

On The Fence

The Visual Effects

The Hyde's face
“The Hyde’s face,” Wednesday, directed by Tim Burton, 2022, (Netflix)

When it comes to the visual effects for “Wednesday,” they are hit-and-miss. The Hyde, pictured above, is a bit out of place and seems like a 90s monster Tim Burton had revisited. Especially when you compare them to the vampires, gorgons, and sirens of the show. But, while they set the standard, I wouldn’t say the standard is high.

Sirens in “Wednesday” have the same strange-looking contacts that are seen in “Interview With The Vampire.” Then, with the faceless people, they get a weird blur effect, which seems to be used so they can be ignored throughout the entire season. Gorgon snakes are mostly hidden, and when they are seen, it triggers 90s nostalgia as much as “The Hyde,” and altogether, it is hard not to think about all Netflix spends on shows like “The Sandman” and yet this nearly 100-year-old character (in 16 years – based on the first New Yorker comic strip printed in 1938), who is getting her first solo show, can’t get either practical effects which look cool, or special effects that give you network TV vibes.

The Show Seemed Like It Was Part Of The “Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina” Universe

Tone-wise, “Wednesday” feels like it operates within the “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” universe. In some ways, this is fine, for with the supernatural being a strong part of the show, it fits. However, we also get boy trouble, rivalries between Wednesday and a siren named Bianca over a boy, who Wednesday doesn’t even want, and a lot of teen drama.

Now, in some ways, you have to recognize that with no, or limited, official depictions of Wednesday beyond her early teens, this is new territory for the character. But I believe most would say that trying to fit Wednesday into the young adult narrative of so many modern shows led to quite a bit of misfire. Particularly when it comes to dealing with Xavier and Tyler.

Often Wishing We Got To Learn More About The Outcasts

Unfortunately, some outcasts are more developed than others. In the case of Bianca, her as an individual and what life can be like for a siren, is well done. However, in terms of vampires like Yoko or the faceless beings who aren’t given a name, we don’t get much, if anything, to establish their culture. Gorgons, like Ajax, and Lycan, like Enid, exist somewhere in the middle.

We do learn Gorgons, fearful of turning people to stone, can be socially awkward and are capable of turning themselves into stone. As for Lycan? Beyond the importance of wolfing out, turning into a werewolf, and being part of a pact, we’re again not given much to know about how they fit in as a larger part of society.

But considering this is the first season, and it is clear the hook is Wednesday, season 2 could allow others to be in the spotlight more and develop beyond a need-to-know basis.

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Title Card for Wednesday, featuring Wednesdays's face
Wednesday: Season 1 – Summary/ Review
Overall
While the world built around Wednesday, if not the characters who fill it, may sometimes lead to lackluster storylines, at the very least, Jenna Ortega as Wednesday is nearly perfect.
Community Rating0 Votes
0
Highlights
How The Show Handled Gomez's Murder Mystery
It Killed Off Notable Characters
Slowly Watching Wednesday Bond With People And Move Beyond Her Trauma
Disputable
Often Wishing We Got To Learn More About The Outcasts
The Show Seemed Like It Was Part Of The "Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina" Universe
The Visual Effects For The Hyde
The Big Reveals/ Confessions Of Who The Hyde Was And Their Controller
81

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3 Comments

  1. I am glad you review this. Honestly I haven’t seen it. Um, I don’t know…just seem like another “whodunit” when it doesn’t have to be.
    And why is Wednesday shown smiling? I get the reason from her childhood but I don’t know this seems almost forced.
    From your description it does seems like Sabrina again, which actually had a better fit for it. This just seem “sci-fi, fantasy, horror with a mystery”. Really, why? Netflix will most likely cancelled it after S2(sometimes S1, looks at Midnight Book Club) and leave everyone hanging.
    I might try a few eps tomorrow but I’m not rushing lol
    Thank you.

    1. I think to secure Tim Burton for more shows or a movie, they may leave it alone.

      Plus, it is one of Netflix’s biggest hits since “Stranger Things,” and with not having to spend “Stranger Things” money, it will likely last a while.

      1. This is true. But We seen Netflix cancel things even with high ratings and less produce shows so just say I won’t be surprise it’s cancelled after S2.

        Honestly, it’s a niche show. I doubt it’s gonna maintain the audience tbh. How far can they take Wednesday, which is basically a goth girl show with Sabrina and Riverdale elements. I don’t see it lasting, the niche will wear off quickly.
        I suspect the audience was high for the curious factor and well… it’s Netflix.

        The more I think about it, the more it’s Sabrina. Beat for beat, from her admirers, the standard misunderstood, tv “non horror” monsters, school clubs and cliques. Teen awkwardness. The mystery, the mystery, the mystery.
        Omg, I can literally see 80% of this show in my head now hahaha
        Yeah I think I can’t with another Riverdale or Sabrina right now. I’ll pass.

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