Dispel your skepticism as “Wednesday” is not only well cast but includes the supernatural in such a way you’ll question why isn’t it a horror release.
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Dispel your skepticism as “Wednesday” is not only well cast but includes the supernatural in such a way you’ll question why isn’t it a Halloween release.
|Release Date (Netflix)
|November 23, 2022
|Creators or Developed By
|Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Tim Burton
|The Characters created by Charles Addams
|Alfred Gough, Miles Millar
|Alfred Gough, Miles Millar
|Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Young Adult
|Introduced This Episode
|Principal Larissa Weems
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
Originally, Wednesday walked among us normies and even attended high school. However, some jocks bullying Pugsley led to an act of revenge that not only got her expelled but also barely dodging an attempted murder charge. Which for Wednesday is fine. Who wants a failure on their record?
But, recognizing that, unlike Pugsley, Wednesday has an inability to blend in, or try to, Morticia and Gómez decide it would be best to send her to their Alma matter, Nevermore Academy. There, Morticia’s old roommate, now principal, Larissa Weems, can keep an eye on Wednesday and ease her transition.
However, being that Wednesday is at that age where all she wants to do is rebel, she finds only reasons to hate the academy. Be it her roommate, Enid, a Lycan who can only show off her claws, not turn full werewolf, or a siren, Bianca, who bests her in fencing. All she finds are reasons to escape. At least until two attempted murders by the same person, trying to keep his mother’s prophecy from coming true, are thwarted by some monster. That and a few boys who Wednesday would never admit she liked but certainly takes note of.
Things To Note
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Why is Pugsley so loving, gentle, and vulnerable now?
What Could Happen Next
- I feel like “Wednesday” is going to give dark Harry Potter vibes.
It Has Gore, Minor Cursing, And Dark Humor
While “Wednesday” is by no means a TV-MA, blood-gushing out here or there series, it makes it clear that Wednesday is violent, and while she doesn’t have any confirmed kills, pain elicits a certain amount of pleasure. Be it using piranhas, a boy losing his testicle, or fencing without a mask or tips to draw first blood. She may not be a serial killer, but she has an edge.
Which can be said about the humor and dialog. Curse words are few, for Wednesday has a sharp tongue, and while Enid curses once or twice, she doesn’t need to gratuitously. But in the case of Wednesday, why summarize in a curse word what she can unravel like a scroll. After all, Wednesday is a writer in love with language. So why would she not have cathartic releases when she can, knowing if she doesn’t blow off some steam, people could die? Why wouldn’t she, after numbing herself after an unfortunate incident when she was 6, use dark humor as a form to cope with uncomfortable situations which make her feel something? Yes, she is a formidable teenager with many skills and talents, but she is still human.
The Supernatural Is Played Just Right
While we see werewolves, vampires, sirens, and more, it doesn’t feel like a gimmick. Yes, the same bad contacts from “Interview With The Vampire” are in play, but you can see that being able to scale up when touching water, howl and extend claws, and other trinkets, aren’t the sum of any character staying at Nevermore Academy.
Enid, for example, struggles with not being able to transform, and her desire to do so is about feeling whole. That and, while Wednesday wishes to isolate, Enid wants to be part of a pack, make her parents proud, and find a mate and normalcy. It is in realizing Nevermore Academy isn’t just for supernatural creatures but the outcasts of the outcasts that allows you to see this is an Addams Family production under Tim Burton’s umbrella.
Jenna Ortega As Wednesday
Filling the shoes of Christina Ricci, who plays a dorm mother, Marilyn Thornhill, is no easy fit. Her two stints are iconic and likely why Wednesday Addams is an icon. Yet, Jenna Ortega makes the role her own. She taps into the angst, the need to be separate from her family, the teen years, that Ricci didn’t get to explore, and allows Wednesday all the complexity she was given in her scene-stealing moments.
For whether it is the death of her pet when she was 6 doing a number on her, or her complicated relationship with Morticia, clearly, Wednesday is going through something. Yet, to prove she isn’t heartless, there is her love for Pugsley, who is softer, kinder, far less destructive than what we’re used to seeing, who shows some can get beyond her wall.
And it is with seeing more to Wednesday than quips or acts of violence that we’re allowed to see a person and be reminded that, as different and kooky, mysterious and spooky as they are, a good portion of the Addams family are still human. Even if those like Wednesday aren’t fond of admitting it.
The Special Effects Producing The Monster
While Tim Burton isn’t synonymous with the use of practical effects in his productions, you’ll wish the monster was someone in a costume. Why? Because the CGI used seems right out of the 90s. It gave “Oddworld: Abe’s Odyssey” and not in a good way, considering it is 2022, and Netflix likely spent a lot of money to get and make this show.
On The Fence
The Prophecy Isn’t Necessarily Interesting
There is a prophecy that likely will run through the season, or series, in which it appears Wednesday will destroy Nevermore and who knows what else. Easily you can imagine her being the one to save it, not destroy it, and while it may lead to friends and Nevermore becoming the Hogwarts of Addams Family lore, it’s hard to find the vehicle which will take us on this journey interesting. Mainly because we haven’t been introduced to any players part of that mystery who can drive interest towards it and away from you wondering what Wednesday will do or say next and to whom.
The Boys Who Catch Wednesday’s Attention
Like Ricci’s version of Wednesday, it’s clear that love, marriage, and children aren’t imperative to Ortega’s version. However, whether it is because she wishes to reject Morticia’s example, thinking she could never have what her mother does, or a true lack of interest is still in the air.
With the local town, Jericho, aware of the Nevermore freaks, Wednesday is different but not as frightening as she is used to being. So whether it is the sheriff’s son, who she wants to help her escape, or the boys at Nevermore interested in the rumored serial killer in the making, it’s hard to say if any might deserve Wednesday. Never mind if they can hold a candle to Ricci’s love interest, Joel Glicker, played by David Krumholtz, who knew how to play his role and didn’t compete with the main attraction.
Seeing Luis Guzman as Gomez Adams Is Still An Adjustment
I want to be fair and say that part of the problem is that Luis Guzman has never been cast in a role, that I’ve seen, where he can be suave, charming, even sexy, and taken seriously. Usually, any combination of those words would be played up for a joke, so seeing him as Gomez still comes off wrong. Mind you, he and Catherine Zeta-Jones, as Morticia, have good chemistry and play off each other well. I’d even say, similar to Ortega, Zeta-Jones figures a way to make a legendary role, made legendary by Anjelica Huston, her own.
However, Guzman has an uphill battle, and it’s one after it has rained, and the hill has turned to mud. Which is to say, we may get past our reservations, but it won’t be quickly.
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