Is Wednesday worth your valuable streaming time? Find out in our Wednesday review of the new Netflix series!
The vast majority of people today associate The Addams Family with the 1991 and 1993 Barry Sonnenfeld movies. In reality, there is a lot more material out there dating back to Charles Addams’ original comic strips, and this allows for many different takes and interpretations of them. To do into Wednesday expecting an exact copy of Christina Ricci’s version of the character is definitely the wrong attitude to have.
That being said, it would be nice if Netflix’s Wednesday felt more like the Addams Family and not a version made by someone who once heard about them second-hand.
Part of the charm of The Addams Family in all of its various takes has been the world doesn’t accept them. They are too extreme for most ‘normal’ people and this leads to many unsettling situations. The closest Wednesday gets to this is the opening scene when the now-teenaged Wednesday is till in a normal public school. From there the series can’t seem to decide how the world should react to her.
And lets just get this out of the way now, anything negative in this review about Wednesday is not directed at Jenna Ortega or her portrayal of Wednesday. She does a fantastic job, it’s just the setting of the series that lets her down.
After Wednesday’s departure from public school, she goes to her parent’s alma mater, Nevermore Academy. This is where the series takes an odd turn. While people in the small town Nevermore exists in seem to give Wednesday the slightest of a side-eye, it seems she is far more unsettling to a school filled with vampires, werewolves, and more. And once that quickly disappears, the series falls into a seemingly endless parade of teen drama tropes of love triangles, accepting yourself, and realizing that change is good for you.
There are moments where you have to remind yourself that this is indeed intended to be Wednesday Addams, and not just some generic goth girl at a boarding school.
The quickest route into reminding yourself is via the antics of Thing, the disembodied hand. Yes, a non-speaking body part really steals the show a few times, especially it’s very unexpected friendship with someone else at the school.
Ortega is a fine addition to the actors that have played Wednesday, and Thing is a delight, but the series is just so riddled with everyday teenage nonsense that it quite often is difficult to work through. We would have loved to see a series that truly embraced the insanity that is the Addams Family, instead, we got a teen dramedy that attached itself to the Addams Family name.
Wednesday debuts on Netflix on Nov. 23.
Disclaimer: Netflix provided The Nerdy with all eight episodes of Wednesday season 1 for the purposes of this review. We watched all eight episodes in their entirety before beginning this review.