If you are a fan of the spooky and the peculiar, then you are probably familiar with the Addams family. What started in the 1930s as a comic series has led to the production of games, films and television programs, with the Netflix series 'Wednesday', released Nov. 23, as its newest addition.
This series explores Wednesday Addams as a student at Nevermore Academy, a private school for “outcasts” in small town Jericho. There, she makes friends and enemies while unraveling the mystery behind the murders happening in Jericho by uncovering deadly secrets and digging up the past.
The series stars actress Jenna Ortega as Wednesday with co-stars Gwendoline Christie as Principal Weems, Catherine Zeta-Jones as Morticia Addams and Christina Ricci as Professor Thornhill. Gwendoline Christie has had roles in shows like ‘Game of Thrones’, as well as movies like ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2’ and ‘Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens’. Some of Catherine Zeta-Jones’ most notable roles are those in ‘Chicago’, ‘The Legend of Zorro’ and ‘Oceans Twelve’. Christina Ricci also had quite the acting career, starring in ‘Sleepy Hollow’, ‘Casper’ and ‘The Matrix Resurrection’.
Jenna Ortega did an amazing job playing Wednesday. She truly embodied the sarcastic, deadpan, ruthless character we all know and love. The appearance of Ricci in the show also had me fangirling. Ricci played Wednesday in the 1993 movie ‘Addams Family Values’, so to see the two on screen together felt like watching a crossover in the best way.
Beyond the all-star casting, I loved the storyline. It was easy to follow but did not lack in plot twists and turns. It’s the Addams family; you know it’s going to be a little twisted. The interweaving of the past and the present created a complex plot that left me guessing until the very end.
‘Wednesday’ is not all murder-mystery though. Wednesday is faced with her personal, introspective challenges, characteristic of typical adolescence. Throughout the series, Wednesday struggles with the relationship she has with her mother, making friends and even a little bit of romance. These are problems many of us can relate to, and seeing them reflected in a character like Wednesday, who is an outcast among outcasts, makes it feel a little less lonely.
Getting to see Wednesday grow and evolve as a character was something I really enjoyed. It made her become more three-dimensional, as it showed that there was more to her than a cold, murderous exterior.
The dance scene with Wednesday, which has gone viral through Instagram and TikTok, is probably one of my favorite moments in the entire show. In an interview, Ortega described how she choreographed it herself, taking inspiration from Siouxsie Sioux amongst other artists. It also was reminiscent of the dance scene of Wednesday teaching Lurch to dance from the 1960s ‘Addams Family’ TV series that aired on ABC. The whole scene was so fun, even with the undead dancing.
A final note I have about the show is the Latino representation and casting of the show. The actors of Wednesday, Pugsley and Gomez are all of Latin descent which I think is fabulous. A fun fact about the original Addams family is that they are Latino. The whole idea of the Addams family is that they are the opposite of everything that is considered “normal,” providing a satirical commentary on American culture. The purposeful inclusion of Latino representation in this show is a nod to the original comics and also opens up the conversation for what is considered normal.
Even if you weren’t a Wednesday fan beforehand, you will be after watching this series. The show encompasses everything spooky and mysterious with vibrant, three-dimensional characters. I can’t wait for season two.