Woe of A Kind: Wednesday Takes Netflix by Storm


Summer Miller, Staff Writer

2022’s general entertainment anthem is “remake,” “revamp” “redo!”  Rather than creating any new material, we are usually left with a lackluster sequel that does not do the original material justice. However, Wednesday is the bright beacon in an otherwise endless night of subpar television.

The story opens with Wednesday Addams, played by Jenna Ortega, walking the halls of her current high school scowling menacingly. She lets a kid, later revealed to be her brother, out of his locker who has obviously been bullied. Boiling with an internal rage, Wednesday promptly releases piranhas into the pool laden with the jocks responsible.

This kind of intro is bizarre, but it reveals a human side to the otherwise chilling Wednesday Addams, increasing her relatability. Because Wednesday is such an abnormal person, evidenced by her resistance to respond to social cues and her inherent distrust of all authority figures, relatability was a huge hurdle the writers of the series had to face. Wednesday is very much like a star, pretty and harmless from afar, but scalding hot and on the brink of an explosion when approached. If Wednesday was too emotionally distant, audiences wouldn’t root for her, and then the series would lack an engaging protagonist. Thankfully, this opening interaction with her brother and later, her love for the disembodied hand, Thing, shows her human side.

The eight episode arc takes place at Nevermore Academy, a place for outcasts, following Wednesday’s expulsion at the previous “normie” high school. Her mother, Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones), and father, Gomez (Luis Guzman), leave her on shaky ground, unsure of where she stands in her family, and unsure of how to begin this new journey at school. Although we never see her falter, she grimly takes on each new opportunity like it were her last. 

Cut to Wednesday meeting her roommate at school, a hyper-colorful, hyper-cheerful Enid (Emma Myers), who also happens to be a werewolf. Throughout the series we see this unlikely pair bring out the best (and the worst) in each other. While Enid comes off as cliché in the beginning, her cheeriness adds a bright-colored hue to the otherwise grim series. 

The series reveals its true nature when riddles plague Wednesday at Nevermore and an unsolved-murder threatens to taint all she knows about the world. Fresh corpses, mutilated by a foreign beast, turn up, Wednesday’s parents guard a secret, and something smells fishy about Wednesday’s principle (Gwedoline Christie). Wednesday must lean on a “normie” boy at the local cafe for information and lore about Nevermore and the surrounding area, but lies turn to love as she begins to fall for this “boring” boy, Tyler (Hunter Doohan). The pair share a surprisingly sweet kiss, during which you can’t help but cheer for Wednesday as she becomes vulnerable.

Wednesday is very much a dynamic character, she grows and changes throughout the story. The funny thing is, at the beginning of the series, Wednesday is likable, she has to be. But by the end, she is lovable, and that is what makes an excellent television show. 

Jenna Ortega’s razor-sharp wit coupled with her dedication to the “Wednesday face” make for a delightfully dark comedy series. Ortega was so dedicated to the role that she even choreographed her own dance moves to the Cramps’, now infamous, “Goo Goo Muck” during the Rave’n dance. She also worked very closely with the director, Tim Burton. His quirky dark side, as seen in his famous works like The Nightmare Before Christmas and Edward Scissorhands, helped Ortega embody the macabre Ms. Addams. 

Wednesday is the perfect show for people who love mystery, intrigue, and for people who don’t take themselves too seriously. A true “horror comedy” for people that are “too odd for the normies, not odd enough for the outcasts.”