Wednesday: A Review

Wednesday: A Review

Thomas Fecowycz, Staff Writer

On November 23, 2022, Netflix released the first episode of Wednesday, a highly anticipated series about Wednesday Addams, a character from The Addams Family, who solves mysteries and uncovers lost family history. After watching the series, it went above and beyond my initial expectations.

From the beginning, Wednesday showed how far the directing team would go, living up to the high bar set by their previous works. The casting is phenomenal, and does a great job bringing the modern-day Addams Family to life. I felt that Jenna Ortega captured the quirkiness of Wednesday Addams without it feeling repetitive or boring. Her look is iconic and hard to pull off, thus seeing it so skillfully presented was a pleasant surprise, especially after watching other adaptations of the Addams Family. I especially enjoyed the dance scene in the fourth episode, as it was not something I was expecting from a usually dark and gloomy character. The other cast members, especially Luis Guzmán as Gomez Addams and Catherine Zeta-Jones as Morticia Addams, displayed the director’s commitment to finding the best cast possible.

Unfortunately, Wednesday falls short when it comes to the plot line. At times, it felt sloppy and poorly written, not something I expected coming from executive director Tim Burton. It almost seemed like too many ideas were pitched, and many of the storylines became complicated and messy. As such, I found myself having to rewatch parts to understand what was going on. Much of the plot felt out of place and quite arbitrary; between episodes, it went from solving a monster/murder mystery to a romantic comedy to uncovering family history, all while doing little to add to the atmosphere of the show. 

Compared to other adaptions of the Addams Family, Wednesday felt out of place and too far from its original roots, almost becoming yet another throwaway teenage drama. It contained too many clichés that were practically identical to other films and series I have seen. Moreover, it changes key characters from the Addams Family, making Pugsley (Isaac Ordonez), usually shown as the genius younger brother, displayed as a weak and pathetic loser having to be bailed out by Wednesday. Lurch (George Burcea), the butler of the Addams family, is rarely seen throughout the series, despite being another important character in the original show. And it is hard not to forget the random appearance of Uncle Fester (Fred Armisen), who had nothing to do with the show’s original premise.

Overall, the show delivered a mediocre plot that was out of place for a rendition of the Addams Family. The additions of characters, often doing little to advance the plot, took away from the experience. However, the casting of Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams partly made up for it, saving the series from becoming another missed Netflix show. Although I felt the show could have been improved, it went above what I was expecting from it, becoming a memorable addition to the Addams Family collection.