Wednesday: Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – Wonderful characters crammed into a generic “insert narrative here.”

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix service that viewed this series.

Nevermore Academy sign

Wednesday Review

When you take a beloved property from the past and create a modern adaptation, you need to translate a text into a future it was not ready for. This transition can help you find a new voice for an old work or what can drown an old work as you lose what made it work in the first place. Today we look at a show that hits both of these extremes in its wild ride to make it to our screen.

So to set the scene, Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega) is an odd duck in the straight-laced Nancy Reagan High School. However, she is and always will be intensely protective of her family, and no one gets to torture her brother Pugsley (Isaac Ordonez) but her. Well, one application of piranhas during water polo practice later, and she is expelled from another school. Wondering what to do, her parents, Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Gomez (Luis Guzmán), decide to enrol her in their old school Nevermore Academy. Aghast at being forced to live in her parent’s shadow and her roommate Enid’s (Emma Myers) colourful room, Wednesday decides to run away. But that is when one of the students tries to murder her, and she is saved by a creature that might be disembowelling local hikers, and maybe there is a place for her here after all. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.    

The Addams Family
I would have liked to seen more of the family dynamic. Image Credit: Netflix.

Wednesday is a show that gets a lot right while also meandering through some truly frustrating elements, and it is the latter that we will focus on first. While I am sure that it was not a case of the writers just slapping the standard YA (young adults) magical school setting on this world, but it did feel like that at times. I understand why they picked Wednesday as the character to have their own story. The impact of Christina Ricci’s performance in the films made that the clear choice. However, the breaking up of the Addams family felt like it lost something that made the show what it was. They were a family of love in a world full of dysfunction, and breaking that up blunts that impact.  

To add to this, the mystery that drives so much of the plot, I’m sorry, it is just dull. Who is the hidden student murdering everyone? Honestly, it felt like the least exciting thing that happened all season, and given the structure of the show, not an episode would go on without getting dragged back into the quagmire. This is probably not helped by the hyde being almost comically bad with its design, which limited its threat. It also felt that bar, Enid’s and Bianca’s (Joy Sunday), moments in the finale, that given this was a world of wonder, it actually all felt quite vanilla.

Gwendoline Christie smiles covered in blood
I wish Wednesday had leaned more into the weirdness of the world. Image Credit: Netflix.

However, while there were frustrating elements in the show, I have to admit that it was a treat to behold when it was firing on all cylinders. Jenna Ortega makes an instant statement as Wednesday. She makes even the most mundane aspects of the show engaging just by her presence. I would have liked to see more interactions with her family, but what we got was a delight. I also liked the contentious relationship with Larissa Weems (Gwendoline Christie). The second stand out was the incorporation of Thing (Victor Dorobantu) into the show. I was engrossed every time they were on screen, and I have to admit, when I thought they had actually killed them off, I got strangely emotional.

In the end, do we recommend the first season of Wednesday? Well? A lot about this show frustrated me, yet I sat down and watched it all in two seasons. Thankfully it is only eight episodes, so it does not entirely outstay its welcome. I may have wished that Hogwarts had come to the Addams rather than Addams go to Hogwarts, but it did have its moments.          

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you seen Wednesday yet ?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review
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Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Wednesday
Directed by
– Tim Burton, Gandja Monteiro & James Marshall
Written by – Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Kayla Alpert, April Blair & Matt Lambert
Created by – Alfred Gough & Miles Millar
Based OnThe Addams Family created by Charles Addams
Production/Distribution Companies – Millar Gough Ink, 1.21 Films, Glickmania Media, Tee and Charles Addams Foundation, The Jackal Group, Tim Burton Productions, Toluca Pictures, MGM Television & Netflix
Starring – Jenna Ortega, Gwendoline Christie, Riki Lindhome, Jamie McShane, Hunter Doohan, Percy Hynes White, Emma Myers, Joy Sunday, Georgie Farmer, Naomi J. Ogawa, Moosa Mostafa, Victor Dorobantu & Christina Ricci with Luyanda Unati Lewis-Nyawo, Calum Ross, Iman Marson, Johnna Dias Watson, Oliver Watson, Cezar Grumăzescu, Tommie Earl Jenkins, William Houston, Karina Varadi, Oliver Wickham, Gwen Jones, Lucius Hoyos and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Luis Guzmán, Isaac Ordonez, Fred Armisen & George Burcea
Episodes CoveredWednesday’s Child Is Full of Woe, Woe Is the Loneliest Number, Friend or Woe, Woe What a Night, You Reap What You Woe, Quid Pro Woe, If You Don’t Woe Me by Now & A Murder of Woes

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