Netflix Wednesday TV Review
A Pair Of Goth Icons Get Trapped In A Generic Teen Supernatural Drama On Netflix Wednesday. The two directors Tim Burton and The Addams Family his daughter Wednesday Addams gets lost in this series full of intrigue which takes place in a boarding school for “outcasts”. It’s a little Gossip Girl and a little Harry Potteras well as decades of forgettable The CW series, held together primarily by Jenna Ortega’s pitch-perfect performance as the titular character.
Wednesday itself remains distinctive, but almost everything else Wednesday could fit in a series that has nothing to do with The Addams Familyy. Much has been written about the casting of Luis Guzmán and Catherine Zeta-Jones as Wednesday’s parents, Gomez and Morticia, but they only appear in two of the Wednesday‘s eight episodes, and Fred Armisen only makes one appearance as Uncle Fester. The most prominent on-screen Addams aside from Wednesday is Thing, the disembodied hand who becomes Wednesday’s loyal sidekick as she investigates strange happenings at rural Nevermore Academy.
An essential part of the Addams Family’s appeal, whether in 1960s TV series, the director’s 1990s films Barry Sonnenfeldor the recent animated moviesis how they stick together, presenting a united front against the world. Wednesday shatters them almost immediately, as 15-year-old Wednesday is expelled from her last school after dropping piranhas into the pool. His parents decide to send him to Nevermore, a Vermont enclave where Gomez and Morticia first met when they were college students. Wednesday doesn’t like being expected to follow in her parents’ footsteps, and she’s no more comfortable among the eccentrics at Nevermore than she was in a regular school. .
While the Addams have always been known to be “scary, goofy, mysterious, and spooky”, they’ve usually existed in an enhanced version of the real world. Wednesday changes all that, making Nevermore the home of vampires, werewolves, mermaids, and other supernatural creatures and giving Wednesday psychic visions that allow him to see the future. These visions place her right in the middle of an investigation into mysterious monster attacks that have occurred near Nevermore and the adjacent town of Jericho.
The primordial supernatural mystery about Wednesday is mildly engaging at best, and creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (Smallville, The Shannara Chronicles) limiting the comedy to occasional one-liners that Ortega delivers with perfectly withering deadpan. The climb scream queen (X2022 Scream) makes a worthy successor to the Wednesday portrait painter of the 90s Christine Ricci. Ricci appears here in a largely unremarkable role as Marilyn Thornhill, the only “normal” teacher at Nevermore. Gwendoline Christie, as Nevermore principal Larissa Weems, gets the showiest adult role, positioned as an adversary for Wednesday.
Burton, whose goth-cute aesthetic is a perfect match for Sonnenfeld’s films, directs the first four installments, but his impact is so minor that the switch to different directors is almost impossible to discern. Wednesday is better than Burton’s previous take on a YA-style story about a school for the misfits, 2016’s dreadful Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, but it’s just as generic – Ortega’s presence aside. Regular Burton collaborators Danny Elfman and Colleen Atwood serve as composer and costume designer respectively for the first episode, giving it a bit of Burton’s signature ornate style, but they share credits with others in later episodes, and the style becomes less distinctive.
The genius of cartoonist Charles Addams’ original Wednesday design is evident in the largely bland supporting cast of fellow Nevermore students and other teenagers, including a pair of potential love interests for Wednesday. Emma Myers makes the strongest impression as Wednesday’s supernaturally perky housemate, Enid, an exceptionally optimistic werewolf who struggles with her lycanthropic transformations. Wednesday’s Classmates subplots generally feel like filler, filling out episodes to extend the mediocre mystery to the finale.
There are occasional references to the past Addams Family productions, including a double clap to open a secret passageway and one of Wednesday’s suitors asking “Did you ring?” like Butler Addams Lurch when she summons him. Jericho is home to the colonial-themed attraction Pilgrim World, which Wednesday offers the chance to make somber observations about American history, like in Sonnenfeld’s most memorable scene. Addams Family Values. These cursory touches aren’t a substitute for appearances by key members of the Addams Family, and they come across as superficial fan service.
For all the characters who emphasize the idea that the students of Nevermore are weird, Wednesday is unfortunately conventional. There’s nothing weird about the serialized mystery’s familiar beats or the teenage relationships of Nevermore. The weirdest moment Burton delivers is a throwaway moment at a school dance when Wednesday finally breaks loose and switches to the music in a groovy retro fashion. It has nothing to do with plot or world-building, but it is elegant and ironic, as Wednesday’s stone-faced expression contrasts with his fluid dance moves. It’s the kind of morbid clumsiness that a Addams Family adaptation must be fulfilled.
Wednesday’s eight-episode first season premieres Wednesday, November 23 on Netflix.