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‘Wednesday’: Addams Family themed show is great at horror comedy, lacks in plot

Addams Family spin-off brings confusing lore but entertains audience

The show plays on the nostalgia of several of the Addams Family movies while still being able to stand on its own two feet.
The show plays on the nostalgia of several of the Addams Family movies while still being able to stand on its own two feet.

With streaming platforms constantly pumping out so many reboots, spin-offs and revivals, it’s rare to find one – especially in the young adult genre – that doesn’t feel like an uninspired cash grab. “Wednesday,” released on Netflix on Nov. 23, is here to surprise viewers with an entertaining and modern twist on one of pop culture’s most iconic families.

The show follows Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega) as she is forced to attend the supernatural boarding school Nevermore Academy after being repeatedly expelled from her “normie” high schools for humans. 

Produced and partially directed by Tim Burton, who directed several of the Addams Family movies, “Wednesday” is aesthetically perfect. 

Burton’s knowledge of the source material definitely shows. From set design to cinematography, the show has an amazing gothic feel that is mixed masterfully with comedy. It plays on the nostalgia of several of the Addams Family movies while still being able to stand on its own two feet. 

Plus, Jenna Ortega does an outstanding job as Wednesday, making her feel sympathetic while not losing the odd tropes that are so quintessential to the character. Wednesday is weird to her core, which can sometimes be irritating, but is nonetheless entertaining and engaging to watch.

But the show does nothing groundbreaking in terms of plot — despite being about the occult, it is just another “normie” teen drama. It follows a very traditional mystery based story that is reminiscent of a show like “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” another supernatural Netflix teen drama. The plot follows a supernatural mystery that is somehow related to our main character, while weaving in romance and relationship drama. It sometimes uses too many cheesy teen show tropes, but it’s never to the point where it gets hard to watch.

The good thing about “Wednesday” is that despite being cliche, the show does a pretty good job at building its mystery. The reveal at the end is pretty surprising and keeps viewers entertained. 

What “Wednesday” does struggle with is its lore.

“Wednesday” is a supernatural show, but it never takes time to define the supernatural creatures in it — which becomes an issue when you have so many of them. Nevermore Academy is a voluptuous mix of vampires, werewolves, sirens, hydes, medusas and more that are just lumped under the term “outcasts.” And, most of the time their sole purpose seems to just add to the overall weirdness of the show.

There is nothing wrong with that. The Addams family were originally created to be a satire of traditional American values and were weird for the sake of being weird. But, that premise does not work so well when you are trying to build a show whose mystery relies on the dichotomy of “normies” and said “outcasts.”

This does not mean that “Wednesday” is a terrible show. It’s far from that. At its core,“Wednesday” is an extremely entertaining watch that feels refreshing and fulfills all of your comedy horror needs. 

As of now, Netflix has yet to confirm if “Wednesday” will be renewed for a second season. But, considering the show’s immense success, it’s likely that Netflix will jump at the opportunity to give the show a second season. One can hope that in its second season, “Wednesday” can explain some of its lore and move on to the satire and horror that made it so good in its first season. But, maybe a better hope to have is that the show’s next act can stay true to the elements that made it so great and not dissolve into a boring cash grab.



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