“Wednesday” Review

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Netflix

Jenna Ortega stars in the new Netflix series, “Wednesday.”

Sophia Choi, Staff Writer

The Netflix original series, “Wednesday,” hit number one on Netflix’s top ten on Nov. 21. The show, starring Jenna Ortega, was highly anticipated among many longtime fans of “The Addams Family.” Although I didn’t have much interest in this show when it was released, the popularity and large recognition for this show ultimately convinced me to watch it. 

The show’s opening scenes introduced viewers to the classic Addams Family reimagined in the 21st century, including the lead character, Wednesday Addams. Even though The Addams Family was most memorable as a 90s show, this spin-off seemed to attract a lot of attention from Gen Z due to its teen romance and mystery. While we meet the iconic family, including Morticia Addams (Catherine Zeta-Jones), Gomez Addams (Luis Guzmán) and Pugsley Addams (Isaac Ordonez),  in the first episode, the show mainly follows a teenage Wednesday when she is sent off to a boarding school for people with special abilities. The eerie yet eye-catching aura from the beginning dark colored scenes reeled me in to continue watching the show. 

The storyline begins with Wednesday attending a traditional high school with her brother, Pugsley. Here, it is revealed that Wednesday has the supernatural ability to experience visions, which allow her to identify her brother’s bullies. After exacting her revenge, Wednesday is expelled, a seemingly common occurrence, and transferred to Nevermore. Upon arriving, Wednesday is assigned to be roommates with Enid Sinclair, a werewolf who loves loud colors and hyperfeminine outfits, the complete opposite of Wednesday’s dark and shy persona. The school is full of sirens, vampires, werewolves, ghosts and other countless monsters, as Wednesday uncovers a series of mysteries that the adults can’t seem to solve themselves. Some questions, however, were still left unanswered, as Netflix officially renewed the show for a second season. 

One of the key parts that made this show so enjoyable to watch was the numerous plot twists. I kept thinking I knew what would happen next, but I was so far off and most of the events were unpredictable. Additionally, the character development of multiple people throughout the show shined, giving a valuable insight into the fluidity of personalities in high school. In the beginning, Wednesday was reserved and quiet with her feelings, but I enjoyed watching her character open up and grow by making friendships throughout the show. I specifically found Wednesday and Enid’s relationship most dynamically interesting because Enid is portrayed as a very bright and colorful character, but Wednesday is into dark horror. 

Jenna Ortega did a phenomenal job portraying her character. After watching a few interviews of her on the show, I admired her dedication to playing Wednesday Addams. In one interview, Ortega stated that she did a scene without blinking once and Tim Burton loved it so much that Ortega continued to not blink throughout most of the episodes. The only time she blinked seemed to be when her character felt deep emotions. Because Wednesday is seen as such a dark and emotionless person, this small detail made her acting so much more compelling. 

Aside from Ortega’s acting, another unique aspect I loved was her companion, Thing. Most shows have the typical superhero and sidekick, but what made “Wednesday” unique was how her partner in crime was a detached hand named Thing. In one scene, Thing suffered an attack and was on the brink of death. When Wednesday saw what happened, she started to cry and show affection, which is far from her character. This moment where the audience gets to see the close relationship they have, even though Thing is just a hand, was another example of the emotional rollercoaster this show brings. 

Overall, the way this show relates to the original Addams Family yet applies to modern themes and audience is what makes this show so enjoyable to watch. I recommend this show to anyone who enjoys a good mystery with a teenage narrative. This show can appeal to a wide range of audiences and is truly a work to be appreciated.