What’s Poppin? Review of ‘Wednesday’: The Anticipated Return of the Addams Family

Ava Garcia, Managing Editor

“The Addams Family” took over the big screen in 1964 when the beloved sitcom premiered to the world. People across the globe fell in love with the peculiar group of outcasts unlike any other family depicted on television at the time. 

Following the television show, “The Addams Family” was transformed into a movie in 1991 and encompassed the perfect mix of darkness and humor. In the following years, several sequels were released, including one in 1993, another in 1998 and an animated version in 2019. In 2010 “The Addams Family” was adapted into a Broadway musical, which was the first glimpse fans got of Wednesday as an adult. With the release of the Netflix original series “Wednesday,” fans can now better understand such a complex and deeply misunderstood character. 

Tim Burton, a well-known director, took on this project after a 40-year television hiatus. Some of Burton’s most famous works include “Corpse Bride,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Beetlejuice.” Burton’s role as the director in the new series stays true to his past works, specifically in regard to the darkness emanating throughout each scene of the eight-episode series. 

Many shows, including acclaimed characters in film history, make the mistake of attempting the impossible – recreating the inimitable, but “Wednesday” took a universally beloved character and transformed her. In the series, Wednesday remains the death-obsessed little girl the world knew, but now she became something no one expected – a teenager. 

Jenna Ortega captures Wednesday in a light many fans have yet to encounter through the numerous eras she has undergone over the years. Ortega blew fans away throughout the show, especially during her unexpected dance scene at the Rave’N Dance. She choreographed the entire sequence alone and filmed it in one take while sick with COVID-19. She drew inspiration from Siouxsie Sioux, Lisa Loring, Lene Lovich, Bob Fosse’s Rich Man’s Frug and old footage of goths dancing in clubs in the 1980s. 

The casting of this series is incredibly calculated, especially with the inclusion of the former 1990s Wednesday Addams, Christina Ricci. Fans were thrilled to experience a former Addams as a different character within the same film universe.

The series begins with the expulsion of Wednesday and her transfer to Nevermore Academy – Morticia and Gomez Addams’ former school. She enters the school grounds, already eager to leave. However, as she begins to involve herself in more dangerous and mysterious activities, she realizes that it might not be as mind-numbing and torturous as she had initially imagined. Although her parents remain absent for most of the show, they leave behind Thing, a detached hand that is a fan-favorite character and one of the more interesting aspects of the show. Thing was played by a Romanian magician named Victor Dorobantu rather than assembled through the use of advanced technology. The idea of a real person playing such an unusual character brings emotion and attachment to something as silly as a hand.  

“Wednesday” is a series that initially puzzles fans but slowly develops into something no one would expect. The series combines aspects of murder and mystery, but the most unusual addition is love. Romance has never been something associated with Wednesday Addams, but in this series, the love triangle proves otherwise. With love, monsters, visions and more, “Wednesday” is an action-packed series that keeps the audience on their toes from start to finish.