WEDNESDAY is a new Netflix series that follows Wednesday Addams as she begins at the Nevermore Academy. Part coming-of-age story and part murder mystery. It’s a gorgeous hybrid resulting in darkly comedic entertainment complete with monsters, doom, and gloom.
Jenna Ortega is perfect in the title role while the rest of the cast is chockful of excellent actors as well. And yes, Tim Burton directs the first half of the season and sets the tone. It shows in all the right ways!
Obviously, Jenna Ortega has a lot in common with Christina Ricci – the previous actor many will know as Wednesday Addams – when it comes to size and stature. This alone makes for a very good starting point, but Jenna Ortega still manages to make this character very much her own.
Actually, the fact that Christina Ricci (Yellowjackets) is also part of the cast as a new professor at Nevermore Academy helps this along. How much bigger of an endorsement can you get? This is a stroke of pure genius and I enjoyed watching Christina Ricci as a new character as much as I loved seeing this new Wednesday.
If you can’t quite place Jenna Ortega (yet!), then you’ll probably recognize her from season 2 of You, Scream (2022), and X. Her small frame speaks volumes when she’s facing huge monsters, and doesn’t flinch. Of course, her love of all things brutal and macabre means that every face-off with danger is just a new adventure.
Jenna Ortega plays these scenes perfectly. Just as she does when she’s dancing at the prom and still manages to stay the gloomy teen. Also, you can look forward to a moment during this prom that will remind you of Carrie. But not in the way you’ve watched in any Carrie movie, so this is an homage, not a spoiler.
In the role of Morticia Addams, we see Catherine Zeta-Jones and she can absolutely pull off playing this character with the same oomph and va-va-voom that Angelica Huston did in the Barry Sonnenfeld movies from the early 1990s. She doesn’t get too many scenes, but enough to remember her.
Also, Gwendoline Christie is pure power and passion as Principal Larissa Weems. When she was a student herself, she was roommates with Morticia, so she knows the Addams family quite well. As Nevermore Academy’s Principal, Weems is a true leader. I loved every power pose from Gwendoline Christie.
As the roommate of Wednesday, we get the lovely Emma Myers playing “Enid”. The young Enid is all rainbows and sunshine, so she’s the exact opposite of Wednesday. However, she is also a werewolf and fights for all that she loves, which the young Miss Addams can’t help but respect.
If there was one character, I wasn’t too happy with in this new Addams family story, it was Uncle Fester. In the Netflix series, Fred Armisen plays this character a bit too goofy for my liking. I enjoyed Christopher Lloyd’s take more. However, Fred Armisen and Jenna Ortega work really well together.
Watch Wednesday on Netflix!
The creators and showrunners of this new Netflix series are Alfred Gough & Miles Millar. The two previously created series such as Into the Badlands (which stars Emily Beecham who also leads the cast of the new Netflix series 1899) and The Shannara Chronicles.
Tim Burton directs the first four episodes, while James Marshall (Into the Badlands) and Gandja Monteiro (Brand New Cherry Flavor) each direct two episodes rounding out the season.
The poster states that this Netflix series comes “from the imagination of Tim Burton”, which is very obvious (he’s an executive producer). It’s gorgeously dark and gloomy entertainment that should please fans of both Burton and The Addams Family in general.
This first season covers one specific story (a serial killer story, at that) and the ending of episode 8 makes it obvious that there’s room for more seasons. Well, I for one am very ready for more with the young Miss Addams.
Wednesday season 1 premieres on Netflix on November 23, 2022. And yes, obviously, it’s on a Wednesday!