It takes a lot for me to sit down and watch a TV show. I have such limited time that if a show doesn't catch my attention in the first episode, it may take a while for me to try again. I had heard good things about this new show on Netflix based on the character Wednesday Addams. While Christina Ricci’s version of Wednesday from the 90s was my spirit animal in the snarkiest and most chaotic sense, I wasn't sure how I would feel about a Netflix version. It is very classic Tim Burton but in the best possible way. Tim Burton's creations can be a hit or miss for me, sometimes being overly odd. I was very pleasantly surprised. So much so that I binge-watched the entire series and have heard from many others that they did the exact same thing.
A few spoilers ahead, so be warned!
It begins with Wednesday (Jenna Ortega) defending Pugsley, who is bullied by the school’s water polo team. A few piranhas and one missing testicle later, we find Wednesday being expelled and sent off to Nevermore Academy, where both of her parents attended school.
It’s a school for outcasts. You have your “typical” outcasts like telekinetics, werewolves, vampires, and sirens, to name a few. Wednesday has begun having visions like her mother, Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones). She is also dead set on escaping the school where she would always live in the shadow of her mother’s achievements. Principle Weems, played by Gwendoline Christie, is one of my favorite characters and has her work cut out for her trying to keep Wednesday under control.
Jenna Ortega does so much justice to Wednesday and her character; I can't put it into adequate words. She is a gem. The series is full of intrigue and dark humor and is one of the greatest supernatural murder mysteries I have seen in a long while. As Wednesday tries to navigate her new visions, teenage situations, and a VERY perky roommate Enid (Emma Myers), she is also dealing with someone trying to murder her and dead relatives appearing in visions randomly to warn her that she is the key. The key to saving the outcasts from the "normies" who will stop at nothing to wipe them all out and a savage monster roaming the woods, killing indiscriminately. But is it really just a monster, or is there more to it? You’ll just have to watch because I’m not going to spoil everything.
Wednesday starts to understand that she needs the friends made at Nevermore more than she realizes and is not the loner she prides herself on being. She does everything she can to keep people at arm’s length and almost gets her friends killed by the “monster” running loose. It does have an effect on the seemingly complex and unfeeling Wednesday. She has prided herself so much on being independent that she ends up pushing away the people she needs to help her solve the mystery and save the school. But in the end, she breaks away from her typical stubbornness, reaching out to the people she has tried to push away. Together, they achieve some pretty remarkable things. These moments lead to very un-Wednesday reactions, including tears, small smiles, and a hug from a best friend.
I had some doubts about some of the casting choices initially, but in the end, I am happy with every one of the roles and the actors that played them. I was thrilled to hear they included Christina Ricci in this new spin on the Addams Family. She plays a critical character in the show, and seeing her in a very different role was terrific. Old Wednesday meets new. Perfection.
This series is so well written that I binge-watched it in two nights and am seriously annoyed that there isn’t more. It was like picking up a good book and not wanting to put it down because you HAVE to know what is happening next. They set Wednesday up for a new season, and I hope it happens soon.
The music by Danny Elfman is superb, and the series includes a few cello pieces that Wednesday plays that gave me literal goosebumps. I can’t say enough great things about this series; it is one of Tim Burton’s shining masterpieces. I can’t wait for more.
The below song by Apocalyptica is featured in the show, and holy crap, it is so good. Who knew that playing the cello could be so damn sexy?
And a short clip of Wednesday’s Paint it Black cello solo in the show.
If you haven’t checked out this show, it’s a must! Let me know what you thought of it in the comments!