Wednesday, Netflix’s adaptation of the Addams Family franchise is an entertaining, nostalgia-filled triumph, finds Lisette Reed.
Growing up with The Addams Family franchise, I was excited to watch Netflix’s new show Wednesday, as a modern adaptation of this narrative was undoubtedly going to be a successful concept – and it is. Directed by Tim Burton, this eight-episode show stars Jenna Ortega as Wednesday, as well as an abundance of upcoming actors, such as Emma Myers. Whilst the show introduces a range of new faces to the audience, the appearance of the original Wednesday, Christina Ricci, as Marilyn Thornhill adds to the overall nostalgia of the show.
The series follows the adventures of Wednesday Addams in her new school the ‘Nevermore Academy’ and the mystery of serial killings in a small town. Initially, I was worried that this series wouldn’t do the source material justice and would have lots of forced modern concepts, like social media, which would feel unnatural in this franchise. Though the show does feature these elements, it’s casually added to the story, rather than forced down your throat like it is in other Netflix original series- I’m looking at you, Riverdale. The contrast between the modernity of this world combined with the old-fashioned tradition of The Addams Family mixes perfectly and, in a way, emphasises the nostalgia for original viewers, like myself. Moreover, the appearance of original cast member Christina Ricci adds to this and her close relationship with Wednesday adds a form of comfort.
Whilst the show introduces a range of new faces to the audience, the appearance of the original Wednesday, Christina Ricci, as Marilyn Thornhill adds to the overall nostalgia of the show
The aesthetic of Wednesday certainly lives up to the source material, with elements of new characters such as Enid (Emma Myers), Wednesday’s roommate. Her vibrant, colourful feminine aesthetic combined with Wednesday’s monochrome one is a prime example of how opposites can attract. Their friendship is incredibly pure and sweet, while characters such as Enid allow us to experience a softer, less-psychotic version of Wednesday. Another example of this is Eugene (Moosa Mostafa), who Wednesday adopts as a younger brother-type figure. The appealing aesthetic of the show is embodied by the world creation of the Nevermore Academy, where all students have special abilities and powers, including werewolves, sirens and of course the psychic Wednesday. Jenna Ortega’s performance, as always, is incredible and her portrayal of Wednesday’s witty and sarcastic nature is so true to the original.
Wednesday is one of Netflix’s most successful shows currently and it’s easy to see why; with a complimentary cast, one of the most talented actresses of this generation as the protagonist and the modernisation of pop culture, like The Addams Family, this show carries on the franchise accurately and a series centred on the iconic Wednesday is most definitely an effective concept.