By Faith Molitor
Elm Staff Writer
If you are on social media, chances are you have seen people talking about “Wednesday,” the original series that follows the coming-of-age story of Wednesday Addams.
Even before its release, however, the hype around the series was undeniable. In 2020, it was announced that director Tim Burton was to helm an unnamed project about the Addams Family. Later in 2021, it was announced that rising star Jenna Ortega would play the titular role of Wednesday Addams.
While many speculated about what the tone of the show would be, upon its release, audiences were surprised to find that the show was less solemn and more targeted towards teenagers.
Released on Nov. 23, “Wednesday” is eight episodes long and is available to watch on Netflix.
After getting expelled from her school for attempted murder, Wednesday is thrown into the new world of Nevermore School, where her parents, Gomez and Morticia (Luis Guzman and Catherine Zeta Jones), attended.
Upon being thrust into a new school, Wednesday is unwilling to buy into the flowery fantasy of friendship that binds Nevermore students together.
Ortega approached Wednesday with a fearlessness and biting sense of humor. Her iteration of Wednesday makes her opinions known, telling people upfront what she thinks about them.
One of the most delightful examples of Oretga’s acerbic take on the character are her interactions with her roommate, Enid Sinclair (Emma Myers), a spunky werewolf who refuses to back down after Wednesday rejects her friendship.
Another entertaining dynamic that Ortega creates is with Wednesday’s potential love interest, Xavier Thorpe (Percy Hynes). While Xavier is a typical prince charming, Wednesday rejects his advances, preferring to be the heroine in her own story.
Wednesday also shares a spark with Tyler Galpin (Hunter Doohan), a resident of Jericho, the town surrounding Nevermore. Despite creating a pact with Tyler to leave Nevermore, their relationship is strained by the prejudice of Tyler’s father, Sheriff Donovan Galpin, who holds a grudge against Gomez Addams.
Just like an average teenager, much of what Wednesday does is based on other people’s perception of her. “Wednesday” shows that everyone deserves the same, awkward teenage experiences regardless of their identity.
Additionally, the show tackles the idea of otherness. The people of Jericho do not share the same magical powers as the students and faculty of Nevermore, causing a divide. While Jericho needs the money that Nevermore generates to survive, the town allows their fear to separate them.
Although the show was created with a younger fanbase in mind, its commentary on girlhood, otherness, and fear elevate the show from typical teenage fare.
For all of its twists and turns, Wednesday cleans up the mysteries that faced her. However, the show ends with two cliffhangers to keep the audience waiting for a second season.
While there is no official word on whether “Wednesday” is renewed for a second season, according to Deadline, the show broke Netflix’s record for most hours viewed in a week for any English-language series, so a renewal would not be a surprise.
In a school like Nevermore, where new questions lie around each corner, it will be interesting to see what comes next for Wednesday.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Photo caption: After starring in 2022’s “Scream” and “X,” actress Jenna Ortega solidified her scream queen status with “Wednesday.”