Netflix’s Wednesday has been one of the most anticipated TV shows of the year, and every minute of it is a jaunty adventure unlike anything else. For longtime fans of The Addams Family, it’s guaranteed to be the kind of show that’ll remain staple viewing during the spooky season. And here at Marvelous Geeks, we’ve always been pro-Addams Family Values being year-round viewing, which makes the timing of the new series even better.
Jenna Ortega is rightfully front and center in the season, and it’s no spoiler to state that she shines (or, rather, dims) brilliantly. Ortega isn’t trying to be Christina Ricci by any means, but instead, she’s bringing her own heart and resilience to the character, adding layers that are both refreshing and familiar in a comforting sense. She’s undoubtedly the star, but simultaneously, she steals every scene she’s in effortlessly in a way that’s a marvel in and of itself.
Further, while Netflix’s Wednesday primarily focuses on the titular character during her time at Nevermore Academy, the Addams and Morticia especially, are critical players in her story as they establish what being an Addams means. There are fascinating mother/daughter beats that the story plays with, making Wednesday’s growth as a character that much more nuanced and compelling.
From what we’ve seen thus far, this is only the beginning, and where the story can continue to lead as it digs into the cooky family’s secrets is nothing short of engaging. The Addams family has always been riveting for numerous reasons, but how Netflix’s Wednesday continues to add to the lore is tremendously symbolic. There’s so much story here, but it’s never once overwhelming, and it feels incredibly relatable and organic in its narrative approach.
There’s also plenty we could say about other key players in the story, such as Enid Sinclair (Emma Myers), Larissa Weems (Gwendoline Christie), Bianca Barclay (Joy Sunday), Tyler Galpin (Hunter Doohan), Xavier Thorpe (Percy Hynes White), and even Christina Ricci’s Marilyn Thornhill, but every twist and turn and wild ride deserves to be unspoiled. What we can say, however, is that Netflix’s Wednesday balances character arcs so well that ensemble shows meant to do this sort of thing have yet to master it.
Everyone’s growth process on Netflix’s Wednesday is both hilarious and genuinely captivating. The dynamics at play throughout Wednesday’s time at Nevermore make the mystery element much more intriguing while simultaneously allowing characters to unveil their true selves. A component of heartache runs through all of them as they’re deemed outcasts and looked down upon, which acts as an allegory for prejudice and xenophobia.
Netflix’s Wednesday is compelling and mischievous at every turn, with Jenna Ortega bringing some of the finest performances to our screens. But ultimately, the series wins because of the cast, writing, directing, and, of course, the original score by Danny Elfman. The entire series is a brilliant ensemble effort, even while so much rests on Ortega’s shoulders. When it needs to slow down, the plot does so with the right amount of vulnerability, and where it needs to pick up pace through action sequences, it leaves viewers on the edge of their seats.
Whether you’re a fan of The Addams Family or not, Wednesday is mesmerizing from start to finish and the kind of show that’s a whole lot of fun to watch. We’ll be here bargaining for more of it immediately because it’s too good not to.
Wednesday is streaming exclusively on Netflix on November 23.