November-December 2022 - NOW SHOWING: Wednesday
I'm an OG Addams Family fan. I truly believed there was no way anyone could excel over John Astin and Carolyn Jones when playing the family heads, Gomez and Morticia of the 60s. It wasn't necessary to touch perfection. Then, Anjelica Huston and Raul Julia slapped that notion out of my head with their iconic performances. Since its introduction in comic strips in 1938, generations have their versions of Addams. The latest inception of Addams on film has Catherine Zeta-Jones and Luis Guzmán at the helm. While the two dark lovers have always been at the forefront, showcasing how they hold their family together, in November, the only Addams daughter, Wednesday, will take center stage in the new Netflix series, Wednesday, created by Tim Burton.
The show finds Wednesday, played by Jane the Virgin's Jenna Ortega, standing up for her brother, fitting of an Addams. The bold action leads her to go to her fifth school in eight years, and the decision to go to her mother's alma mater, Nevermore Academy, isn't sitting well with her. Wednesday is determined not to follow in her parent's footsteps, and she will stop at nothing to break free of this establishment. But she soon learns that this new environment will not only provide her with some deadly moments but will put her in a situation that many a Wednesday experienced very little of - experiencing emotion and finding friends who accept her as she is.
The series is respectable of the original but eager to find its only voice. Ortega is delightful as Wednesday. Her mannerisms are spot on of what you would expect from the character. But she provides a vulnerability - a word you would never expect to have in a sentence describing Wednesday Addams. The rest of the ensemble includes Gwendoline Christie, the Head Mistress of the Academy, who tries hard to keep Wednesday in line as a favor to Wednesday's mother and former roommate, Morticia. Adding Christina Ricci to the line-up was a nice touch. Ricci, who played Wednesday Addams in the 90s films, as Marilyn Thornhill, the Botany teacher who, from the moment she showed up on the screen, made me question her motives, and I was living for every minute of it! Emma Meyers is charming as Enid Sinclair, who slowly grows on Wednesday, and becomes influential in her life. Hunter Doohan (Your Honor) and Percy Hynes White as the love interest stood out on screen up with Ortega and had great comedic timing, and Joy Sunday as Bianca, the archnemesis, is everything. The chemistry between her and Wednesday is felt in their first scene together, leaving Bianca to realize that Wednesday will be the challenge she didn't know she needed.
All and all, the series is a dark, comedic ride that keeps you entertained, leaving open the possibility of a second season. Burton's expertise in creating haunting and bizarre surroundings worked perfectly on this project. The overall result left me happy with this team's take on a classic.
Wednesday premieres on Wednesday, November 23rd on Netflix.