November 30, 2022

‘Wednesday’ review: Jenna Ortega makes Netflix’s Addams Family series look like a snap

3 min read


Although the protagonist’s name was inspired by the poetic line “Wednesday’s child is filled with sorrow,” “Wednesday” Usually happy, thanks almost entirely to Gina Ortega. Moving on from her Disney Channel days, Ortega turns the Addams Family’s now high school-aged daughter into the best comic goth sociopath you’ll ever meet, in a Netflix series from Scary or Okay. There is more cookie.

Director Tim Burton sets just the right visual tone — a mix of comedy and horror similar to “Edward Scissorhands” — while teaming up with “Smallville” producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, which revolves around an eccentric young man. Know something about making a we-show. In fact, when Wednesday is enrolled at a new private school, Nevermore Academy, she tells the headmistress (“Game of Thrones’s” Gwendoline Christie) about going from school to school, “They haven’t made it strong enough. That he might catch me.”

It could turn into Nevermore, a Poe-etic name for that haven for the weird and the witchy, with a supernatural vibe that’s as Hogwarts (or X-Men) as Charles Addams’ signature comic strip.

Not only does Wednesday have to deal with dawning psychic abilities and the strange sightings that accompany them, but a mystery emerges that turns the suspicious girl into a grumpy, ebony-clad Nancy Drew, trying to figure out As soon as the investigation begins, who is responsible? Circling back to your family tree.

It’s obviously a fairly derivative mashup of genre elements, but the mix works in part because the smaller components are also delicious, from Catherine Zeta-Jones and Luis Guzmán to Wednesday’s parents, Morticia and Gomez. Right down to her sidekick Thing, the outfit she gets. Want through employment – what else? — “The five-fingered concession.” The writers get a lot of comedic mileage out of this extreme, so give them a hand.

What separates “Wednesday” from similar efforts (Netflix’s “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” comes to mind), finally, there’s Ortega, who somehow manages to be consistently awkward, a portrait in winking intensity and strangely endearing at the same time. That’s no small feat when character descriptions include never raising one’s voice or cracking even a hint of a smile.

Christina Ricci, who played Buddha in the 1990 films, as part of the school’s staff and the local sheriff (Jamie McShane) dismisses Buddha and his classmates as the “Scooby Gang” and the series Runs on multiple. The surface

Perhaps inevitably, “Wednesday” doesn’t sustain its initial kick as the serialized story unfolds over eight episodes, and the ending becomes too chaotic. Then again, that’s hardly surprising given the nature of the source material, which is designed more for little jokes than a big story.

Trying to bring something new to a property like The Addams Family, which has been done so many times before, isn’t easy without changing its DNA. To its credit, “Wednesday” rises to the challenge and mostly manages to look like a picture.

“Wednesday” premieres on Netflix on November 23.

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