I had not been interested in watching Wednesday, the new Netflix series based on the characters from The Addams Family. I had always enjoyed the Addams Family, but the most recent versions of the show have been lacking. However, I had time on Sunday without having much of anything to watch so I decided to give a few episodes a chance. Later that night, I finished the eighth episode as I binged right through the show. I loved it and I was totally in on the entire show.
I found the central mystery of what was happening on Wednesday to be engaging. The other Addams Family characters outside of Wednesday were used very well, fitting into the storyline beautifully. Using Thing as a regular character was brilliant and I loved how the secondary characters all seemed to bond with the living hand. Uncle Fester (Fred Armisen) was done perfectly and in just the right amount.
Wednesday Addams, played by Jenna Ortega, is our main protagonist despite the fact that she is dark and brutally cruel. He scene where she tosses the piranha into the swimming pool to attack the bullies who had stuffed Pugsley into a locker was rough. The show did not just dismiss the action as a joke either. It told us that Wednesday might have faced attempted murder charges, which is not something that the sitcom would touch.
Wednesday was shown to be pretty unlikable and withdrawn from people who seemed to want to reach out to her. Some of the early episodes had moments that showed her in a bad light and the show used this as a plot point. Wednesday reminded me as a dark version of Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory. She did things that were mean-spirited, but she did not necessarily understand how she was being cruel.
Watching her slowly realize that she needed more help from people than she wanted was great and seeing the character develop, even slightly, was thrilling.
I did not think taking Wednesday and placing her in a school where she could blend in with the werewolves, sirens, gorgons etc. was a good idea, but she still stood out as being an outsider. Plus, there were normal humans around too, but they were accustomed to the “outcasts.” The show struck a perfect balance between the bizarre and the normal.
I enjoyed all of the secondary characters, from Enid Sinclair (Emma Myers) to Sheriff Donovan Galpin (Jamie McShane). I found just about every other student at Nevermore school to be interesting. They all had their arcs through the season as well.
I am a huge fan of Edgar Allan Poe, so I enjoyed the references to the writer. The similarities and differences between Nevermore and the city of Jericho were wonderfully designed. Both had their secrets and their dark histories.
The show does a great job of making every character seem to be the monster that was killing people in the woods. There was some real tense moments and I did not want to see Eugene Otinger (Moosa Mostafa) killed by the monster. Some of the characters became important to me.
Everything was not perfect. I was not in love with the finale. It was fine, but there was just something about it that did not work as well as most of the rest of the series. I think part of it was the turn to evil by Tyler (Hunter Doohan), the sheriff’s son who turned out to be the monster, a Hyde. I think I wanted him to be manipulated instead of lying about his statis.
There also seemed to be a lot that was forced in that final episode, including the return of Joseph Crackstone (William Houston). Maybe because it felt like it came out of nowhere.
Despite the finale not quite being up to snuff when compared to the rest of the show, I loved Wednesday, and I would be excited to see another season.
Tim Burton directed several of these episodes and was an executive producer as well.
The show feels like a combination of some of my favorite shows. There is some LOST here. Some Twin Peaks. Some Harry Potter. Some Marvel. It was a lot of fun.