Known for his obsession with the idiosyncratic, macabre and bizarre, horror master Tim Burton made his television debut with the live-action comedic coming-of-age Netflix spinoff to the iconic Addams Family series titled Wednesday. The series is based on the titular morbid anti-hero’s high school years as she deals with problems quintessential to moody teens.
Starring Jenna Ortega in the centre as Wednesday, the series is definitely a fun and quick-witted watch with a lovely Gen-Z twist. Ortega lives up to the legacy of Christina Ricci and Lisa Loring, who created a mark with their individual portrayal of Wednesday and adds her own flavour to this fan favourite character.
The ensemble cast of the eight-episode series stars Ortega as Wednesday Addams, Catherine Zeta-Jones as Morticia Addams, Luis Guzmán as Gomez Addams, Isaac Ordonez as Pugsley Addams, Fred Armisen as Uncle Fester, Gwendoline Christie as Principal Larissa Weems, Jamie McShane as Sheriff Galpin, Percy Hynes White as Xavier Thorpe, Hunter Doohan as Tyler Galpin, Emma Myers as Enid Sinclair, Joy Sunday as Bianca Barclay and sees Christina Ricci return as Miss Marilyn Thornhill among others.
Ortega’s Wednesday is sent to Nevermore Academy, which is home to several outcasts like her, including vampires, werewolves, sirens and gorgons. As Wednesday struggles to live up to her mother’s legacy, she is caught in a turmoil that involves a bloody murder mystery, her family’s dark past and her traumatic psychic visions.
While grappling with other teen pitfalls like love, longing, confusion and general angst, the show reeks of Burton’s brilliance and has acquired quite the fan following. Ortega is brilliant as the sharp-tongued Wednesday and her deadpan, sardonic humour; the character evolution is heartwarming as Wednesday forms connections in her unusual, weird manner.
After eight episodes, the show ends on an epic cliffhanger. While the outcasts defeat the evil normies, Nevermore is affected by the death of the principal and is on the mend. As Wednesday promises to stay in touch with friends and a potential lover, aka Xavier, she receives ominous text messages on her newly acquired phone- the adventure is seemingly yet to continue. While Netflix has not officially renewed the series, the popularity of the show in the very first week since its release makes it highly probable for the streamer to greenlight another season with Burton manning the ship.
Season one began filming in September 2021 and continued production till March 2022. Post-production took eight months. Following the same timeline, a second season would most likely make its way to Netflix sometime in 2024. While Ortega is not aware of the future plans, it seems like screenwriters are interested in exploring more in the world of the Addams family. The first season definitely raises a lot of questions which we would love to see answered in a potential season two.
Stream season one on Netflix now!