Graphic: The series is a supernaturally infused detective mystery that plots Wednesday Addams‘ years as a student at Nevermore Academy, where he tries to master his emerging psychic ability, thwart a monstrous murder wave that has terrorized the local town, and solve the murder mystery involving his parents 25 years ago, all while navigating his new and very tangled relationships in Nevermore.
Check: In 1991, Tim Burton reluctantly stopped directing. the addams family due to production in Batman Returns. Barry Sonnenfeld took the reins, leading to the film becoming a financial success for Orion Pictures. Despite multiple lackluster live-action sequels, Burton was again attached to a 2010 stop-motion animated reboot for Universal and Illumination Entertainment. MGM ultimately delivered two CGI features that earned mixed to negative reviews. Now, Tim Burton can finally put an end to his signature The Addams Family style with Wednesday, a dark series centered on Addams’ eldest daughter. she is not only Wednesday the first series for the small screen to be directed by Tim Burton, but it’s also one of his more subdued projects to date, taking a far less whimsical approach than the feature films, instead ramping up the violence for a light but enjoyable macabre romp.
Wednesday opens with a central scene in the trailer that features Addams’ eldest son unleashing piranhas on the water polo team. Expelled from her school, Wednesday is enrolled in Nevermore Academy, the private boarding school where her parents Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Gomez (Luis Guzmán) fell in love. Led by Principal Larissa Weems (Gwendoline Christie), a classmate of Morticia’s, Nevermore is home to students with all kinds of supernatural abilities. From Wednesday’s roommate Enid (Emma Myers), a werewolf, to her nemesis Bianca Barclay (Joy Sunday), a mermaid, all manner of monsters and spirits roam the halls. Reminiscent of Hogwarts, Nevermore is also home to a murder mystery list, as well as a lengthy curse that connects Wednesday to the school’s founder, Joseph Crackstone. Initially reluctant to attend Nevermore, Wednesday gradually grows closer to her classmates and teachers, including Marilyn Thornhill (Christina Ricci).
While the Addams clan is heavily featured in the trailer, Wednesday’s family gets a limited amount of screen time. Pugsley and Uncle Fester (Fred Armisen) appear in a single episode each along with Lurch and Wednesday’s parents, but the disembodied hand Thing is a prominent character throughout the season. Much of the season is spent developing suspects and uncovering clues as Wednesday tries to figure out why he’s so important to a prophecy at school. The season is primarily devoted to developing the Nevermore mythology, as well as Wednesday’s hunt for a giant monster that shares a passing resemblance to the monsters of Beetle juice. leading her to become suspicious of everyone, from Principal Weems to students Xavier Thorpe (Percy Hynes White), “normie” and her love interest Tyler Galpin (Hunter Doohan), therapist Dr. Valerie Kinbolt (Riki Lindhome) and more. . The series also features an ability for Wednesday that allows her to have precognitive visions when she comes into contact with people or objects. While this plot device is used to move the story forward, it serves as a fun connection to Morticia and the Addams Family legacy of witchcraft.
This series deviates quite a bit from previous incarnations of the addams family by making the paranormal and supernatural the norm rather than exclusive to the Addams clan. Weather Wednesday Treating the distinction between the outcasts on Nevermore as isolated from real-world norms, the series doesn’t do a great job of making Wednesday seem strange or weird compared to everyone around her. Jenna Ortega is much more emotional than Christina Ricci in the feature films and makes Wednesday an intriguing character in her own right. Gwendoline Christie also stands out in another amazing role that is so much more than what the trailers show. Christina Ricci is also doing quite well in a substantial role that is much more than a cameo. I understand why this series makes Wednesday its own story, but it still seems to be missing a lot of the Addams charm that we only see in the few episodes with the rest of the family. If nothing else, this is my favorite version of Thing in any of the above Addams series or movies.
The eight-episode series is being heavily marketed as a Tim Burton project despite the filmmaker having no scripts to his credit and only directing four episodes. The remaining four chapters were split evenly between directors Gandja Monteiro and James Marshall. Four of the episodes were written by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (one episode of which they share credit with Matt Lambert) and the other half are split between April Blair and Kayla Alpert. I’m not considering these divided duties to be the main factor in Wednesday’s shortcomings, but even with an excellent score from Danny Elfman, this series never feels as cinematic as any of Burton’s feature-length works. No matter how strong the actors are here, the best are relegated to supporting roles and don’t get enough screen time to make up for the disappointingly generic teen-focused melodrama that fills these hour-long episodes. Millar and Gough did a solid job bringing Superman’s youth to life in smallvillebut this series wastes a lot of potential by wasting it on too manyAddams characters.
the charm of the addams family it was always that they were the odd ones in a world of normal people. Wednesday she surrounds the main character with supernatural beings just as weird as herself, making everything feel smooth and less whimsical. Even Tim Burton’s signature style feels underwhelming compared to what I’ve come to expect from him, as this series has more in common with Netflix’s. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and the recent School of good and evil. Even with Jenna Ortega doing an admirable job of following Christina Ricci’s iconic performance, Wednesday it doesn’t live up to its potential and still manages to present an intricate mystery that plays out over the eight-episode season. There’s some charm to this take on iconic characters that may be worth returning to for a second season, but I’m not sure if this series is creepy or wacky enough to warrant another run.
Wednesday premieres in November 18 on Netflix.