Family can be a difficult thing to navigate. Particularly when you are a teenager. How much of you comes from your family? How do you distinguish yourself from your parents? How do you find the self that is yourself when your whole life has been steered by others?
I was surprised when this line of questioning was an integral part of the new show; Wednesday. To be honest I was really unsure going into this series. Perhaps that is why I was not expecting such depth from the series. I was excited about the casting choices, but not the director. However I decided to give the show a try and now I am glad that I did.
Wednesday Addams is an outcast, and she likes it that way. She comes from a family of outcasts. Her whole life she has been taught differently, been given different pets and encouraged to have different interests. After an incident Wednesday is sent to Nevermore Academy, her parents’ alma mater. There, her parents hope she will find friends amongst those more like them. What Wednesday finds is a supernatural mystery. Can she solve it and neutralize the threat before it is too late?
There has been a lot of back and forth onlien about this series. The Addams Family were brought to life through the medium of comics by artist Charles Addams. Addams had a morbid sense of humor and was able to find a home for it in the Addams’ gothic mansion. Since then everyone’s favorite family of odd folks have been reimagined in television, movies and even a musical. Each version has been slightly different from the others. Each version has brought in new fans who are extremely protective of what they think the Addams family should be. This has led to fans being on two sides of the fence for the show, and with very strong feelings about it.
Wednesday is not a remake, it is a continuation of all of those evolutions for this medium and modern audience. I know that other viewers have had a difficult time watching Wednesday struggle with emotions and how she sees the world as black or white. However other neurodivergent fans have enjoyed seeing their own struggles on the screen in the form of our pigtailed heroine. I know it is difficult not to compare different versions of Wednesday but going into this series with as much of a fresh mind as you can is helpful. There is a lot that viewers can latch onto and love here.
This is where reimaginings of beloved characters get tricky. We all believe the characters are ours. That how we see them is how everyone sees them. However, that is not the case. Perhaps, particularly with a story about an outcast, that is an important point for all of us to walk away with. Wednesday Addams doesn’t belong to just me, she belongs to all of us. We are all going to see ourselves in her through different iterations through time. We all have a lot of feelings about this family, and those feelings are valid.
So moving forward I would like to talk about the costumes. They are, simply put, fantastic. I loved the costumes, hair and make up for this show. The music was to die for. The sets were transformative. The work put into this show is evident in every frame.
Would I recommend Wednesday? Yes and also no.
Let us start with why the “yes.” This is a different Addams family then we have seen before. A different setting than viewers are used to. This is a different story, concentrating on a single Addams character and not the whole family. The spirit that Charles Addams put into the characters is there but this is new, as it should be.
Now onto the “no” since I do think that this needs to be discussed. This is a Tim Burton project. That means that it comes with all the good and bad associated with his work. Including how he treats his characters of color. I feel responsible to add that I have seen POC creators being divided about this show for valid reasons. A lot of them are unhappy with the makeup, hair and villainy choices for POC characters. Yes, Wednesday is getting to embrace being Latina in this project but perhaps that is not enough for the whole show. So view with caution.
This is a fascinating story about a teenager with a mystery to solve. There are plenty of themes of dark academia at the Nevermore Academy. There is a small town brimming with secrets. Between the Academy and the town is a creepy woods. Really, from a storytelling sense, the show has so many wonderful elements. I saw a lot of character growth for different characters as well through the show which was lovely. Just go in knowing that this Wednesday is both the same and different from her predecessors.
ALWAYS KEEP SPARKLING!!!