“Wednesday” review: Two (Snaps)hots of the Addams Family


Courtesy of Netflix

Arianna D'Antonio, Worldview Editor

The beauty of Tim Burton’s creations is that he knows how to cater to horror by scaring adults in an odd way and engaging kids in a not-too-frightening way. “Wednesday” does the same, but the scripting caters a little more to teens rather than children, some would say in a Riverdale-esque manner.

Miss Jenna Ortega

We love the queen that is Jenna Ortega – a truly talented actress who is dedicated to doing her research for every role she has. Her dedication to becoming Wednesday is seen through her performance. Ortega confirmed that she worked closely with Tim Burton to nail the Wednesday mannerisms and behaviors they had in mind. Ortega also mentioned that as much of a blessing it was to have the original Wednesday Addams, Christina Ricci, on set, she purposefully strayed from watching Ricci’s version of Wednesday so that she would craft her version of the character. This was a good choice in the end, for we get to see distinct versions of the character that are unaffected by each other, both shining in their own ways.

The Family

The Addams family – a crucial part of Wednesday’s upbringing – has had some wonky development within the show thus far. Overall, the show could’ve doubled the episodes it had and still wouldn’t be able to encapsulate the lives of the Addams. However, the sinister qualities that define the Addams were dulled throughout this season’s introductions. For example, upon discovering that Gomez was accused of murder, the Addams family members weren’t as thrilled and proud as they normally would have reacted. Of course, they wouldn’t be jumping up and down at the thought of Gomez in jail, but they still would’ve been excessively proud of him, right? We caught glimpses of this pride in sinister activity throughout the season, but it was not as apparent as in the original sitcom and 90s films. This just caused overall confusion and graying of the Addams characters. Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing, but in doing so, we lose a bit of the developmental clarity we would normally find from each member.

The Score

The soundtrack for “Wednesday” is yet another wonderful composition by Danny Elfman, known for several other collaborations with Tim Burton. Elfman’s works include “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, “The Corpse Bride”, “Beetlejuice”, “Edward Scissorhands”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, and many more. This soundtrack provides the perfect balance of creepy and classy, which is the motif for the Addams Family themselves. Not to mention the genius incorporation of The Cramps’ 1981 single “Goo Goo Muck” in that iconic dance scene from episode 4. This scene pays homage to a scene from the original Addams Family sitcom, where Wednesday teaches Lurch how to dance.

The Controversy

There has been a lot of talk about how the Black characters in the show have been completely villainized. However, I don’t agree with these claims wholeheartedly. Bianca, the queen bee who got a nice chunk of screen time, was morally grey at the start of the show, but this quickly turned around as we got to delve more into her personality, motives, and backstory. On the other hand, Lucas was villainized a bit more than Bianca, but I still wouldn’t go as far as to say he’s a legit villain character. Also, toward the end of the season, we see him start to turn around. (Note: Lucas is a character in the Addams Family musical, so it might be possible to see some similar development)

Wednesday’s Romance – Will It Happen?

While a large portion of the audience is always excited to see a romance, there was pushback on whether Wednesday would engage herself in any kind of romance now or in the future. Personally, I think she will, and I don’t think that this is too far of a reach for Wednesday’s character. While she is doom and gloom most of the time and focused on herself with a touch of narcissism, she is not void of having a heart or wanting human connection at all. This may just mean that her “romance” will reveal itself in other ways – hopefully not with a psychopath this time (at the very least, only a fully-functioning sociopath).

Pulled in a New Direction?

Provided that a second season is confirmed, what are we looking for from this show moving forward? I know there’s a group of us that want to see more bonding and development between Wednesday and Xavier. The return of Bianca’s mother and mentions of the siren cult will likely be a major subplot for the second season, but what about the rest of them? Will we explore the summer adventures of the characters separately? Or will the show pick up at the beginning of a new school year? Either way, I think we are all hoping that this next season will have more than eight episodes for us to devour.


“Wednesday” is now available on Netflix.

Illustration by Ariel Landry