Although I can recognize the classic Addams Family theme song the second I hear those iconic finger snaps, I don’t have a lot of other familiarity with the franchise, beyond knowing a few character names from pop culture references.
Initially, Netflix’s new spinoff series about Addams Family daughter Wednesday wasn’t on my “must watch list,” but I kept hearing people talking about it. My dad loved it and encouraged me to give it a try, and so I checked out the first episode and knew right away that I had to watch more.
Wednesday is an incredibly fun and delightfully quirky coming-of-age tale anchored by a perfect performance from Jenna Ortega. Even though I haven’t really watched any other Addams Family content, I felt this was a great introduction to the fandom, and I want to spend more time with this mysterious, spooky, and altogether ooky family (OK, I promise I’ll stop with the theme song references).
I feel like “young adult” content sometimes gets a bad rap. I’ve heard the phrase “this feels too YA” often used as a criticism, with complaints about teenage angst and the much-maligned YA trope the infamous LOVE TRIANGLE.
However, I personally read a lot of YA books, particularly fantasy. There’s nothing wrong with content targeted to a young adult audience, and teen angst and even love triangles don’t automatically equal “bad” (there’s both teen angst and a love triangle in Wednesday, actually). If these literary tropes are done with authentic character development, for reasons that move the plot forward in an intriguing way, audiences won’t have a problem buying into the story being told.
Wednesday is so engaging as a character because she’s a social outcast who genuinely doesn’t care what people think of her – and yet, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t care about other people. Wednesday is a complex young woman with layers; she has a biting, pitch-black sense of humor, but she’ll also put herself in danger to help a friend (even if she won’t admit in so many words that she does consider you a friend).
While Jenna Ortega’s performance is front and center of this series, there are some fun side characters too. I had no idea that a disembodied hand – aka “Thing – could be such a lovable character, but he is. Shoutout to the special effects team and actor Victor Dorobantu for the fantastic performance capture work.
I haven’t finished this series yet due to the general hecticness of the season (the holidays + moving have cut down on my free time this month). But I look forward to watching an episode every time I get the chance. I love this show and want to see more.