Netflix’s ‘Wednesday’ gives modern take on classic Addams Family character


Photo Courtesy of Netflix

Wednesday brings new life into Addams Family with this spinoff series.

Samantha Marin, Staff Writer

Wednesday Addams has been sent to Nevermore Academy, a boarding school for magical creatures and people, in Tim Burton’s Netflix series “Wednesday.” During her first year, she must save the school and her sanity while dealing with a particularly cheery roommate. Played by Jenna Ortega, Wednesday experiences the trials and tribulations of a girl’s teenage years. Viewers see Wednesday navigate friendships and love interests in her own dark way. 

While it isn’t her first television appearance, “Wednesday” is arguably Ortega’s best work. She delivers complex emotions in an obscured, reserved way and holds true to Wednesday’s gothic aesthetic and dark demeanor. In the pilot episode, audiences also meet her roommate, Enid Sinclair, a bright and bubbly werewolf who hasn’t quite grown into her werewolf nature yet. Enid’s character is another example of the series relating to the experience of being a still-growing teenage girl. Played by Emma Myers, she is  Wednesday’s polar opposite from their personalities to their outfits and their room designs. Wednesday and Enid serve almost as caricatures of the dark gothic aesthetic and the bubble-gum pink aesthetic and how they contrast each other, but also complement each other in unexpected ways. 

However, the two roommates aren’t the only breakout stars. Hunter Doohan, who plays Tyler Galpin, and Percy Hines White, who plays Xavier Thorpe, were also perfectly cast. Tyler, being the mysterious love interest with many secrets and motives, was written with complexity and a certain level of intensity. Xavier is unassuming yet intricate as well, and all of the characters are well-written with the actors playing them beautifully. 

Viewers also see a familiar face in the series as Christina Ricci, who played Wednesday in the 1991 adaptation of “The Addams Family” and in the 1993 sequel “Addams Family Values,” plays the botanicals teacher Marylin Thornhill. This is an interesting juxtaposition that Burton has used as Ricci went from playing Wednesday Addams herself to playing a seemingly nice teacher with many dark secrets. Marilyn Thornhill’s character development is impressive and it isn’t obvious at first. She sticks with the wholesome, comforting demeanor, but when she makes her motives known there’s an impressive level of behind-the-scenes growth. Ricci does a nice job of making that flip somewhat gradual, but intense at the same time. 

The art of “Wednesday” is also a stand-out factor of the series. From the simplicity of the setting to the intricate details woven within, the cinematography is something to behold. Being a Tim Burton creation, this series is darkly lit and while there’s the risk of not being able to see what is happening with darker lighting, that doesn’t seem to be the case with the series. There is a perfect balance between dark and light that leaves us with a level of dim light that complements the show’s themes beautifully. 

“Wednesday” has been renewed for a second season by Netflix, according to the creators of the series. The release date is still unknown, however, it has only been revealed a few weeks ago.