Criticism | Wednesday: the perfect balance between novelty and legacy?

Jenna Ortega stands out with her own version of Wednesday through an innovative universe, both for lovers of the Addams Family and for new generations

The Addamses they are one of the family most beloved of film and television well, having enjoyed great popularity in the 60s and resuming the mysticism of the franchise in the movies of the 90sthe characters created by Charles Addams are currently recognized worldwide Y for more than a generation of viewers.

That is why the series wednesday of Netflix has several missions ahead: the first, honor a legacy that has marked both the cinema and the public, exploring one of the most intriguing characters in the Addams family and do justice to the first work in series of one of its directors, Tim Burton.

But does he actually live up to the eccentric Addams legacy? And is Tim Burton’s return to the genre how much did we expect? We tell you.

Wednesday only

After a tragic “accident” at one of his schools, wednesdaymerlin in Latin America—, is sent to the nevermore academy, an institution for young strangers (outcasts), who seek the best way to fit into the world with their particular gifts.

wednesday manages to meet expectations that every fan of the Addams Family could have about the series; between a morbid humor, mysterious situations and the ability of its protagonist to function naturally among each and every one of them, rather than doing justice, puts on top everything that makes Wednesday well… Wednesday.

Jenna Ortega perfectly captures the essence of the character and allows him for the first time to do something that has never been attempted before in the franchise: let it grow, and push her through events beyond her control, highlighting her strangeness in a different world and why not? Also experimenting with some other supernatural ability.

Without a doubt, the greatest success of the entire series is to leave the weight of it on the shoulders of Ortega, who he lets himself be carried away by the character with such naturalness who seems to have played it all his life. Likewise, he allows himself to play with facets that break the almost stoic superficiality that characterized her first drawings, making him one of the strongest characters not only of its history, but throughout the lore of the Addams family.

For the first time it feels like Wednesday has a purpose and is not only reactive, he becomes an active factor in his story and that is more than enough to drag the public to seek answers at his side. Furthermore, successfully, although she proposes equally interesting characters and with different stories, Wednesday is never overshadowed, constantly reminding why she is the protagonist of the story.

Nevertheless, although it does fill the character’s shoesin the same way that the series honors its predecessors, this series is not necessarily created for those who have grown up or that they have known Wednesday and his family all their lives; Well, one of his greatest virtues is that, despite being forged through dozens of movies, series, and previous performances, the Netflix series manages to live on its own and enjoy an individualism that makes her stand out among other versions of the characters.

However, especially the followers of the films starring Raul Julia and Anjelica Houston will find a great tribute to the version of wednesday of the tapes, then the presence of Christina Ricci ends up uniting both universes in an amazing way.

Get carried away by the new and the not so new

Yes ok wednesday stands out for being different to earlier versions of the Addams Family, you need to the public chooses to be open to such differences. Since more than working as a comedy, it becomes a series of adolescents, mysteries and clues that are very reminiscent of nancy drew and even smallvillethe latter on which its showrunners previously worked.

The theme that permeates the series is just how difficult it is for a teenager to fit inespecially when such a teenager is as socially awkward as Wednesday is, or as the rest of the outcasts from Nevermore Academy.

And it is that, extracting Wednesday from his family’s orbit,—where he also frequently clashes with his own mother, Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones)—,rIt is very curious to see her interact with another group of characters who vary in their reception towards her, from repelling her to wanting to be part of her closest circle. Therein lies another of her strengths, because not everything is a constant rejection of Wednesday and her personality, but an approach that the character himself has to learn to deal with.

Now, a story where the main development space is an Academy for different people is not alien to the public, as it is something that has been seen in dozens of series, comics, and movies such as legacies, X-Men, Percy Jackson, among several others. And it is here where perhaps the series collides with one of its defects, because beyond presenting the mythical population that lives in the school, It doesn’t end up exploding or skills, nor generate great interest for the rest of the factions of Nevermore.

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The epic return of Tim Burton?

Tim Burton runs the first four eight episodes of the season, and indeed, It is a footprint that remains marked from beginning to end. Well, he not only builds Wednesday as a highly personal character for him, but he dares to establish a world around you that enjoys the signature of its author on a large scale.

The monsters, the settings, the direction and translation of characters are firmly entrenched in the pen of Tim Burton, who puts back on the table creatures of his imagination that They are very reminiscent of the director’s work in the 80s.

Likewise, the tone and style are entirely Burton’s, who plays with elements both on the screen and in the dialogues to make his dream of introducing himself to the Addams come true.

However, as the season progresses yes, the director’s departure is noted, which is not necessarily negative, since Gandja Monteiro and James Marshall They follow the guide set by Tim Burton almost to the letter, although pushing the story through their own visions and managing to boost the pace of the series in crescendo until its end.

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a little more poison

Now, although both the participation of Tim Burton like the Jenna Ortega serve as pillars for the series, it is impossible to miss several shortcomings that the series limps on.

On the one hand, although the reinvention of all the Addams is directly tied to their counterparts of the series of the 60 – so that although extravagant, they are not necessarily proud homicidal -, one of its members fails terribly when under the spotlight: Fester (Or Lucas) Addams in the hands of Fred Armisen.

The arrival of the character not only breaks with a sequence that his episodes had established almost masterfully, but also completely break the atmospheredelivering a Fester that, in addition to not contributing to the story, only gets in the way.

And it is that in reality, the role of direct ally Wednesday is fulfilled almost completely via Thing Fingers—, who in addition to acting as a comic relief for the show, he puts his finger (hehe) on the aspects that must be pushed in the plot.

Now, although several of theThe members of the Nevermore Academy have a unique relationship with each other and with Wednesday, some of their plots remain halfway in order to be resolved in future episodes, but making his advances feel strangely incomplete in the 8 chapters that the season lasts, which it still feels unfinished.

at this time too it is necessary to emphasize the strange decisions that were taken for some characters, because although several of them are interesting, contrasting and complex, some are pushed down pathways that don’t necessarily belong to them.

Giving an example to Enid Sinclair (Emma Myers), who at some point is “candidate for a werewolf conversion therapy camp”, making a direct criticism of such camps for LGBT people in real life, but without being a character that belongs to said community, which makes such a plot feel disconnected and even uncomfortable.

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vision fulfilled

wednesday is a series that does not require much to enjoy, becoming a unique variant of the Addams Family and paying homage to his legacy like the series teenager of mystery and suspense. The series knows what it wants to do and achieves it, positioning itself as one of the most interesting stories of the Addams to date, and growing a universe that, in addition to being rich in mythology, is completely new to its audience.

Being his first season, You need to clearly define where you want to go, not only with its protagonist, but with the rest of the characters that surround it. well although bet a lot on the future, perhaps he forgets a bit about living and solving his mysteries in the present, causing him to several of its plots depend firmly on a second season to exploit to the fullest.

Finally, the chemistry between its actors and characters is really brilliant, especially when these revolve around Wednesday, who has a unique way of interacting both with those we’ve seen her deal with previously, and with those who have the potential to become iconic members of the lore of the addamses —Enid, Xavier (Percy Hynes White), Bianca (Joy Sunday) and of course, Tyler (Hunter Doohan)—.

Wednesday premieres November 23 exclusively on Netflix.

Criticism | Wednesday: the perfect balance between novelty and legacy?