We Love Wednesday! Triple Snap Reviews

Editor’s Note: Greetings Red Mango Readers. This week news dropped that Netflix dark comedy fantasy mystery series Wednesday (based on the titular character from the popular Addams Family franchise) broke a record for the streaming site with 341.23M hours in its first week, dethroning the pop culture juggernaut of Stranger Things 4. And it’s no surprise because the show is pretty awesome. So awesome that just one review would not do.

With a creepy, kooky and altogether ooky SPOILER ALERT here are the reviews by Alice, Sommer and yours truly:

Alice’s Review

Such a lovely family. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

In this eight-episode Netflix series, recently crowned Scream Queen Jenna Ortega takes on the role of a teenaged Wednesday Addams. The actress had some big shoes to fill as Christina Ricci played the definitive Wednesday Addams in the 1991 film The Addams Family and its 1993 sequel film Addams Family Values. It was extremely thrilling to see Ortega reach out and grab the role by the horns, making it her own. Unlike Ricci’s 11-year-old Wednesday, Ortega needed to step it up a notch by still embodying the essence of her deadpan expression and snarky remarks and yet still have the time to deal with high school drama with a dash of danger on the side.

After Wednesday is expelled for taking revenge on the high-school swimming team for bullying her little brother Pugsley, she is sent to the Nevermore Academy, a school for outcasts and her mother Morticia’s (Catherine Zeta-Jones) alma mater. The student populace is made of four major cliques Furs – Werewolves, Fangs – Vampires, Stoners – Gorgons, and Scales – Sirens. The school’s headmistress Larissa Weems (Gwendoline Christie of Game of Thrones, Star Wars) is revealed to be Morticia’s roommate during her time at the Academy. However, Weems still secretly holds a grudge against Wednesday’s mother. Wednesday also feels like she is being pressured to live up to her mother’s popularity while struggling to deal with the emerging psychic abilities that can propel her into seeing events from the past or the future. She’s also investigating a series of murders in the local town of Jericho, where all signs seem to point towards the culprit being at the Nevermore Academy.

How’d you like a manicure with a hedge clipper?

The series is delightful, witty, and imaginative, especially in the creative depiction of Thing. Here it has more than just life; he’s got the personality of a protector, accomplice, and guardian. Slight spoiler warning here, in episode 7 titled, “If You Don’t Woe by Now” there’s a sequence where Thing’s life hangs in the balance and the audience will get to see just how much Wednesday cares for Thing. The scene is particularly powerful and climactic, managing to demonstrate just how successful Ortega was at giving the character an emotional range without taking away from the iconic impassive delivery that is so much a part of Wednesday Addams’ personality.

And we cannot go any further without mentioning, the epic dance that’s been the delight of many fans across the internet, which featured in Episode 4 titled “Woe What a Night”. Wednesday busts a move on the dance floor at Nevermore’s Annual dance the Rave’n with her unique goth-inspired routine. Ortega choreographed the scene herself and mentioned in a few interviews that she was insecure and nervous about it. Director Tim Burton applauded the actress for her dedication in taking certain steps towards embracing Wednesday’s character. Ortega took up fencing, learned how to play the cello, and even started walking like Wednesday. The audience’s jaws (my jaw is included) hit the floor when Wednesday showed up to an all-white dance in a stunning black dress and began to confidently perform her routine as one being possessed and not having control over their limbs. That scene is one of my favorites in the entire series and I think that it captures a pivotal moment in Wednesday’s life, one where she finally felt comfortable enough to let loose (in her way) and have a little fun!

Truly dancing like no one’s watching

Director Tim Burton personally helmed at least four episodes in the series and long-time fans can see the classic Burton tropes that made him so popular with films like Beetlejuice (1988) and Edward Scissorhands (1990). His love of black and white with splashes of red in costumes and set design, flashbacks to show the traumatic pasts of main characters, and misunderstood females who eventually get their moment to shine is on full display here.

Wednesday’s success (the series here) lies in the clever depiction of a coming-of-age story that melds the tropes of high school drama, plot twists, danger, and supernatural creatures with a healthy side of gothic-inspired fashion feast for all the Goth fans out there. The story also manages to respectfully stay true to the original Addams Family material and maintain its creepy, campy charm while keeping modern audiences glued to the screens with more than memorable performances.

Alice’s Score: 9 out of 10

Sommer’s Review

Quite a talented young student. Pity about the whole attempted murder thing

Love him or leave him, if you’re a movie fan there’s probably a big chance you’ve both seen and enjoyed a Tim Burton movie. Like every talented director out there, he has created his own signature look and feel to his films. So, when it was announced Netflix was not only producing a series based off the gothic characters of The Addams Family (originated in the quirky comic strip by Charles Addams) but would also be bringing Tim Burton as executive producer/part-time director, I think the collective screams of glee could be heard everywhere. But how do you take a well-established story and make it new again? Well, if you’re the talented duo of writers Alfred Gough and Mark Millar, you take the character that Christina Ricci made a standout in the two movies she starred in, and you build a mystery surrounding her. Add a dash of Harry Potter and a pinch of Sabrina the Teenage Witch and my dear fans you have yourself the creepy, the kooky, the mysterious and the spooky Wednesday.

After a certain incident at her last school involving a couple bags of piranhas, a swimming pool and the deballing of one school bully (ouch!) we’re introduced to Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega). She’s expelled and the only place left for her is her parents Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Gomez (Luis Guzman) old private school Nevermore, a place where “outcasts” such as vampires, werewolves, sirens and gorgons send their kids so they can be themselves. Once there Wednesday quickly realises Nevermore is full of secrets and there is a killer amongst them. In a small town like Jericho, everyone is a suspect including her Principal Ms. Weems (Gwendoline Christie) “normie” teacher Ms. Thornhill (Christina Ricci) her therapist Dr Kinbott (Riki Lindhome) and even potential love interests Tyler (Hunter Doohan) and Xavier (Percy Hynes White). And as the body count rises it’s up to Wednesday to save the school…or destroy it, dealer’s choice!

Wednesday’s my favourite day of the week. Go hump day!

Let’s get right to it, Jenna Ortega is phenomenal as Wednesday Addams! She takes the very solid foundation created by Christina Ricci who basically Steve Urkel-ed the role in the movies by making the character so iconic and expands on her personality traits in the best of ways. With her subtle facial expressions and big dark brown eyes Ortega plays Wednesday almost like someone on the autistic spectrum, with her frank way of speaking, her aversion to touch and her outwardly icy demeanor that hides her big heart.

But she’s not the only one who delivers on their performance as Christina Ricci disappears into the role of Marilyn Thornhill which is not an easy thing to do considering who she previously played in these stories. Gwendoline Christie (The Sandman, Game of Thrones) is elegantly aloof as Principal Weems. And while they aren’t on screen for much of the episodes, Catherine Zeta-Jones (The Mask of Zorro, Chicago) gets to expand on the role of Morticia as not just a sexy wife but also as a mother struggling to connect with her daughter and Luis Guzman (Narcos, Boogie Nights) brings his sense of humor to Gomez while also looking more like the original design for the character than any other actor in the role. The late great Raul Julia will always be remembered for his charismatic performance and honestly, it is still the one to top but Guzman brought the original comic sensibility back to the role, not to mention the physicality.

Pool’s closed boys

Tim Burton directed four out of the eight episodes but his signature look and style is seen throughout but I don’t think this would’ve turned out as well as it did were it not for the sharp and well thought out writing by team Alfred Gough (Spider-Man 2, Smallville, Into the Badlands) and Mark Millar (Kingsman, Kick-Ass, Wanted).

While I’m sure there may be some who find the series too dark in comparison with all its predecessors, I appreciated how they pulled out all the stops and delivered a macabre murder-mystery that felt right at home in the world of the Addams. Throw in some teenage angst and a wonderfully dark dance number inspired by Stephen King’s Carrie, with a whole host of gorgeous set pieces, inspired costumes (next year’s Halloween is going to be VERY black and white) as well as some inspired call backs to the original (I grinned like a fool when I saw how they worked in the “snap twice”) and you have yourself a series worth revisiting just to see how many Easter Eggs and ingenious little moments you missed.

Like the helmet? It’s made with real cow

Fred Armisen popping up as Uncle Fester, Thing, a genuinely well-crafted mystery and Ortega’s all-in performance as well as so much more, all elevates Wednesday beyond fan service. And at only eight episodes, the series is thankfully short on wasted filler, making this Netflix original more than any fan of these characters and their spooky world could hope for.

I don’t know where the numbers are at right now (they are pretty dang great Sommer) but I can only hope other viewers adored Wednesday as much as I did so we can take a trip back to Nevermore soon and get a whole lot more from the Addams in the near future. “Snap Snap!”

Score: 8.5 out of 10

Editor Jules Review

You are my rain cloud, my little rain cloud, you make me miserable, when skies are clear…

Well, you’ve already got the rundown from Alice and Sommer, so I won’t be too long here. And I will say from jump I also really loved this series. Heck, I was so hooked that I temporarily dropped the very good Netflix series 1899 (will be posting Sommer’s review on that soon) just so I could finish the rest of Wednesday’s first season. Once I snapped, I just couldn’t stop!

Now there were a few things I didn’t love. Okay, before you burn me at the stake, let me say that none of these deal breakers, but they made the series drop short of perfect. Firstly, we have to talk about Wednesday’s parents. Luis Guzman may have the look of classic Gomez, but I found his performance terribly bland, and he had zero chemistry with Catherine Zeta-Jones’ Morticia. Zeta-Jones is better, embodying the ethereal, otherworldly sultriness of the character, though lacking the slight unnerving creep factor that we got from Angelica Huston in the 1990s films. And maybe I’ve watched too many shows, but I figured out the big twists before they were revealed. So, I would have appreciated a deeper mystery. And the ending, which I will not spoil, does feel somewhat generic compared to the great dark comedy teen angst drama that came before.

This is the fourth time this week, Pugsley! Cr. Vlad Cioplea/Netflix © 2022

And that’s it. I loved everything else. Jenna Ortega kills it as Wednesday, bringing the goth downbeat and snarky attitude but adding a subtle heart and a rich intelligence. She should definitely win some kind of award for this mind-blowing performance. And that dance? It is easily one of the coolest, most fun things I have seen put the film. I also adored Victor Dorobantu as Thing, who made as all get very emotionally attached to a sentient hand. A hand! That’s crazy. Fred Armisen was a riot as Uncle Fester. Way more of him in Season 2, please. Isaac Ordonez’s Pugsley is okay, and George Burcea’s Lurch barely gets any screen time, so it’s hard to judge his performance.

Outside the Addams Family, the cast is pretty solid. I liked the young cast, especially super bubbly werewolf roommate Enid (Emma Myers) and popular siren student and rival Bianca (Joy Sunday), and the adult cast, including Gwendoline Christie’s mysterious Principal Weems and Christina Ricci’s affable botany teacher Ms. Thornhill. I enjoyed Wednesday’s struggle with family dynamics, friendships and romantic relationships as much as the fantasy murder mystery, and thus was never bored.

If you were any lamer, you would be a normie

The show has gotten a lot of love since its release, and it truly is all deserved. If you haven’t watched it, then you need to snap to it!

Editor Jules Score: 8.5 out of 10

So that’s our reviews. How would you rate Wednesday Season 1 out of 10? And you can check out more dark fantasy content below:

TOP 5 BEST (AND 3 WORST) CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA CHARACTERS
HARRY POTTER 20TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL: RETURN TO HOGWARTS IS TRULY MAGICAL
THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL GETS A GOOD GRADE
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Dark Alice has an old soul and a curious mind. I believe that anyone can be a hero and that the good guys should always win! I dislike cruelty to animals and think that they have far superior qualities to humans. My motto is there is no future without the past. I also have a weird penchant for Paranormal TV shows even though the slightest sound makes me jump. I enjoy writing reviews and throwing in fun facts to pique the readers’ curiosity. My ultimate goal in life would be to become a published writer one day. Read More

2755F829-2EEC-4A68-B6F7-F963F48C9D92 Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.

Double Tap Baby!

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Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating tabletop games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.