The return of the Addams Family with Netflix’s “Wednesday”


Courtesy of Netflix

Jenny Ortega has been highly praised for her performance as Wednesday Addams in Netflix’s new show “Wednesday.”

Joey Gonzalez, Life Editor

If you’ve been on TikTok in the last week, you’ve definitely encountered the scene of Wednesday Addams dancing to “Bloody Mary” by Lady Gaga. And if you haven’t, you’ve probably seen popular influencers recreating the iconic dance. This isn’t the only discourse that has been circulating about Netflix’s latest series, with Twitter and Instagram also getting a piece of the action. Fans have taken to social media to hail Jenna Ortega for her incredible performance as Wednesday in the eponymously named show, “Wednesday.” Her commitment to the role, specifically her refusal to blink in any of the shots, only further proves the actress’ status as a newly emerging powerhouse in the industry, and people are taking notice.

On Nov. 23, Netflix released yet another record-setting series, titled “Wednesday,” with 341.23 million hours viewed since its release, making it the most viewed hours in a week for an English-language TV show on Netflix. The show itself follows Wednesday Addams, the oldest child in the Addams family with a predilection for torture, as she is sent to a boarding school for outcasts. Her journey in the show begins with her releasing live piranhas into a high school pool to get back at the bullies who hurt her younger brother Pugsley. In response, she is sent away to Nevermore, a school for supernatural children including werewolves, sirens, telekinetics and, of course, Wednesday. Although she is resistant to the idea at first, she begins to warm up to her classmates—in her own Wednesday fashion. The surrounding town of Jericho, Vermont has recently experienced a series of attacks by an unknown monster, which seems to leave Wednesday alone, at least unless she gets too close. As the series progresses, the monster seems to keep killing more people in the town and after a classmate is killed, Wednesday discovers that there is a coverup; however, this is only the beginning. She unlocks a psychic ability that allows her to see into the past and future, enabling her to realize that there is much more to the story than people are letting on. The show has continuous plot twists with that signature Addams family feel, making it a show worth discovering for yourself. 

Overall the show was really entertaining, constantly keeping me on my toes with red herrings and plot twists. Oftentimes, I found myself wanting to get in a few more minutes of watch time, even if I was forsaking other parts of my life. Despite the obviousness of one of the plot twists, I was still constantly second-guessing myself, making the reveals still satisfying. Afterward, the show slammed me with yet another plot twist that honestly had me take a step back and revisit everything I had previously watched. It was genuinely such a shock, but the show gives the viewer just enough information to keep them hooked but never knowing exactly what would happen next. That’s the real beauty of the show, and I certainly plan on rewatching to see if I can spot any more hints the next time through.

The acting in the show also contributed to how successful it has been, between Ortega as Wednesday Addams, Catherine Zeta-Jones as Morticia Addams, Luis Guzmán as Gomez Addams or Christina Ricci as Marilyn Thornhill—the original actress for Wednesday in the 1991 “The Addams Family.” Each performance paid an undeniable homage to the original film, while simultaneously bringing something new to the table. Ortega nailed Wednesday’s creepy yet quirky mannerisms, even displaying her signature walk. And she completed her performance with the character’s iconic deadpan stare. Her ability to effortlessly deliver her lines, all while not blinking, really brings that character to life in the modern era. Additionally, I found Zeta-Jones’ Morticia to be one of my favorite characters, despite not appearing as often as I’d hoped. She perfectly replicated the well-known physical mannerisms and speech patterns from the original. The Nevermore classmates—and many of the other side characters—also gave amazing performances, but they were outshone by the kookiness of the Addams family themselves and their respective cast members whom we have all come to love. In the end, each actor was able to bring their supernatural character to life in a way that really made the show special.

Netflix’s latest hit “Wednesday” is just that: a hit. And what’s not to love about the creepy and kooky Addams family, characters many of us grew up with. If you’re looking for your next binge-worthy show—unfortunately with only eight episodes—then I highly recommend checking out “Wednesday.” You never know, you might be inspired to film a TikTok dance or two.