The Addams Family are pop culture icons who have been around since the 1930s, appearing in sketch cartoons, movies and TV series.
Despite knowing of them, I have never had any previous exposure to their stories before, at least not to my knowledge.
All I knew about them was what I had heard, which was that they are a macabre family with quite a few deathly interests that creep out everyone else around them.
Having never personally seen anything Addams Family related before, this put me in an interesting position when watching the new Netflix series Wednesday, since I had no idea what to expect going in, apart from what the trailers had shown.
Having finished the show, I can say that this I believe this be a good introduction to the Addams Family, if you have not seen any of their movies or shows before, like me.
With the first four episodes directed by Tim Burton, Wednesday follows the titular daughter of the Addams Family who, after being expelled from her school for quite literally neutering a school bully using piranha, is sent to Nevermore Academy, a school for supernatural teenagers.
However, upon arriving, Wednesday quickly learns that the school is being haunted by a murderous monster, and by that I don’t mean Wednesday herself.
The series then follows Wednesday’s journey to uncover the mystery of Nevermore Academy, a mystery which is pretty predictable, to be honest, although I will get to that later.
For now, just like pretty much every person who has reviewed this show, I want to heap praise on Jenna Ortega for her fantastic performance as Wednesday.
She is delightfully morbid, with plenty of excellent instances of deadpan humor.
Even her movements match the character, with one dance scene she has being the best scene in the show, in my opinion.
The rest of the Addams Family are also quite likeable, with Gomez (Luiz Guzman) being the center of his own mystery, and Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones) constantly being at odds with Wednesday.
It is also pretty endearing to see how protective Wednesday is of her brother Pugsley (Isaac Ordonez) as his sole tormentor, and how one of the few times she genuinely smiles in this show (other than when she attempts murder) is when she greets her Uncle Fester (Fred Armisen).
The award for best bond Wednesday has with a family member definitley goes to her interactions with Thing.
Thing is a sentient severed hand who Wednesday uses as a servant and sometimes reluctant advisor and it is often morbidly humorous to see her talking with him.
What is less fun is the love triangle Wendesday goes through this season.
Two characters, Xavier (Percy Hynes White) and Tyler (Hunter Doohan), are after her affections, yet I never felt like Wednesday was truly interested in either of them romantically.
To be honest, I was much more invested in Wednesday’s friendships with Enid (Emma Myers), her roommate and polar opposite in every capacity, and Eugune (Moosa Mostafa), a confident bee keeper.
The rest of the cast, including Gwendoline Christie, Joy Sunday, and Christina Ricci, who has also played Wendesday in the past, are very good in their roles, as well.
It is Jenna Ortega who really steals the show, however, as she is clearly giving everything she has to absolutely murder this role.
If they had not got Wednesday right, the show would have faltered because, honestly, the whole mystery is really not that mysterious, or at least for me it was not.
It is here where I will get into my biggest issue with Wednesday, but this does come with a slight spoiler warning because, while I do not say what exactly happens, my wording does indicate it.
So if you have not watched the show and don’t want to be spoiled then I would stop reading this review and just go watch it because it is really good.
Now, for my big problem with Wednesday, which is the red herrings.
I honestly cannot remember the last time I encountered such obvious and frustrating ones.
The red herrings in Wednesday are such apparent distractions, yet the writing keeps beating you over the head with them, trying to convince you that they are the culprits, when the real ones are so blindingly obvious.
I was literally shouting at the screen whenever Wednesday kept insisting she had solved the mystery, while it was so evident that she had not.
Despite this, and a few other issues, like the love triangle, Wednesday is a good show that has a lot of good morbid humor and a standout performance form Jenna Ortega.
I would definitley watch a second season and, if it gets the green light, hopefully it will have a better mystery.