By Kate King (‘26)
Netflix’s newest show Wednesday Addams has broken numerous records with its recent release on Nov. 23, 2022. The eight-episode show follows 16-year-old Wednesday Addams, who starts at a new school (Nevermore Academy) after being suspended from her old high school. As she begins her “new life” a mystery unfolds regarding a dangerous monster harming people in her community. She warns her headmaster, who refuses to listen and tells her to stop investigating as it is “dangerous”. Despite her headmasters’ wishes, Wednesday continues to investigate the monster, leading her through an exhilarating, action-packed journey.
Throughout the show, Jenna Ortega (Wednesday Addams) puts a unique 21st-century spin on the original 1960s TV show. She does so by referring to modern technologies and highlighting her strong dislike for all varieties of social media. She infuses all her lines with a gothic and deadpan delivery that seems effortless. Ortega’s dedication to her character draws in fans of all ages, making the show a viral sensation. Between the modern-day setting and the connection with the previous series, fans of all ages can bond over the show and help create more publicity for it. Because of the show’s major success, Netflix has renewed it for a new season.
Although the show has seen countless remakes and redesigns over the years, this one sticks out as it shines a new light on Wednesday and her personality. In previous iterations with the Addams family, Wednesday was more of a side character, but in this version, she is the central focus. This newest production shows the duality between Wednesday’s incredibly dark sense of humor and her kindness. This is demonstrated in numerous parts of the show where she almost “breaks character” and shows authentic emotion. While this new modification is most likely different from what the creator Charles Addams had envisioned, this adaptation has resulted in a buzzworthy production that appeals to a wide variety of viewers.
The show also teaches important life lessons; towards the end of the show, Wednesday finally recognizes problems as not just black and white. In contrast with the original show, Wednesday begins to actually develop as a character and grow out of her shell. She does so by making friends and even finding a boyfriend. Although not all of her relationships end up lasting, her effort truly shows her inspiring development as a character. During the show, she makes it her goal to help others when dangerous threats frequently arise, putting her life on the line for those who she loves.
In conclusion, Wednesday Addams is undoubtedly a must-watch. It combines the usual gothic tone with a gorgeous, well-planned narrative. Jenna Ortega gives a moving performance that respects Wednesday Addams’ original persona while adding more layers of complexity and interest. This new program distinguishes itself from the original series by adding more depth and emotion that is prevalent in contemporary life, drawing in viewers from around the world.
Wednesday Addams is streaming now on Netflix.