It’s been a bit since I finished watching the first season of Wednesday, but I’m just catching up with a lot of things now that we’re in the new year, and this show was good enough that I wanted to be sure to point it out to people, even if it seems to me like everyone and their brother has already heard about it. (Often things I take for granted end up being very wrong. You can feel like everyone’s seen or done something, only to find out a lot of people haven’t.)
The latest adaptation of the Addams Family franchise is on Netflix and focuses on Wednesday Addams and her time off at a magical school for the gifted. Yes, it has strong Harry Potter vibes, but that’s to be expected any time you’ve got “magic” and “school” in the same sentence. The show is significantly different than the Potter franchise, even if some of the same elements are shared.
I loved the whole season, up until the last episode, at which point I just really liked it. More on that in a moment, because I don’t want to get into spoilers just yet.
Wednesday carries the show. She’s a delightful character to root for, and she’s played perfectly by Jenna Ortega. The whole style of the show is strong throughout: the settings, costumes, makeup, etc all come together to give it a wonderfully creepy vibe. But time and time again, I enjoyed watching Wednesday be cool and confident in even the worst of circumstances. She didn’t get scared. She didn’t panic. She just was extremely capable. (In that way, she almost reminded me of James Bond. She knew what she could do, and she did it. Bravo.)
The effects are great as well. Thing is delightfully disturbing, and the callbacks to the original show are always welcome and a lot of fun. True, there’s also a fair bit of “teenage television show” running throughout the series, but . . . it’s a show about a teenager, on television? To me, that’s like complaining my mint chocolate chip ice cream has chocolate chips in it.
In the end, I gave it a 9/10, and I’m eagerly awaiting the next season. (It’s already been renewed, thankfully.) It’s creepy, and not for young kids, but teens on up should all have a lot of fun with it.
With that all out of the way, I want to address some of my gripes with the last episode. These will contain spoilers, so I’m giving you fair warning.
Still with me? Great. As I said in my review, I loved how capable Wednesday was throughout the show. But then we get to the last episode, and everything changed. She stopped being capable. She ended up messing up again and again, and she had to rely on other people to step in to fix things. The Big Bad guy shows up (and starts using evil magic so he can . . . destroy all the evil magic he doesn’t like???), and Wednesday doesn’t do anything special to beat him. She even fails in her sword fight with him. For a show with a teen protagonist, having her not actually be the real hero just felt very, very wrong. Especially when she’s been giving off the “I can do anything” vibe all along.
I get it. She was up against a real big problem. But as a creator, you need to take the time to figure out how your main character can defeat that problem without relying on a whole slew of lucky breaks.
I still loved the show, and I still look forward to the next season, but I’m hoping they back Wednesday up better next time. Show us why she’s so confident, and why she’s right to be that way. Here’s hoping . . .
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