The New Phenomenon: Wednesday Addams


Photo Courtesy of Trusted Reviews

Kaitlyn Wong, Staff Writer

WARNING: The Following Contains Spoilers

This past Thanksgiving of 2022, Netflix released its newest comedy horror spinning off of the classic 1964 television series “The Addams Family”. Titled “Wednesday”, this new series follows the story of a young girl as she attempts to master her emerging powers and solve a mystery embedded in her new school. Classic Addams Family fanatics flocked to see this newest show, eager for the return of Christina Ricci who had previously played the character Wednesday in “The Addams Family” television series produced in 1991. Though Ricci wasn’t given the starring protagonist role this time, she still had an important part to play an antagonistic role as Wednesday Addams’ teacher: Marilyn Thornhill.


Even though the show has only been out for mere 12 days, the series already has a 4.4 out of 5 rating by the general public, many believe the rating doesn’t quite do it justice. Recently, a TikTok video of Wednesday’s iconic dance in the show has become viral – Jenna Ortega, who plays Wednesday in this newest series, puts her own spin on this terrifying girl and truly makes the character come to life. 


Wednesday is the oldest daughter of her family and has quite the personality. She is portrayed as an indifferent, almost gloomy character who enjoys a good amount of torture and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty to deal with the dead. Ortega does a wonderful job of making the smallest gestures of her face, giving each of her frames a new meaning and deeper understanding of what Wednesday is feeling. Throughout the many shots taken within the film, the producers had asked Ortega not to blink because they hoped to create a more supernatural effect, while also using the tactic to showcase Wednesday’s inner fears. The actress commented on the fact that for the role, she had to learn fencing, German, archery, boxing, and the cello. Of these various hobbies, she found herself drawn to the cello, noting during an interview with Wired that she would enjoy continuing practicing and has an immense amount of respect for those who know how to play the instrument.


The story begins with Wednesday being transferred to Nevermore Academy, a school of those with special powers, nicknamed the “outcasts” of the world. These people have been rejected by regular society and have banded together to create a school fit for those who have been ousted from the world. Who would have thought though, that it was possible to be outcasted in a school of outcasts?


The show brings a light of reality into its storyline when Wednesday becomes the black sheep, quite literally as all she ever wore was black, of the school. The story evolves as Wednesday is forced to solve a mystery at her school that could prove her innocence regarding a recent murder. We see her develop from an isolated person who prefers to do things alone, to someone who is able to place her trust in others and count on them in times of need. Her rollercoaster of a story, from struggling to find a date for a dance to running away from a man-killing monster gives audiences a rush of emotions and a funny story all at once.


Something in particular that stands out in this series were the constant subtle references to Edgar Allan Poe, in particular his poem “The Raven”. “The Raven” tells the story of a man who has just lost his lover. As he grieves over her death, a raven visits him. The raven flies around and listens as the man rambles about his love and questions what he should now do. The raven responds only with the word “Nevermore” leaving the man to realize that he shall never find love again. Not only is the school that Wednesday Addams attends named Nevermore, Poe himself is depicted as a celebrity alumni of the school, with his statue being in one of the main corridors. It is also revealed that Wednesday admires Poe for his work, believing that his writing perfectly depicts just the right amount of gloom and misery that she so loves. When she becomes plagued with powerful visions that are able to depict the future, she is referred to by her family members as a “raven”. A dance scene within the series is called the “Rave’n”, once again bringing in that small connection.


This show is only 8 episodes long, but it is able to bring to audiences an engaging story full of twists, turns, and a little bit of terror. Though at times the scenes might become gory, it is entertaining to watch as Wednesday develops her character and goes through the trials of adulthood. Helped along by friends and family, Wednesday uncovers secrets of the past and chances for the future. I look forward to seeing what Netflix offers us next.