The Adams Family has always been creepy, yet funny group of characters with multiple iterations on film and television. The last major outing for them was the 3D animated films released in 2019 and 2021, which were goofy fun for families. But the Adams Family may have now gotten the reinvigoration needed by putting Tim Burton as the series director of a spinoff focusing mostly on one member of the family. Wednesday is a twisted dark comedy, with some mystery thrown into the mix, that brings together the weirdness of the Adams Family out into the spotlight for modern audiences. The result is a series that is not only fun to watch but intriguing enough to want a second season.
The series takes place in the school of Nevermore Academy, where Wednesday Adams is sent after getting in trouble for taking revenge on bullies that hurt her brother Pugsley. It’s the same school that her mother Morticia and Gomez Adams once attended years prior, but things have changed drastically. Throughout the eight episodes of the show, Wednesday struggles with fitting into the social climate of her new school, while a dark mystery that can affect everyone in the school unfolds progressively. It’s just enough secrets and revelations brought forth for viewers to ask questions, but never overshadow the dark humor and teen angst story that Wednesday is faced with.
The overall tone of the show is dark, edging on the mature parts of horror aspects of the Adams Family. There is blood and suspense in some parts, but never taking it to a point of being gratuitous or gruesome. Luckily the show is able to maintain its horror vibe by letting the mystery take Wednesday and her peers to places that build up tension. At times you might be able to figure out where the plot is going, only to have the show throw a twisted curveball at you to keep you guessing. The visuals of the series are great, with haunting locations that look very good in the dark but bright enough to see what is happening. Special effects are used sparingly here and make sense in the spots needed, but nothing stands out to the point where it takes you out of the show. The monstrous beings and quirky characteristics of people look and feel like they belong together at Nevermore.
At the heart of the show is Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Adams, a casting that couldn’t be more perfect for the series as a whole. Her harsh attitude, dead-pan rebuttals, and weird moments stand out phenomenally among the rest of the cast. While everyone in the show delivers great performances for their roles, it’s Jenna’s take on the character that makes everything around her work so well. There is a wide range of scenarios and emotions we see from a character that is normally so one-note, but Jenna manages to make Wednesday more complex and likable, even when she’s doing things that are mean or horrible to others. By the time the show reaches its finale, we understand why Wednesday was so closed off to others but ultimately opens up after everything she experiences. It’s both heartwarming and goofy, but awkward in a way that is relatable for anyone who remembers what it was like to grow up with peers in school.
Wednesday’s supporting cast is pretty good, with a variety of characters on all sides. A lot of the teen drama and love triangle from Wednesday’s classmates is believable, with some funny moments here and there. The dichotomy of Wednesday’s goth persona and her roommate’s bubbly nature is fun to watch play out on screen, with all of the conflict and emotional baggage that young friendships come with.
A lot of the gags and goofy scenarios stem from this friendship, but never overshadow the darker elements of the show. The same can be said about the love-triangle Wednesday finds herself in between multiple boys on the show, including a classmate and a local coffee shop worker. It runs parallel to the main plot, with big details emerging as the mystery of the show continues to unfold.
But what about the rest of the Adams Family, do they appear or impact the show? Every member of the Adams Family shows up at some point and has their moment, with some being around for at least one episode. Gomez and Morticia are equal parts creepy, lovey-dovey, and parental to Wednesday. The casting of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Luis Guzman is spot on for this version of the characters. Both look great and have a unique vibe when present, leaning on the Spanish roots of the characters and immeasurable passion when they’re around each other.
At the same time, having Thing around Wednesday as both a guide and servant leads to some pretty great moments, both unexpectedly funny and suspenseful. Uncle Fester also makes an appearance in the later parts of the season, with Fred Armisen giving a great performance as the kooky member of the family checking in on his niece. How and when he shows up is just as creepy and weird as his reasoning for appearing, but with relevance that moves the main plot along nicely. Other Adams Family members do get little moments too, with Isaac Ordonez having a few key exchanges with Wednesday that help her out. Unfortunately, the only Adams Family member to not show up in the series is cousin It, who only makes a brief cameo via a photograph.
Even with some minor faults, Wednesday is a very enjoyable show with a great main character and an intriguing story to follow. The ending leaves a door open for a second season to happen, which it rightly deserves. As a reimagining of the Adams Family for modern-day audiences, Wednesday is both successful and respectful of its roots. While it’s difficult what new directions the show can take from here, you can definitely bet that whatever comes next for Wednesday will be exciting and positively dark for everyone.
Have you gotten to watch Wednesday on Netflix yet? What do you think about the Adams Family? Post all of your thoughts in the comments and let us know!
Wednesday Season 1
This show is a blend of dark comedy and teen drama that ends up being fun to watch. The characters are great to see interact with everything and the mystery that plays out is intriguing. If you are a fan of The Adams Family, then you’ll really enjoy seeing this new version of them.