March 25, 2024

WEDNESDAY - SEASON 1: Not All Together Ooky

2023 / 480 min (8 Episodes)
Review by Pepper the Poopy😽

It seems like the first season of Netflix’s überpopular Wednesday is getting a physical media release a lot faster than many of the platform’s other shows. Perhaps it’s a matter of striking while the iron is hot, since I can’t imagine the basic premise has much of a shelf life. 

Not that Wednesday is a bad show. Quite the contrary. Despite aiming for a demographic far younger than yours truly, these eight episodes were more entertaining than I expected. It feels a little more padded out than necessary - creating an entire season when a single movie could have sufficed - but when focused on the droll, cryptic world view of its titular character (wonderfully played by Jenna Ortega), it’s highly amusing. It’s also the only time the show resembles anything related to the original Addams Family.

Season 1 is basically a murder mystery, with Wednesday forced to attend Nevermore Academy, a school for “outcasts” such as vampires, werewolves, sirens, telepaths, gorgons and shapeshifters. Gomez & Morticia’s alma mater, the school has long been viewed with suspicion and disdain by the “normals” in the nearby town of Jericho. When a vicious beast begins to murder people, Wednesday, who’s as brilliant as she is morbid, becomes obsessed with solving the mystery, which reveals connections with the town’s dark past, as well as her own family history.

While shooting Season One, Jenna works on Season Two.
Along the way are numerous subplots, mostly related to Wednesday’s classmates (and one episode where she clears her dad of a decades-old murder rap). The suggested love triangle with her and a couple of hunks is perfunctory teen soap fodder, but the relationship between Wednesday and roommate Enid (Emma Myers) is both humorous and charming. Overall, the show is less interesting when things turn serious, which is often. It also grows increasingly derivative, with episodes conceptually and aesthetically similar to the likes of Harry Potter, Scooby-Doo (even referenced in one episode), Ghostbusters, Carrie, Twilight, director Tim Burton's own work and, of course, any CW drama you’d care to name.

Other Addams Family members show up throughout the show, with Thing being quite funny as Wednesday’s sidekick, while the appearance of Luis Guzman & Catherine Zeta-Jones as Gomez & Morticia are essentially glorified cameos. Wednesday is all about its main character. As such, the show is fairly entertaining, at least for these episodes. It ends with the usual set-up for a second season (which has already been announced), but how long can Wednesday’s creepy, kooky, all together ooky persona carry an entire show?

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