Netflix’s new ‘Wednesday’ is frighteningly fun


Wednesday | Netflix Media Center

Samantha Sollitto

“Goody warned that I was destined to be alone. Maybe it’s inevitable but, for the first time in my life, it doesn’t feel good,” is perhaps the most daring and raw statement by the titular character from Netflix’s new series, “Wednesday.”

The show has been available to stream since Nov. 23, becoming Netflix’s most watched show in a single week, taking the crown previously worn by “Stranger Things 4.”

Its popularity is surprising, given the strange plot and even stranger characters, but the feat is well deserved because the show itself is certainly worthwhile.

Wednesday Addams, played by Jenna Ortega, is not like other girls. And not in the “oh-she’s-soquirky” way, but in the “she-could-kill-you-and-would-definitely-enjoy-it” way.

Completely emotionless wearing a deadly stare, Wednesday isn’t looking to make friends at her new school, Nevermore. In fact, she would much rather be anywhere else, particularly somewhere her mother has not already made her mark.

Attending her parent’s alma mater as a requirement for her unruly behavior in past schools — all of which she had been expelled from for wreaking havoc —  Wednesday doesn’t understand why her mother, played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, needs for her to so desperately follow in her footsteps.

Doesn’t she understand the ideologies of teenage emotion, or lack thereof, and homicidal tendencies are just not enough for the shoes her mother wants her to fill?

Much different from Ortega’s previous roles in “Fallout” and “X,” she treads new waters with the character, perhaps having to do the most work for a character that expresses such little emotion.

Deadpan and seriously bone-chilling for the entirety of the series, Ortega does an outstanding job at portraying someone so detached from society. Her techniques for the character involved her fatally staring into the souls of her co-stars, an aspect that she and Tim Burton, one of the show’s producers and directors, established early on during filming.

And, although the most intriguing traits of the character comes from her ability to not care about anything, Ortega truly shines when Wednesday realizes that maybe she doesn’t like to be alone.

A momentous scene  between Wednesday and her roommate Enid, played by Emma Myers, comes after a thrilling chase in the haunted house where the main villain of the show had been residing.

Wednesday’s utter neglect for her friend’s safety while investigating revealed her true colors, pressing Enid to room with another classmate for a few days.

In this instance, Ortega still remains expressionless and taut but her narration allows the audience to realize that she might not be as cynical as she was at the start of the series.

Although it took six, hour-long episodes to get there, it truly helps round her character out, showing that there’s more to Wednesday than the tough exterior she puts on for everyone else.

The cinematography for the show is also one of its strongest aspects, only adding on to the dark comedy and even darker color palette given to the titular character. Praise should be given to the Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood who truly understands current Gen-Z fashion and gothic culture.

Ortega stuns viewers in a vintage dress by Alaia for episode 4, “Woe What a Night” where she attends the school’s Rave’N dance. The tulle dress with puffy sleeves, belt and intricate lace detailing almost steals the entire show. Had it not been for Wednesday’s rather odd dance moves to “Goo Goo Muck” by the Cramps, which has since become a Tik Tok trend, with fans recreating Ortega’s moves, the costuming would be what’s on fans’ minds..

However, while the Rave’N dance episode was definitely one of the most memorable, it was a blaring reminder of one of the show’s biggest flaws: the love triangle.

Having two guys vie for the affection of Wednesday is a poor plot point considering Wednesday clearly shows interest in absolutely no one. Why would two mediocre men change that?

It seems completely out of character for her to even be romantically involved with anyone given the fact that she works better alone. Regardless of Ortega’s undeniable chemistry with almost everyone she shares the screen with, neither boy seems to work with Wednesday in a way that would suit her character.

On that note, the writers’ made the excellent decision to have her end the series without either boy attached to her as a romantic partner. Instead, the audience can look forward to the relationship development between Enid and Wednesday.

The series is spooky and fun with well contrived plot twists and even better-developed characters.

With its massive success, audience members now await the almost inevitable season two renewal.