“I prefer spooky.”
Despite plenty of callbacks to the original series and films and nods to everything from Edgar Allan Poe to the Headless Horseman, Netflix’s latest series, Wednesday, is much, much more than a nostalgic trip for fans of all things creepy and kooky. Yep, Wednesday is one of the best new series to make its gloomy way to the streamer. I watched the entire series over the weekend and I absolutely loved it.
While catching the many references and Easter eggs in the series was fun, the actual plot of the show was much more interesting. In the series, Wednesday (Jenna Ortega) is sent to Nevermore Academy, a school for outcasts (and the alma mater of her parents), after getting booted from too many public schools. As the days pass at the academy, Wednesday is pulled into an investigation involving a series of grisly murders outside of the school and nearby town of Jericho and also discovers that her father might be a murderer. She forms an uneasy bond with the local sheriff, Donovan Galpin (Jamie McShane), as they attempt to uncover the truth about the brutal murders. She also develops a relationship with the sheriff’s son, Tyler (Hunter Doohan). At the school, Wednesday locks horns with Principal Weem (Gwendoline Christie), befriends the “normie” teacher, Ms. Thornhill (Christina Ricci), and deals with the day to day life of a typical teen in school (but with werewolves, vampires, sirens, and more).
The series has a very “Hogwarts meets Sherlock Holmes” vibe to it. Although the kids at the school aren’t divided into houses like Ravenclaw and Slytherin, they definitely have cliques. There are also a lot of stereotypical characters in the school that all prove to be more than their stereotypes in the long run. There’s Joy Sunday as Bianca Barclay, a siren who happens to be the most popular girl in school. Then you have Percy Hynes White as Xavier Thorpe, the angst-ridden artsy heartthrob who has the ability to bring his paintings to life, some of which can be quite violent. The show also has the nerdy loser with a heart of gold, Eugene Otinger (Moosa Mostafa), who really loves bees and is the lone member of the school’s beekeeping club, the Nevermore Hummers, until Wednesday joins up with him. Last but not least we have the quirky remote and ultimately best friend of Wednesday, Enid Sinclair. Enid is played by Emma Myers and she is the polar opposite of Wednesday. She’s a werewolf who has yet to change who loves bright colors, pop music, and pretty much any and everything that Wednesday despises.
Of course, no series about one member of the Addams family would be complete without at least an occasional appearance by the rest of the gang. Joining Guzman and Catherine Zeta-Jones are Isaac Ordonez as Pugsley, Fred Armisen as Uncle Fester, and George Burcea as Lurch. All of them have fairly limited time on the screen, especially Lurch, but the series manages to have some of its most touching moments with these characters. Specifically, Wednesday is extremely protective of her younger brother, Pugsley, and the duo share a very touching moment late in the series.
Perhaps the biggest star of the series outside of Wednesday is, at least in my opinion, Thing. Yes, Thing is just a hand but he manages to steal nearly ever scene that he appears in throughout the series. Thing is extremely expressive and communicates his messages to the rest of the characters (and the audience) without saying a word. He’s portrayed by Victor Dorobantu, a magician, and he is essentially Wednesday’s right hand man (pun intended) throughout the series. Dorobantu’s performance is amazing and almost moved me to tears.
All of the cast is strong but Jenna Ortega blew me away with her portrayal of Wednesday. Her emotions are revealed in subtle movements and glances. Gwendoline Christie is another favorite of mine in the series as is Jamie McShane. Along with those that I’ve already mentioned, the rest of the cast includes Riki Lindhome as Dr. Kinbott, the town therapist, Tommie Earl Jenkins as Mayor Noble Walker, William Houston as Crackstone, a pivotal figure in the history of Jericho who plays a key role in the series, Georgie Farmer as Ajax, a student at Nevermore who happens to be a gorgon, and Calum Ross as Rowan, a student at Nevermore with telekinetic powers.
This series is surprisingly heartwarming. Tim Burton, who directed the first four episodes and executive produced, definitely has his stamp on the series but it isn’t as obvious as it has been throughout the rest of his projects. That’s a good thing in my book as I don’t immediately think, “Oh, this is a Tim Burton project,” right off the bat. I simply watched the series as it was and enjoyed it. I believe that you’ll enjoy it as well.
I’m sure that Wednesday has something for everyone. There’s mystery, suspense, a little bit of romance, and Pilgrims! This is a fun series and I absolutely love it. If you haven’t watched the series yet, give it a shot.
Thanks for checking out my post. Let me know what you thought of this series in the comments section. See you real soon!