If You’re Sick of Being Creeped out by Harry and Meghan, Watch the Delightfully Morbid 'Wednesday'

Jenna Ortega stars as Wednesday Addams (Credit: Netflix)
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I’ve tried to watch the Harry and Meghan documentary, but am only able to get through a few minutes at a time before feeling nauseous. These two narcissistic, craven opportunists cause cringe approximately every thirty seconds as they tear down their families and act as if somehow they’re divine, woke angels from above. Even if you feel for Harry’s personal struggles—losing a mother is obviously devastating—one can’t help but be appalled at their willingness to nuke their relatives for some Netflix bucks.

But don’t turn off Netflix just yet—there’s another series that I admittedly thought I had no interest in but turns out to be absolutely captivating. It’s based on a character from the famed Addams Family cartoons—daughter Wednesday—which were turned into a hilarious, offbeat 1960s TV show that, strangely enough, ran at the exact same time as the equally-off-the-wall and similarly-themed The Munsters.

Tim Burton directs, and he delivers. I think of Tim Burton like Dos Equis—I don’t always like his movies, but when I do, I really do. Although he has infamous flops like Mars Attacks! on his resume, and I frankly thought Charlie and the Chocolate Factory destroyed author Roald Dahl’s vision of the character of Willy Wonka, Burton also has classics like Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and the Nightmare Before Christmas to brag about.

If you would rather go to the dentist than sit through another deafening, incomprehensible, CGI-crazed superhero extravaganza, then Wednesday might be for you:

Three things make it stand out from the crowd: one, the acting, led by Wednesday herself, actress Jenna Ortega, who is riveting; two, the writing, which has some all-time great macabre quotes; and three, the presence of Thing, a character who is simply a disembodied hand. Who would have ever thought a hand with no body could make you feel emotion? But he—it, whatever—most certainly does.

We’ll start with Ortega, who plays the title role, because she is what drives the show. Her deadpan delivery, her willingness to be an unrelenting b***h having exactly zero need to be liked, her unrelenting death-stare, all add up to a character that you can’t take your eyes off. This dance video from episode four has gone viral, and even has Lady Gaga doing her own version of it:

Now, Thing. How could a hand be a character? See for yourself, as the cast pranks New Yorkers:

Lastly, the writing. In a world of chirpy morning newscasters and guides on how to fill your life with more “light,” there’s something strangely refreshing about someone who has no interest and actually takes pleasure in her dark side. Here are some gems:

“I find social media to be a soul-sucking void of meaningless affirmation. “

“When I look at you, the following emojis come to mind: Rope. Shovel. Hole.”

“I act as if I don’t care if people dislike me. Deep down, I secretly enjoy it.”

“Emotions are a gateway trait. They lead to feelings, which trigger tears. I don’t do tears.”

I wish John Boehner had heard that last one.

There are many more such sublimely dark quotes littered throughout each episode, but you get the idea. Also adding to the fun is a few casting decisions. I watched the principal of Wednesday’s school, Nevermore Academy, for several episodes with the nagging feeling that I should know who it was. I finally realized it was Gwendoline Christie, who played Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones, a role so completely different than this one that she was almost unrecognizable. Also prominent is the original Wednesday from Barry Sonnenfeld’s 1991 film The Addams Family, Christina Ricci, who rose to fame for the part and plays a key character in this series.

Wednesday may not be for everyone, but it’s killing it in the ratings—it’s beating Harry and Meghan, and has officially become the third title to cross 1 billion hours viewed on Netflix within one month, trailing only “Squid Game” and “Stranger Things” Season 4.

If nothing else, it’s a nice respite from “Batman vs Antman” or whatever the latest is.


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