Wednesday Addams is known for her deadpan looks, one-liners and morbidness. Jenna Ortega brought all of this to the role. She’s the perfect Wednesday. She says so much with just a look. You know what you’re getting into when Wednesday gets to Nevermore Academy and her mother, Morticia Addams (Catherine Zeta-Jones), says, “Please excuse Wednesday. She’s allergic to color.” Enid Sinclair (Emma Myers) replies, “Oh, wow. What happens to you?” Then Wednesday, with no emotions at all, says, “I break out into hives, and then the flesh peels off my bones.” But if that is too morbid for you, Enid helps balance it out. Her side of the dorm is full of color. She’s also super cute. And the chemistry between Jenna and Emma is pretty incredible. It’s kind of like Emma is the yin to her yang. There was even a joke about Wednesday being in black and white.
According to Wednesday, Gomez Addams (Luis Guzmán) and Morticia have been looking for a reason to send her to their old school, Nevermore. So when Wednesday almost kills a classmate for bullying her brother, it’s the perfect time to send her. Nevermore is a school for vampires, werewolves, sirens, gorgons, and other monsters, and any person society deems too strange to be with ordinary people, which they call normies (You get kind of a muggle vibe here. And yes, there are some dark Harry Potter vibes going on.). The school itself is not much different from any other school. Everyone stays with their clicks. Bianca Barclay (Joy Sunday) is the queen bee and a siren. She rules the school and is not too happy to have competition in Wednesday. Wednesday ends up being an outcast in the middle of outcasts, and she quite likes it that way.
Right from the beginning, normies are being killed by a monster, which Sheriff Donovan Galpin (Jamie McShane) thinks comes from Nevermore and desperately wants to prove it. Soon, the creature starts attacking students from Nevermore too, but it is sparing Wednesday for some reason. The first student to get killed tells Wednesday she will destroy the school. There is a drawing of her next to the founding father of the town, Joseph Crackstone. The young Addams is determined to find the truth, so she investigates the photo and the monster. It’s a lot of fun watching Wednesday be a teen detective. And while she’s looking into everything, she discovers her parents have a secret. The showrunners do a great job of balancing humor, horror and mystery. Calling Wednesday a dramedy isn’t accurate. Horror comedy is closer, but it’s got a nice dose of drama. It sits in its own category and works well.
There’s a variety of characters with their own personalities. Eugene Otinger (Moosa Mostafa) is another character that believes he’s an outcast in the middle of outcasts. He’s sweet and nerdy and the only one in the hive club. His bees are like his children. He’s not someone who should mesh with Wednesday, but he does. The popular boy, Xavier Thorpe (Percy Hynes White), is a bit of a mystery, but in a good way. Then there’s Tyler Galpin (Hunter Doohan), who is a normie, but fits in with the outcasts.
Gwendoline Christie plays Principal Larissa Weems. At times you’ll hate her, and at times you will admire it. Just like a typical school principal. She also has a history with Morticia, so that makes things interesting.
For those of you fans of 90s Addams Family movies, you’ll be excited to see Christina Ricci. She plays the dorm mom, Marilyn Thornhill. It’s a lot of fun to see who some of us think is the original Wednesday acting opposite this generation’s Wednesday. Christina is on screen a lot more than I expected. The writers found a great role for her. But too good to spoil here.
I found myself in love with Thing — the hand. Who would guess a hand could be so much fun to watch? Gomez and Morticia send him to spy on Wednesday, but she’s too wise for that and takes him under her wing. He helps her with the investigations. Enid even becomes friends with Thing, and they hang out doing manicures. Thing is one of my favorite characters on this show.
Wednesday will likely go in my top 10 shows of the year list. It’s just so much fun. It’s incredible how talented Jenns is at only 20 years old. She’s wise beyond her years, and so is Wednesday, so it fits. The ending leaves it open for a second season, which is good because I need more Wednesday Addams in my life.