When the live-action series, Wednesday, went into pre-production in August 2021, the excitement was palpable. The linchpin of the iconic Addams family was finally getting her own show.
Originally announced as an unnamed Addams Family project being helmed by legendary director Tim Burton, the casting confirmations came thick and fast. Jenna Ortega would play Wednesday Addams with Luis guzmán as Gomez Addams and Catherine Zeta Jones as Morticia Addams.
So does Wednesday live up to the hype?
What Is Wednesday About?
Wednesday Addams is the only daughter of Morticia and Gomez. Having been expelled from eight different schools, her parents have decided that it's time she attended Nevermore Academy.
Nevermore is a boarding school for outcasts located outside the town of Jericho. Outcasts include sirens, werewolves and basically those with supernatural powers who don't fit into society's usual conventions.
Sharing a dorm with Enid Sinclair, a bright, colourful and quirky werewolf, Wednesday instantly starts plotting her escape, using her weekly therapy sessions as a way out.
However, all of that quickly changes when she discovers that her father was accused of murder at Nevermore thirty years earlier.
And when another student attempts to kill her, because of a premonition that she will destroy the school, Wednesday decides that it might be far more interesting to stay and get to the bottom of the mysteries. Especially when her visions guide her on her quest for the truth.
Over the course of eight episodes, Wednesday unravels the history of Jericho that has led to the current spate of murders and put a target firmly on her back. So who wants to destroy the school, and why is somebody trying to kill her?
Wednesday Official Trailer
Is Wednesday Worth Watching?
Often the problem with highly anticipated shows is that they fail to live up to the hype. But when the first images of Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams dropped, that's when it became clear that the Netflix series was going to be a cracker.
It is undoubtedly one of the few shows that truly does not disappoint. Jenna Ortega is outstanding and embodies the lead character with every single fibre of her being.
Her look, her demeanour, the acidity with which she delivers every line and her ability to completely draw you into the story and root for her every step of the way is simply remarkable.
And while the show hinges on Ortega's convincing portrayal of the lead character, it is the sum of all the parts that ultimately makes the show so worth watching.
The juxtaposition between eternally optimistic Enid (Emma Myers) and pessimist Wednesday is both clever and great fun. So too, is her unlikely friendship with Eugene, a symbolic substitution for her brother Pugsley.
While on the surface, the series is about solving a crime, the real story is a coming-of-age evolution for our titular character. Friendship, love interests, growing maturity, and finally getting to a place of peace with her mother all give her the strength needed to defeat her greatest foe, come the end of the first season.
With a wickedly sharp and funny script, a decent mystery to be unravelled, a visually spectacular set, stunning costumes, a great ensemble cast, and a sprinkling of Tim Burton magic, Wednesday is unmissable.
How Did Wednesday Addams Get Her Name?
She is named after Morticia's favourite line in a nursery rhyme called Monday's Child.
Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace.
Wednesday's child is full of woe.
Wednesday Netflix Cast
Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams, a teenage girl who possesses psychic powers.
Gwendoline Christie (The Sandman) as Larissa Weems, the principal of Nevermore Academy and who was roommates with Morticia Addams.
Riki Lindhome as Dr. Valerie Kinbott, Wednesday's therapist
Jamie McShane as Donovan Galpin, a small-town sheriff who is suspicious of Wednesday
Hunter Doohan as Tyler Galpin, Sheriff Galpin's son and Wednesday's love interest
Christina Ricci as Marilyn Thornhill, a teacher at Nevermore Academy. She also played Wednesday in The Addams Family (1991) and its sequel, Addams Family Values (1993)
Percy Hynes White as Xavier Thorpe, a student who can make his art come to life
Emma Myers as Enid Sinclair, Wednesday's colourful werewolf roommate
Joy Sunday as Bianca Barclay, a successful student of Nevermore Academy who is a siren
Moosa Mostafa as Eugene Otinger, a student who has the power to control bees
Victor Dorobantu as Thing, a sentient disembodied hand and relative of Wednesday
Catherine Zeta-Jones as Morticia Addams, Wednesday's mother
Luis Guzmán as Gomez Addams, Wednesday's father
Isaac Ordonez as Pugsley Addams, Wednesday's younger brother
Fred Armisen as Uncle Fester
William Houston as Joseph Crackstone, the town's forefather