The modern charm of the ‘Freaks’

The scene opens with a group of people singing a Christmas carol. Then the camera begins to climb until it reaches the roof of the house behind them, showing the Addams family intent on spilling a cauldron of boiling oil on the members of the choir.

This is the introduction of Barry Sonnenfeld film from 1991 based on well-known characters born from the pen of Charles Addams.

Thirty-one years later, the contrast between the normal world and that of the Addams looks different.

There Netflix series produced by Tim Burtonwho also directed the first half of the eight installments, opens with the arrival of Wednesday Addams at school: gothic ankle boots, pale but with black painted nails, dark lipstick and a dash of mascara. Black hair with the iconic braids, but neatly coiffed, with an almost trendy fringe.

The sixteen-year-old Wednesday protagonist of this story will also have the look comparable to an Instagram filter, as will be pointed out to her, but the other characters will also notice the fascination resulting from all thiseven from his usual cold and cutting statements.

Despite the “joke” with the piranhas that leads to her expulsion, the rest of the school is horrified in the introduction to the series, anachronistic in despising Wednesday and her brother Pugsley.

The transition to Nevermore Academythe school for outcasts where they met Gomez and Morticiaputs Wednesday under a point of view according to which “weirds” are popular today, and it is for this reason that they must show even more humanity.

Wednesday is NOT a sad day

In the collective imagination, Wednesday Addams is certainly the character revived, after the TV series of the 60s, in the 90s starting with the film “The Addams family”, where she was played by the then very young Christina Ricci.

A cold, sharp-tongued girl who loves weapons and instruments of torture that she uses as toys.

Christina Ricci’s Wednesday is a sweetly macabre child; the one of Jenna Ortega is a teenager who it might even make you fall in love.

It will be that the actress who played her is twenty years old, just as she is twenty years old Emma Myers which he interprets Enid Sinclairbut it is from the relationship between the two that we understand the direction taken by the series.

Enid is blonde, blue eyes, extremely sunny, a lover of bright colors and social networks. She likes gossip and she likes to be appreciated through her personal blog.

Watching the trailers of the TV series, Enid gave the idea of ​​being the stereotype of person who would stimulate the killer instinct of Wednesday. Not that she doesn’t, but as she’s also enrolled in Nevermore Academy, she’s an outcast and she also knows show claws… Not just in a metaphorical sense.

In fact Enid is a werewolfmomentarily only able to turn her nails into claws, finding herself under pressure from her family to be able to transform, being very different from her race who tends to behave in an animal way, and at the same time afraid of become a lone wolf.

In a school of vampires, werewolves, gorgons, mermaids and more, Wednesday retains its uniqueness but she is no longer alone in having social difficulties.

source: Netflix

In such a context, with a style that recalls both Harry Potter that Miss Peregrine (transposed to the cinema by Tim Burton himself), the viewer finds himself hoping that Wednesday will be able to melt away while remaining herself.

The stimulus also occurs through the aesthetic aspect, already mentioned in the introduction, through i change of look of the protagonisthowever remaining the only one of all the characters (including the extras) to dress exclusively in black and white.

Enid’s Poe Cup Team Cat Costume, German Speech Pilgrim Dress, and most of all the Rave’N prom dress.

The dance has become viral on social media, is the emblem of Wednesday’s modern charm. A dance with horrific movements that bring to mind the famous zombie dance in the Thriller video clip, albeit more ungainly, perhaps in a natural way, having been choreographed by Jenna Ortega herself who does not consider herself a dancer.

The world is not just black and white

Wednesday is clearly one teenage seriesbut it is a style that it still fits to what his character represents in the modern collective imagination.

A TV series about inclusiveness and it does so in all respects, even since critical point of view towards the protagonist.

Maintaining one’s uniqueness doesn’t have to mean being incapable of opening up to different expressiveness, otherwise it could mean not being so different from bigots.

An experience that Wednesday will experience on her own skin in this story, with her admiration for intriguing and macabre stories, and her irrepressible action, which will lead her to have no qualms even about endangering her friends.

Wednesday’s lifestyle is a double-edged sword. It makes her attractive but at the same time he suppresses his human instincts and desiresimpossible to deny in an environment where every single person has something in common with her.

wednesday xavier
source: Netflix screenshots

If it is true that the noir element of this TV series can interest anyone, such themes are very important to convey to young people.

Surely the use of a popular character like Wednesday made everything much more commercial, but how correct is it to use this narrative universe that has so far been so distant from reality?

The answer lies in wondering how far away from reality all of this is. In the age of social networks and news that circulate every second, we realize that any weirdness would seem to be legitimate: are we still sure that the Addams family is not one of us by now?

The modern charm of the ‘Freaks’