Among the Netflix series there is a new queen of ratings: Wednesday. The eldest daughter of Gomez and Morticia Addams has crushed the competition and has become a real star.
Being Addams in a new age
After the successful films of the 90s, the most absurd family in the history of TV returns in a series that has made a lot of talk with a sort of spin-off on the figure of Wednesday.
Played by twenty-year-old Jenna Ortega, the creepy little girl we met in the original series that aired since the 1960s has grown up, is a rebellious teenager and finds herself in a school for “humans / monsters” animated by mermaids, vampires, werewolves and shapeshifters. Here she is confronted with her pseudo-amorous feelings, with the “different” people who are sometimes more conformist than “normal” humans, with her own family that has tired her with its dictates and expectations, and with the new perspective and unexpected to have friends.
Many of the merits of the series, a gothic teen horror, lies in the magic hand of Tim Burton who with his fairy-tale style has been able to give the series a timeless setting who looks to his old films like Beetlejuice but also knows how to keep up with contemporary productions. The opinion of critics and the public on Ortega’s acting was also unanimous: she was able to be convincing in a difficult role, always on the razor’s edge between serious and kitsch. The dance scene that is depopulating on all social networks is one of the key moments of the series: on Wednesday she performs a very strange dance in front of her amazed schoolmates to the tune of “Goo goo muck” by The Cramps. The 1981 track made a comeback in all music charts as well as album sales, a testament to the huge impact of this scene.
The controversies are not lacking and range from the shared and total inadequacy of Catherine Zeta Jones in the role of Morticia, more similar to any woman dressed in a mask for Carnival, than an undisputed icon. The web and critics also complain about a general impoverishment of the script in the case of secondary characters and a flattening of the macabre verve that made the Addams famous. Basically this Wednesday looks like little Addams and more like a teen weirdo (strange in American and English slang) that one would find in any school. Another recurring observation is how the theme of the school with bullies and “losers” is such an abused cliché in the United States that not even in an institution for magical creatures can one be in peace and escape teasing and bravado. In this series it is also said that she takes some ingredients from others such as Veronica Mars (for the detective aspects) and Stranger Things (because of her psychic powers).
What remains of the character born from the witty pen of Charles Addams in 1938? Surely the claim to embody ideals of culture, interests and even beauty different from the mass. His image inspired by the Gothic style (or Dark in Italy) has met with unprecedented success giving life to endless emulations of looks and dances inspired by her performance, however I wonder: how do all the people who love Wednesday and its strangeness behave in everyday life in front of those who wear that same look with conviction and not like a mask?
On Wednesday, the Netflix series seduces the world amidst ovations and controversy