Tim Burton’s TV series that tells the adventures of young Addams, between mysteries and teen drama, arrives on Netflix Wednesday
Wednesday by Tim Burton answers the question no one has been asking: what do you get when you join the Addams Family a Riverdale? The answer to this vexing question is: nothing particularly exciting. The TV series Netflix reimagines Wednesday Addams in key teenbut the experiment seems to be only half successful.
Wednesday – on the platform since November 23, 2022 (which it actually is that day of the week) – focuses its efforts on the affairs of the eldest daughter of the Addams family, played by the very interesting Jenna Ortega, and sets it in a context that does not seem to belong to the imaginary of the classic franchise. In fact, after her umpteenth exploit against her schoolmates (to defend her little brother Pugsley), the girl is sent by her parents to a special institution: the Nevermore; a particular college that houses those who are often referred to as “outcasts”. Indeed, in her classrooms there are mermaids, werewolves, vampires and extraordinary beings of all kinds.
The series, however, soon veers towards mystery when it becomes clear that occult and violent events are taking place on and around the campus.
Alongside Ortega is the always beautiful Catherine Zeta Jones as Morticia, Luiz Guzman (Gomez), Gwendoline Christie (Principal Larissa Weems) e Christina Riccithe original Wednesday, this time playing an Institute professor.
Wednesday distorts the image of the Addams Family
Because Wednesday doesn’t it appear to be a valuable addition to the Netflix catalog? Because it sounds like the classic reinterpretation that instead of innovating, distorts. Too many things, in fact, seem to lose their meaning. The relationship between the spouses Morticia and Gomez once manic, but passionate, becomes cloying and embarrassing. The gothic and timeless tone that once characterized the settings and characters gives way to the Netflix patina which (especially when it comes to products for teenagers) homogenizes everything: the dialogues, the sets, the costumes, the topics covered.
Above all, however, there is a fine line that seems to have been crossed; Wednesday’s quirky, stoic demeanor, which we could once define effortless (never forced, genuine), reaches the viewer in a hyper-constructed way. The girl is still strange, she’s lonely, she’s out of the box, sure, but it’s very clear that behind her creation there’s a superhuman effort to make her so and the result is often bordering on embarrassing. We would define it cringeat the risk of ringing cringe ourselves.
The creators Alfred Goug, Miles Millar And Tim Burton they fell into the typical trap of aging screenwriters: they tried to write to please Generation Z, imitating their voice and way of thinking, but without success. The moments that refer to the use of social networks (or to religious non-use in the case of Wednesday) and to teen dynamics are clearly seen through an overly adult lens, driven by the desire to feel part of the zeitgeist current and to produce a product memorablerepeatable, salable.
Wednesday fun, but not enough
Wednesday it doesn’t fail to entertain, let’s be honest. As we said a few paragraphs above, Jenna Ortega she is one of the most promising interpreters of her generation and, with expressive eyes and an ever-present pout, exerts an enviable magnetic force on the viewer. From the narrative side, then, the series is certainly captivating and well constructed: the mysterious thread that binds the episodes is woven appropriately and there has been an effort to make each character multidimensional.
But we naturally wonder if there was a need for this series. Did modern moviegoers need to be approached by the Addams with a mediocre product? Or would it be worth trying to create something new, for once?
Isn’t it incorrect to continue to leverage the melancholy of the past to captivate old and new spectators? This time what presses is the love that the public has for an unconventional product, which played on the subversion of the typical suburban family usually the protagonist of the common imagination. The films of the nineties (the version that we will all remember most clearly) did an excellent job of reinterpretation: yes, he adapted the product to modern times, but managed to maintain that naturally gothic, fascinating and timeless tone that we miss so much now.
In a color film, the Addams family was in black and white (white skin and funeral clothes): a detachment that the viewer appreciated for himself; there was no need for anyone to point this out to him by comparing it to “an Instagram filter”. Dialogues cringedid we say?
There was no shortage of anticipation for this adaptation. It was in fact a sort of revenge for Burton who was to direct the film in 1991, but busy on the set of Batman Returnsleft the witness a Barry Sonnenfeld. Too bad it now seems like a wasted opportunity.
Wednesday has been on Netflix since November 23, 2022.