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Alfred Gough and Miles Miller‘s Wednesday update to what The Addams Family is to a modern generation is perfect for viewers wanting a horror drama similar to the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. After my interview with Glenn Taranto regarding adapting Charles Addams comic strip to the media, my appreciation for the kooky leans in respecting the source material. As a result, this new take is appropriate as an Archie Horror Comics product. But as for what I think the franchise creator may like, I’m sure he’d approve of how his characters are still bringing delight to fans today and agree to how his creation needs to change with the times.
I’m enjoying this take too. Unlike the comic strip where her look is regarded as simple and cute, this newest interpretation shows how she’s downright glamorous and deadly. And thankfully, Jenna Ortega is up to the task of delivering a “Shot of Poison,” Lita Ford style. Although she’s not always “Painting it Black,” the red lipstick throws me off and it’s a detail that bugs me. Additionally, even though her life as a miscreant is perfect, she winds up getting expelled from one high school only to eventually become a hero at another institution.
Here, she’ll have to save her family’s honour one murder mystery at a time. Although the narrative is like every other young adult novel I have read, namely Harry Potter, thankfully the allusions are mostly superficial. The Nevermore Academy in Jericho, Vermont isn’t entirely magical. Instead, it’s a school for monstrous outcasts who have no place in modern, human society. Interestingly, her parents went to this school too, and that’s where they fell in love. But as for what kind of legacy they left behind, we don’t fully know, and what they done in the past gets explored piece by piece. Lately, this school is dealing with other problems, and as a result, this young teen will have to restore her family honour. She doesn’t like it, but knows she’ll have to deal with the past.
Older fans sadly won’t see much of the other members of her clan until absolutely needed. Thankfully, Thing is around to offer some laughs, but this mini-series is more serious than silly. When considering the title sets up what to expect. my only hope is that it shows her transition to adult hood in some delightful, morbid manner. Here, her developing psychic abilities can scare the mortal world. While attending this new school, her visions reveal a monster massacring students behaving badly. In true predictable fashion, she investigates to stop this horror, and what she finds is that these attacks are not random. This beast intends on slaying all people who don’t fit in. By mid-season with “Friend or Foe,” she learns her clan is historically involved.
During “You Reap What You Woe,” we get to see just how important the Addamses are to the mess going on. As a result, the mystery gets crazier, and the terror puts this series in its own world where the laughs that defined previous take no longer matter. As a result, the only morbid humour comes from how Wednesday loves to deal out the hurt to her (ahem) victims. Soon, we find the only friend she has is Principal Weems (Gwendoline Christie). Thankfully, she’s not entirely like Dumbledore, and that’s where the comparison to Sabrina kicks in. There’s also Nevermore teacher Marilyn Thornhill (Christina Ricci) who may or may not be like Snape.
While these two powerhouse actresses are great, I would have loved to see Lisa Loring and Nicole Fugere in a cameo. Maybe on some other day, showrunners Gough and Miller will consider it. Season two is very likely to happen and that can mean having a bigger budget to bring in those who played this character in the past (as a cartoon or sitcom) and truly pay tribute to the spirit of what Wednesday Addams was and still is.
4 Stars out of 5