Wednesday — From a Charming Prankster to an Arrogant Sociopath
An unexpected direction for the Addams
I’m running out of things to write about. That’s a fact. So, I’m now resorting to watching Netflix shows. There’s too much to choose from, and most of it is crap, but it’s actually not that terrible. There’s this new show that, on the one hand, is commendable for its production value and lead actress, but on the other, it bastardises a classic character, in addition to some other things as well, but mostly that.
The Addams Family has been around for quite some time. Though they are not as hot as Spider-Man or any other superhero today, they are still somewhat popular, although they rarely appear in today’s media. I primarily enjoyed them when I was a kid when there was only TV, and the idea of streaming services wasn’t even a loose thread of someone’s imagination (whoever came up with it). But even then, they weren’t part of my main interests, but they were still fun to watch regardless of how they were portrayed, and there are many iterations of the Addams Family. But the most recent one had too much creative liberty with its design, which I have mixed feelings about.
One recurring theme of the Addams is that most people dislike them simply because they’re creepy and kooky. But despite their eccentricities, the Addams are actually really lovely people, a facet that is largely overshadowed by their unusual habits. Nonetheless, the people “victimised” by their shenanigans suffer little to no injury, and even when they do, they barely take damage. However, the most recent adaptation, called Wednesday because it predominantly features the titular daughter of the family, seems to add a bit of realism. How much realism? That’s what I want to find out…
She used to be cute, but now…
The Addams live in a world where people are mainly impervious to all forms of damage, be it a grenade that explodes in someone’s hand or a maintenance hole that lands directly on your head. If I could do even half of those feats, I would more than accept the Addams as my neighbours because, as I said, they’re surprisingly hospitable. However, I am not impervious, and neither is any character in this novel take on the family, which focuses primarily on Wednesday Addams, who makes her character very conspicuous at the very first moments of the show by dumping two bags worth of red-bellied piranhas into a pool full of varsity swimmers. It was later mentioned that one of them lost a testicle. While I apologise for the minor spoilers, this incarnation of the braided prankster is a different character. In most of her adaptations, Wednesday is portrayed as an eccentric-yet-charming prankster who respects her parents and is capable of more than just one emotion. The character she used to be was very much likeable. This version, however, takes the charm the character used to have and twists it, opting to portray Wednesday as a narcissistic Goth who shits on everything and everyone just because it’s not to her taste… but she does try to open up… barely. This sudden addition of attributes to the character was one of my main reasons for dropping the show after three episodes. This is not how I recognise the Addams, whether together or alone. Though I commend the actress for her splendid acting, the darkness often portrayed by the Addams in any of their representations is often comedic rather than actual darkness. This take on the family is more about drama and consequences than the slapstick humour they are known for.
The show does a great job with the worldbuilding in that it expands more on the Addams’s surroundings and what more could be done with it, especially in how it attempts to portray the family in a modern setting with social networks and the internet. However, the world in which Wednesday happens, with or without the technology, feels like it was pulled out of Harry Potter instead of being somewhat original. More so, the addition of werewolves, vampires and the like means that the Addams are no longer unique, which was the case with the past sitcoms featured on TV, live-action or otherwise, and that means that the Addams are not unique anymore, just part of a larger group. If anything, the expansion of the Addams’ world is exciting but a bit off.
While this unexpected take on the Addams Family is interesting, the show could’ve been entirely original and still had the same plot instead of using Wednesday’s image. That way, it would feel better, and I definitely wouldn’t know the difference…
On which day of the week did you watch Wednesday?
I won’t lie; I thought that the narrative in the show was quite amusing. If this were original, instead of slapping on the Addams Family, I would probably continue to watch it, except that I didn’t like what they did with the character, but who cares, am I right? Anyways, be sure to leave your thoughts of how you saw the show… if you even saw it.
Wednesday tries to do something interesting, but it doesn’t quite work out because it takes the intellectual property of something and turns it into something else… almost. The point is, it would’ve been better as an original series, but I already said that.
I hope the next TV show will return the family to its comedic roots.