TV Review: ‘Wednesday’ Season 1, Episode 1

by Frank Martin

It’s always dangerous territory whenever a beloved franchise gets rebooted. It’s even trickier when a big visionary name is involved. That’s exactly what’s going on with the new Addams Family series on Netflix called Wednesday. After a career in quirky horror, one would think Tim Burton the perfect fit for The Addamses. But such well-known names also raises the stakes. Fans have high expectations for what the filmmaker and concept can accomplish together, and the first episode suggests that the show is off to a good start.

The premise sees Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega) expelled from her high school after dropping piranhas in the swim team’s pool because they were bullying her brother, Pugsley (Isaac Ordonez). Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Gomez (Luis Guzmán) send her to the same boarding school that they went to in the hopes that she will fit in. Wednesday immediately starts planning her escape, but soon gets wrapped up in a bizarre mystery after having visions and witnessing a murder committed by a gruesome monster. To make things even stranger — the monster killed a boy to stop him from killing Wednesday, thus saving her life.

The thing about The Addams Family is that they are a set of characters without a plot. This is in contrast to something like the Marvel superheroes, where the characters come with built-in storylines. So, Burton and the show’s other creators, Smallville‘s Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, had to come up with a story for Wednesday. It’s not enough for the character to be her typical, brooding self. She needs to be challenged by a plot that is just as engaging. Fortunately, the show is filled with a murder mystery, supernatural visions, and a deadly prophecy that will make for a very entertaining season.

Wednesday is streaming on Netflix.

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