tek's rating:

Wednesday, on Netflix
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This is a 2022 offshoot of the 1960s series The Addams Family. Some sites call it a comedy webseries, but despite some definite comedic aspects, I see it as mostly too serious for that label. It's more of a mystery series, but I don't have a category for that in my web reviews, at this time. But I think more than anything else, it's a supernatural series. One of the executive producers of the series (and a director of some episodes) is Tim Burton, and the theme music was composed by Danny Elfman. But despite Burton getting most of the credit for the show (not all of it good; there's been allegations of racism), the show was actually created by (and executive produced by) Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, whom I mainly think of as the creators of Smallville.

Season One
Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega) is like 16 in this series. She gets expelled from her high school after enacting extreme retribution against students who bullied her younger brother, Pugsley, and is subsequently enrolled in a boarding school called Nevermore Academy, the alma mater of her parents, Gomez (Luis Guzmán) and Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Her parents leave a disembodied hand called Thing to look after her. The academy is located in (or near) the town of Jericho, Vermont, and is attended by "outcasts" including various types of supernatural beings. The principal is a shapeshifter named Larissa Weems (Gwendoline Christie), who formerly attended the school when Gomez and Morticia were students there. Wednesday's roommate is Enid Sinclair (Emma Myers), a werewolf who has so far never been able to fully transform, and whose friendly, bubbly personality is the exact opposite of Wednesday, who is very macabre and anti-social. Despite Enid's best efforts to befriend her, it takes time for Wednesday to warm up to her. Wednesday also starts a rivalry with Nevermore's queen bee, a siren named Bianca Barclay. Bianca has an ex-boyfriend named Xavier Thorpe, who takes an unrequited interest in Wednesday. When Wednesday is forced to take on an extracurricular activity, she joins the beekeeping club, whose only other member is Eugene Ottinger, with whom she becomes friends. There are some other students who I don't think we get to know that well, including a gorgon named Ajax Petropolus, who eventually starts a relationship with Enid. There's also a botany teacher and dorm mother named Marilyn Thornhill (Christina Ricci, who previously portrayed Wednesday in a couple of Addams Family movies in the 1990s). She tries to bring Wednesday out of her shell, with little success.

Meanwhile, Wednesday is required to attend therapy sessions in Jericho with Dr. Valerie Kinbott (Riki Lindhome), toward whom Wednesday feels antagonistic. While in town, Wednesday meets a teenage barista named Tyler, whose father, Donovan Galpin, is the local sheriff. Galpin has an intense distrust of all the outcasts from Nevermore Academy (as do many local "normies"). So he isn't pleased when Tyler tries to befriend Wednesday, and obviously wants to be more than friends with her (despite her barely acknowledging their friendship). There's a lot of strain in the relationship between Tyler and his father, especially regarding the death of Tyler's mother, which Galpin doesn't want to ever talk about. Another important figure in Jericho is the mayor, Noble Walker, who was sheriff before Galpin. Walker has a son named Lucas, who is part of a group of normies that run afoul of Wednesday. (But she easily holds her own against them, because she's kind of a badass, when she has to be.)

Whew, I feel like I've said a lot, just trying to introduce the many characters on this show. And I've barely touched on the plot, so far. A lot happens in this season's eight episodes, and I don't want to spoil too much of it. But there's a student at Nevermore named Rowan, who at one point tries to kill Wednesday because of a prophecy which he believes means she's destined to destroy the school. But she's rescued by a CGI monster, who kills Rowan. However, Principal Weems covers up his death, and not many people believe Wednesday's claims about the monster. Meanwhile, Rowan isn't the only person who has died mysteriously around Jericho, so of course Sheriff Galpin is investigating. And he's not happy about Wednesday investigating things on her own. I also need to mention that Wednesday has recently started having psychic visions. And the current mystery is tied up with the centuries-old history of Jericho. In Puritan times, the town's founding father, Joseph Crackstone, led the persecution of outcasts, including Wednesday's ancestor, Goody Addams (Ortega). The mystery of the monster also involves the death of a Nevermore student named Garett Gates, whom Gomez was accused of murdering years ago during his own time at the academy.

I guess that's pretty much all I want to divulge of the plot. But I will say that I think Wednesday and Enid are both really good characters, and I enjoyed seeing their friendship develop over time, as well as Wednesday's friendship with Eugene. I also enjoyed seeing the mystery unfold. It was fun coming up with theories throughout the season, trying to guess how it would all turn out. And I like the whole dark yet humorous tone of the show. And I've read that Jenna Ortega... basically refused to play Wednesday exactly as written in some situations, which helped keep the show from becoming too light. And I think that's a very good thing. Anyway, the show wasn't exactly perfect, but overall I thought it was pretty good, a lot of fun. I look forward to season two.

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