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Review: “Wednesday” is nothing new for audiences

In the newest hit series, the character of Wednesday Addams becomes an amateur detective, making the show entertaining but similar to previous Netflix originals.


By Natalie Metcalf, Valley Life Editor


Jenna Ortega stars in the Netflix original series “Wednesday” based on the iconic and classic spooky family, “The Addams Family.” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

“Wednesday” focuses on a spooky mystery worthy of the Scooby gang, with its comedic deadpan one-liners and captivating costume and set design. But with mediocre writing, the Netflix original series is a carbon copy of “Stranger Things” and “Harry Potter.”


It is no surprise that Tim Burton could direct a world as quirky and kooky as Nevermore, an academy for outcasts –– including sirens, werewolves, vampires, psychics and gorgons. “Wednesday '' (Jenna Ortega) is sent by her parents, Morticia Addams (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Gomez Addams (Luis Guzman), to Nevermore Academy in the small town of Jericho. At the private school, the spooky sleuth makes friends and is always at the right place at the right time for any mystery.


“Nevermore continues to be a place where the questions outweigh the answers,” said Wednesday, during her narration throughout the series. “I won’t stop until I find the truth. I know the suspense is killing you.”


The hit tv-show has held the #1 spot in the most-watched category on Netflix in the first week of its release. “Wednesday” beat “Stranger Things” season four in streaming views on opening weekend, bringing in 341.2 million hours of viewing time. As of Nov. 29, “Wednesday” is the most-watched Netflix series in its opening week.


But the role of an amateur sleuth is becoming tiresome and repetitive for Netflix. “Enola Holmes'' and “Stranger Things” are two Netflix originals that have brought in a lot of streaming time for their platform. Still, the plots are too similar for these shows to have any originality. The amateur sleuth theme is becoming repetitive, making the series too predictable.


The acting is a better part of the series. Star performances go to Ortega, Christina Ricci –– who played Wednesday in “The Addams Family” (1991) and “The Addams Family Values” (1993) and Guzman, Wednesday’s father in the series.


While watching the series, audiences will enjoy seeing fresh faces. New and notable actors in this series made the show more entertaining and interesting to watch. Percy Hynes White, who plays “Xaiver Thorpe” and Emma Myers as “Enid Sinclair” were two actors in the show who stood out in the cast, giving actors of more fame a run for their money.


The writing isn’t strong and compares to teen shows on Netflix or the CW –– predictable, cringy and cheesy. But, Wednesday’s quick-witted one-liners are stonily delivered by Ortega, forcing audiences to continue watching. Her deadpan expression and seriously expressionless attitude are entertaining and comedic to audiences.

One of the main problems of the show is its extreme similarity to the “Harry Potter” series. Without diving too much into the spoiler category, parallels include the death of a prominent character, the hero’s journey trope and the private school itself.


Similarities between Nevermore and Hogwarts continue within the plot and set, the courtyard of the school, the raven –– a dance for the characters to create unnecessary and pointless drama –– and the teacher who not so shockingly becomes the villain.


Danny Elfman and Chris Bacon conducted the music for “Wednesday.” The score is one of the better parts of the show, as it expresses Wednesday’s emotions when she is showing none. Elfman’s signature whimsical and horrifying theme shines through in his composition for the series. There is even a chilling and dramatic instrumental cover of “Paint it, Black,” originally performed by The Rolling Stones.


Overall, “Wednesday” is entertaining. All problems aside, the show has the potential to grow outside of its unoriginality. With a cliffhanger ending, it is unsure if the Netflix original will receive another season.


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