“Wednesday’s Child Is Full of Woe”

Anaum Hussain, Staff Writer

 So, guess who just binged Netflix’s Wednesday? Unfortunately, not on a Wednesday. Centered around Wednesday Addams of the Addams Family, the show starts with her getting expelled from her high school and transferred to Nevermore Academy, the boarding school where her parents fell in love. Spoilers ahead, continue with caution!

     So, how was it overall?

     Honestly? Pretty good, though I have a few complaints. 

     First of all, the love triangle. Please, for the love of god, love triangles need to just stop happening. Unless they’re directional love triangles. Those can stay. But my god, during half of Episode 4 I was screaming “Can we get back to the monster stuff?” I’m here for the Addams, Enid, and Eugene. That’s it. At least, that’s what I was thinking when I wrote this paragraph during episode 5 just to complain about that. 

     And then it got interesting. Really interesting. One last chance, absolutely massive spoilers start here! Click away if you don’t want to see them! Because trust me, you don’t want to be spoiled on this if you’re planning on watching. 

     Both of Wednesday’s love interests get arrested. And honestly? Good. Xavier… actually didn’t do anything wrong, I just don’t like him because he’s an insensitive jerk and I think he needed to be knocked down a peg. But Tyler is the twist villain of the season, revealing that he’s a Hyde, a type of monster which transforms from a human into a powerful and angry creature that will attack anything in its path. The villain is Laurel Gates, posing as Wednesday’s dorm mom Marilyn Thornhill. I didn’t see that coming in the slightest, and I have a whole issue with twist endings that are never foreshadowed, but that’s not the point right now. 

     Anyway, now to my complaints that weren’t at the very least slightly addressed. A few lines in one episode about a conversion camp which I have thought way too hard about. This article explains it much better than I can, but the long and short of it is that they try to make not transforming into a werewolf fast enough, or “Wolfing out” as they call it, into a metaphor for being gay when the two things just aren’t comparable. And this part isn’t mentioned in the article, but at the end of it all, Enid does end up “Wolfing out.”

     Writers, what the actual heck? So… you try to make a metaphor for conversion therapy saying that she doesn’t have to conform, but then she conforms anyway? That’s… I don’t think it’s actively malicious, but it’s certainly a very bad look. It’s a big issue with the series, honestly. A school for outcasts where no one actually feels like an outcast for long. 

     And there’s another big issue that’s been discussed over and over again, and here’s another article about it if you want to know more. Once again, the long and short of it is that every single Black character is an antagonist at some point. I’m not kidding. It’s… bad, to say the least.

     Okay! Complaining over! Now onto the things I liked. 

     Let’s start with the way they handled Wednesday. Every other character seemed a bit like an afterthought, but Wednesday herself was a stellar character. Portrayed by a Latina actress, Jenna Ortega, she embodies the black-hearted Wednesday Addams perfectly. Women of color protagonists are always a treat to see, so this was amazing. And she’s non-stereotypical too! 

     There was also one scene that stood out a lot to me and Senior Matthew Castillo. The dance scene in episode 4. According to him, it’s “…Because Wednesday comes out of her shell for the first time.” It’s a very, very good scene and it’s one of the biggest reasons why Wednesday is such a good character. 

     And the plot, the plot was absolutely stellar. The high point of the series, by far. Complicated, yet still easy to follow. Even though the twist ending wasn’t foreshadowed at all from what I could see, I enjoyed it a lot. I loved every twist and turn it took me on, and I can’t help but absolutely adore it. 

     Also Enid. Enid was the best part of this series and I love her so, so much. She’s so good and I think she’s better for her than both of Wednesday’s love interests combined. 

     So, final thoughts! Wednesday is a good show with a lot of flaws that I can’t ignore. If you can ignore these flaws, go ahead and watch on! If you can’t, maybe skip it. Final score: 7/10, though I will give it that it inspired me to watch the Addams Family movies which I have never seen before.