July 15, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Wednesday “Wednesday Is The Child Of Woe”

Season One, Episode One

So, normally I do longer running shows on Wednesdays and Thursdays so I don’t have to switch at least two days of the week out quite so often.  But c’mon:  Netflix’s Wednesday was a huge hit from the sounds of things, and it would probably be wrong to cover it on any day other than Wednesday.

Besides, it gives me a few more weeks to figure out what to slot into this day of the week.

Now, personally, I was a little wary of this one.  Sure, there was controversy over Luis Guzman’s casting as Gomez Addams, but cripes, the character’s name is “Gomez”.  Why not cast a Latino actor?  That never bothered me.  What bothered me more was the inclusion of Tim Burton as an executive producer since he’s had more misses than hits of late.  Then there’s Smallville creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, and those names don’t exactly put me at ease.  Then there’s the premise:  Wednesday Addams as a psychic detective?  Say what?

But this show is somehow a hit, and I can probably guess why.  The pilot isn’t what I would call great (I’ve been told it may be the weakest episode in the run), but it does its job:  Wednesday’s general deadpan demeanor is on full display as she gets herself expelled after dropping piranha into the school pool as the water polo team was practicing.  That said team was torturing her younger brother Pugsley and she had a psychic vision of the attack when she pulled him from his locker is a bit beside the point.  Does Wednesday care about Pugsley?  She says it’s more like she’s only one allowed to torture him, and this is the Addams Family, so that tracks.

That just means Morticia and Gomez enroll her in Nevermore Academy where freaks and weirdos go, and this is a world where it seems vampires, werewolves, and other monsters are more or less common knowledge, and something is out there killing people.  Is it a student?  A teacher?  The principal, Larissa Weems, played by Gwendoline Christie?

Huh, that actress gets around.  Good for her.

So, aside from the pitch perfect Jenna Ortega, how is the rest of the cast?  For starters, Guzman and Catherine Zeta-Jones may not be in every episode as Wednesday’s morbidly doting parents, but they’re both fine.  Cinematic Wednesday Christina Ricci is here as a teacher at the school.  What little I saw of Wednesday’s classmates seem to be well-cast, particularly her opposite number werewolf roommate Enid Sinclair, but all she can do is sprout some longer (and still colorful) fingernails.  Plus, Thing is on-hand as a disembodied hand, and even Wednesday isn’t sure where he came from or what he is.

That hand can give off a lot of personality without a face.

Furthermore, Wednesday is proven to be, well, not the best at everything as popular student Bianca Barclay beats her at fencing.  That may pay off later if and when that siren student gets schooled, I am sure it will be a moment of triumph.

But mostly, this is here to show a deadpan, monochrome Wednesday condescendingly quip her way through the episode as she gets stuck in a mystery of a destiny she may have and a monster that wouldn’t look the slightest bit out of place in any Burton movie.  Will I like this?  I kinda hope so.