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Netflix’s “Wednesday”: Good, Bad, or Horrible (in a good way)?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

On November 23, Netflix released its new, highly anticipated series, Wednesday. It is directed by Tim Burton (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands) and stars Jenna Ortega (Scream (2022), X, The Fallout). This series tells the story of Wednesday Addams in the modern era. Wednesday begins attending Nevermore Academy, the school where her parents met, but soon uncovers a mystery that she will stop at nothing to solve. 

Jenna Ortega masterfully plays the perfect Wednesday. She is morbid, quiet, eerie, and funny in all the best ways. Ortega recently recounted in an interview that Burton wanted her character to never blink. Ortega obliged, finding time to blink while other actors performed their lines. Burton and Ortega clearly spent a lot of time putting detail into Wednesday as a character so that she had specific characteristics and mannerisms that continued throughout the show. This small detail added to the already great acting that Ortega was doing to create an amazing Wednesday Addams.

To add to the amazing characterization that Ortega did for Wednesday, the costumes department truly created a phenomenal wardrobe for Wednesday. She is my new style icon. The uniforms created for the students fit the atmosphere of the show, and, of course, Wednesday got the specially made all-black version of the uniform. Some of my favorite moments in the show, however, were when Wednesday was off of school grounds because she often got to wear different clothes. I loved seeing all of the outfits they came up with for her. Let’s not forget the absolutely beautiful dress she wore to the dance. It fit her character perfectly. 

On the topic of the dance scene, we all know that a certain dance has been trending on TikTok. Ortega’s dance in this scene was another fitting aspect of her character design. Ortega said that she researched goth kids dancing in the 80s to choreograph her dance. That was the best idea ever. The decision to use that form of dancing adds even more to the specific, uncaring nature of her character. 

Warning for minor spoilers ahead!

To delve deeper into some of the other characters, let’s look at Enid first. Enid, Wednesday’s polar opposite roommate, is a werewolf who’s somewhat the runt of the pack. She hasn’t “wolfed out” yet, leaving her mother disappointed and worried. Throughout most of the series, Enid stays positive and always tries to include Wednesday in different activities. But, her patience wears thin one night after Wednesday takes her and Tyler, a local coffee shop worker who has a crush on Wednesday, to a dangerous abandoned house and nearly gets them killed. Enid decides she’s had enough of Wednesday not caring about anyone’s safety except her own. She takes some of her stuff to move out and leaves Wednesday alone.

I found this whole storyline to be a really unique one. It seems that oftentimes in film, characters go out and do dangerous things but feelings aren’t considered very much. Filmmakers choose to focus on moving the story forward and not think of the reality that not everyone is okay with just hitting up an abandoned house when a wild monster is running loose. I really enjoyed the inclusion of Enid’s feelings about the whole experience and then moving the story forward in another way. This fight that they had opened up a new theme for the show— Wednesday’s loneliness. 

Another character that I found to be interesting was Bianca. At the beginning of the show, she was introduced as the sort of “mean, popular girl” of the school. As the show progressed, however, it seemed more and more clear that she wasn’t all that mean. It wasn’t super clear when this transformation happened, but I could recognize that Bianca was a perfectly nice person at the end of the series. It might have been better if her transition was a little smoother. 

Another thing that I found really interesting about Wednesday as a character was her complete aversion to relationships. I feel like this is never really represented in media, so it is interesting to see how a person like Wednesday functions. Of course, towards the end of the series, she begins to accept the friendships that have developed, but still, she never truly accepts a romantic relationship or even really visually shows her appreciation of the friends she has made. She had many chances to develop a romantic relationship, but she chose to focus on herself and the things she found important instead. I thought this was a really interesting change of pace compared to pretty much every other story represented in film and tv. 

Many people have been headcanoning (choosing to believe that fictional characters have certain identities or characteristics that are not confirmed in the actual show) Wednesday as asexual, autistic, or gay. These could all be explanations as to why Wednesday acts the way she does throughout the show, but honestly, I think she’s just Wednesday. She could be all these identities or none of them and I would still enjoy seeing how her story unfolds. (Although with that final hug with Enid, maybe she’s at least a little queer)

Wednesday is a really unique show which tells unique and interesting stories about outcasts and people who don’t fit in. I know that I found solace in the different types of people represented in the show. Who knows if we’ll get another season, but with what we have gotten so far, I’m happy with it. I think it’s safe to conclude that Wednesday is horribly good in the best way possible. 

Hello! I'm Sophie, I'm a freshman at KU majoring in film and media studies. I love film and tv, my favorite show is Stranger Things and my favorite movie is Whiplash. I love posting my thoughts about different movies and tv shows as well as film as a whole!