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Netflix’s new series Wednesday combines nostalgia and the delightfully macabre

Updated Dec 13th, 2022 10:29AM EST
Wednesday on Netflix
Image: Netflix

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Jenna Ortega’s Wednesday Addams is the kind of death-obsessed, solemn young black-clad teenager who doesn’t bury hatchets — “I sharpen them,” she deadpans at one point in Netflix’s newly released 8-episode Addams Family spinoff, Wednesday.

A little inexplicably, the streaming giant decided to release this mostly delightful series the day before Thanksgiving — forgoing, in other words, the more appropriate opportunity of a release timed to Halloween. But that’s forgivable, I suppose, considering that consumers’ desire for new content is incessant, all the more so around any holiday that offers long stretches of free time.

And you’ll definitely want to spend some of that downtime this week with Wednesday, especially if you still fight the urge to snap twice whenever you hear the Addams Family theme song.

Wednesday Netflix reviews

Kooky is a word thrown around a lot to describe the new Netflix show — but, no, it’s not meant as a pejorative. In director Tim Burton’s hands, the tone and aesthetic here are just this side of spooky, while Ortega turns the vamp meter all the way up to 11 in her portrayal of a stoic, goth, cool girl who’s impossible not to like.

Today, meanwhile, marks the streaming debut of Wednesday on Netflix — and, of course, the reviews are still trickling in. So far, it seems like the show has struck the right balance between appealing to nostalgia amongst Addams Family fans and giving streaming audiences a fresh story to sink their teeth into. Perhaps the best example of the former is the presence in the series of Christina Ricci, who also played a younger version of Wednesday on the big screen.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the show’s scores currently stand at 69% and 78%, respectively — generally good, but probably worth waiting another day or so to see how viewers continue to respond before making a definitive judgment about it.

All in all, though, Ortega played this role with a delicious insouciance that might surprise anyone who knows her earlier work from The Disney Channel as well as her time on Jane the Virgin. It was so fun watching her, as Wednesday, pretending not to have fun or anything like it. “Jenna Ortega is absolutely killin’ it as Wednesday IM OBSESSED!!” one Twitter user raved on the series’ release day.

More Netflix news

: Netflix Top 10: The most-watched shows in the world right now

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.