Netflix’s Wednesday Review – This Addams Family Spin-Off Is A Classic Burton Throw Back

While you might have expected it to debut around Halloween, which would have been a far more logical move, Netflix is getting ready to drop Wednesday–an off-shoot of the Addams Family franchise–just in time for Thanksgiving. Why Thanksgiving? Either Netflix realized the traditional spooky season was busy this year or the release is a deep dive nod to 1993’s Addams Family Values, which is technically a Thanksgiving movie. The reasoning doesn’t matter, though, because Wednesday is finally here, and it was worth the wait.

Wednesday follows the titular eldest Addams child, played by Scream and X standout Jenna Ortega, as she gets shipped off to a boarding school for bizarre and/or supernaturally gifted teens and finds herself smack dab in the middle of a murder mystery where the culprit seems to be some kind of monster. More insidious than the bodies that pile up, though, is the prospect of people wanting to be Wednesday’s friend. After all, she’s never been much of a people person.

This is a beautiful show. That’s clearly due, in no small part, to the involvement of director Tim Burton. If ever there was a tonal match, it’s Burton’s goth sensibilities and the Addams Family. Said sensibilities are on full display here, as we see the sort of dark humor expected from the Addams Family mixed with a wildly gothic setting. Nevermore is this massive, ancient-looking, very spooky institution populated by a student body filled with supernatural misfits.

Given that he directed the first four episodes of the series and serves as an executive producer, it’s not a surprise that the series feels stepped in his aesthetic sensibilities. That said, it doesn’t play like modern day Burton projects do. Instead, it feels like a throwback to classic movies like Edward Scissorhands and, in some ways, Ed Wood, more than it does Dumbo or Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It seems like the sort of Addams Family project he would have made in the early ’90s, rather than 2022. And it’s the perfect way to approach a Wednesday Addams show.

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