Wednesday Flipped The Entire Point Of The Addams Family (But That’s Good)

Netflix’s Wednesday undoes a defining element of The Addams Family, but this change makes sense for the supernatural story. Wednesday introduces a new take on the iconic spooky characters, as Netflix’s dark coming-of-age series marks the first time one of The Addams Family characters has received their own spinoff. As teenage Wednesday Addams is sent to the Nevermore Academy school for outcasts, she learns to master her psychic powers while uncovering puzzling layers of her family history. Wednesday’s story is very different from past Addams Family adaptations, not simply by making the family more emotionally complex, but also by placing them in a world where they’re not particularly “odd.”

The point of The Addams Family was to satirize quintessential suburban America by situating a macabre, somewhat supernatural, and kooky family in this environment. The gothic, homicidal family is meant to appear bizarre to their neighbors, yet they’re generally no different from the rest of Wednesday’s characters at Nevermore Academy. It isn’t just the Addamses who are ostracized by “normies” in Wednesday, but all of Nevermore’s outcast species. The Addams family still maintains their own gothic uniqueness amid Nevermore’s sea of eccentricity, but they don’t embody the stark fish-out-of-water contrast that defined The Addams Family’s appeal. Considering gothic outcasts surrounded by “normal” suburbia is director Tim Burton’s strength, this creative change is even more curious.

Why Wednesday Misses A Key Part Of The Addams Family’s Appeal

Wednesday isn’t meant to be a straight adaptation of The Addams Family, so a change to the core premise still makes sense. Instead of simply presenting the Addamses as an unwelcome supernatural family navigating the “normal” world, Wednesday takes this theme further by giving them a larger community. Gomez and Morticia Addams’ family is just one of many outcast groups in the world, which flips the original premise by emphasizing that they’re not as unique as expected. The Addams family is always going to be strange to typical suburbia, but Wednesday cleverly addresses whether they’re still perceived as such around other outcasts.

In proper Tim Burton fashion, Wednesday prioritizes making Wednesday Addams an outcast among outcasts, yet her parents Gomez and Morticia thrived as popular students in this setting. Repeating a common coming-of-age story trope, Wednesday’s change to the Addamses’ perceived strangeness ties into Wednesday’s difficult relationship with her mother. As Wednesday becomes her own person, she finds herself as an outcast within her own family and school – not because of her powers or gothic taste per se, but because she’s socially awkward and defies the expected norms for both normies and outcasts. As emphasized in her dance scene, Wednesday normalizes being weird while embracing individuality in any setting, because even outcasts have their own “acceptable” customs.

The Nevermore Setting Makes More Sense For This Version Of Wednesday

As a more emotionally complex character, giving this Wednesday a safe space in which she can feel somewhat “normal” amid her fellow outcasts is important. Wednesday’s story also highlights the battle between outcasts and normies, so while Wednesday Addams still sticks out, Nevermore Academy’s setting finally gives her allies who experience similar bigotry. Wednesday will still be ostracized by normies, but at least she’s not alone at school as she experiences the heightened roller coaster of supernatural teenage angst. Jenna Ortega’s Wednesday needs somewhere her powers can be controlled, she can become her own person away from her family’s influence, and can actually make friends, which is exactly what Nevermore offers.

Posted in news   

Author: Seebal Rana

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *