Wednesday’s Child Is Full Of Woe

Monday’s child is fair of face. Tuesday’s child is full of grace.
Wednesday’s child is full of woe. Thursday’s child has far to go.
Friday’s child is loving and giving. Saturday’s child works hard for his living.
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day, is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

Netflix’s new show Wednesday turned out to be surprisingly good. I thought this new take on The Addams Family would be aimed at the younger viewer and while it does have a Harry Potter vibe to it, the writing was sassy and dark enough to be enjoyed by older viewers. It was good to see the range of characters, but they in no way dominated – the main family are only briefly involved – and Jenna Ortega pretty much nails the sadistic, emotionless Wednesday, who is of course the lead in this version.

The accompanying music is interesting and generally fits well, of course Danny Elfman did a good job of his collaboration with Tim Burton. And there is a masterpiece in the opening episode with Wednesday playing a cello arrangement of The Rolling Stones’ Paint It Black. It fits perfectly, both the choice of song and solo instrument.

Wednesday does show some moderate violence, both fantasical and also realistic, although anything tortuous is either interrupted or merely implied. It isn’t particularly scary, but The Addams Family aren’t meant to be. It is instead the contrast and juxtaposition of the tastes and desires of the Addams’s versus the normal folk of the world.

There are a lot references to both previous iterations of Wednesday Addams and her cooky family, as well as other Tim Burton films. The double-snap makes an appearance, as does the most famous of Wednesdays, Christina Ricci. Pilgrim World and the boat race reminds us of the motion picture sequel Addams Family Values. Morticia, played by Catherine Zeta Jones, also explains where Wednesday’s name comes from, and although not a character in the first season, Cousin Ignatius Itt is shown via a portrait in the basement library. There are plenty of easter eggs littered throughout to keep eagle-eyed viewers interested.

The finale is left open for more, which no doubt will happen, but does bring the story arc of the first season to a fairly neat close. All-in-all, season one was very enjoyable.