Image courtesy of Netflix

“Wednesday” a great watch any day of the week

Netflix’s TV show “Wednesday” isn’t afraid to bash a bad guy with a hammer, and that’s what I love about it. 

The show is certainly binge-worthy; however, I felt there were some minor flaws that detracted from the overall experience.

Although I haven’t watched any other Addams Family media, “Wednesday” worked as a standalone project.

Plot-wise, I found the series to be as good, if not better, than other teenage-sleuthing TV shows. I especially liked how Wednesday’s character was aged up and placed in an environment like a boarding school. Viewers get to see a more grown-up, teenage version of Wednesday, who has problems connecting with her mother and forming relationships with others all while managing academics.

Add a bloodthirsty monster into the mix, and you get to see where Wednesday really shines — solving crime, murder, mayhem and a bit of good old-fashioned torture.

I loved this show, especially the lead actress, Jenna Ortega. She embodied the much-beloved Wednesday Addams so well, all quirks included. Not only did Ortega have to pull off Wednesday’s stone-faced demeanor, she also had to play her part without blinking.

Wednesday as a character was just as impressive as Ortega’s acting. Wickedly intelligent and with fencing skills to boot. Wednesday always entertained me with her sharp comebacks, especially when contrasted with her deadpan delivery. One of my favorite quotes from Wednesday was directed at Bianca Barclay (Joy Sunday), Wednesday’s rival,  during the Edgar Allan Poe Cup race when she said: “for the record, I don’t believe that I’m better than everyone else, just that I’m better than you.” Bianca’s stunned expression afterward was the best part of this particular interaction.

Wednesday’s character isn’t one-dimensional, however, and her growth from an independent loner to someone who relies on others was satisfyingly done.

This spark of human emotion that grows within Wednesday adds to her character and doesn’t make her any less of the badass Wednesday I love. It instead offers her character some humility and depth that I can relate to a bit more than the harsh persona she usually maintains.

I especially loved the relationship between Wednesday and her roommate, Enid Sinclair (Emma Myers), and how the two grew to be best friends that share a comedic relationship and unusual dynamic. 

From the beginning, the two embodied the black cat and golden retriever trope, with the pair pushing each other out of their comfort zones. 

However, throughout many trials in their relationship, ranging from fights to near-death experiences, the two came closer together than ever and had one of the most memorable moments of the show during the season finale.

Sadly, their relationship leads me to one of my criticisms — queerbaiting. Although I don’t have any problems with straight romances, the marketing for “Wednesday” was distinctly deceptive.

In honor of the Netflix show, involving “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alumni, there was a “WednesGay” drag event in Los Angeles to promote the series. The teasing continued with a Nov. 26 tweet from Netflix’s official account reading “the opposites attract storyline we needed.” 

The “WednesGay” drag event had convinced me that the show would have a prominent queer pairing, and I assumed it to mean that WenClair, the name given by the fandom for Wednesday and Enid’s relationship, was going to happen. 

However, this was not the case despite Wednesday and Enid’s very close relationship during the show, and the only canonical LGBTQIA+ relationship was the briefly present gay moms of Eugene Otinger (Moosa Mostafa), Wednesday’s friend from the beekeeping club. 

Speaking of their close relationship, I honestly could see them as more than friends as I watched the series trailer and later when I watched the show. I felt a bit betrayed since I had gotten my hopes up and truly believed that they would be in a romantic relationship.

This lack of representation from any members of the main cast of characters left me disappointed, but that is not to say that I still didn’t enjoy Wednesday and Enid’s friendship dynamic. I also believe it is important to portray safe and loyal friendships between women in the media since there is often a lack of this in favor of the jealous or mean girls tropes.

However, the plot wasn’t perfect. I could figure out the mystery antagonists by Episode 6 out of eight, largely due to a certain character’s controlling attitude and one with an overly nice facade. Even so, there were twists I couldn’t predict, and the show used its red herrings effectively. I was giddy with anticipation the entire time.  Trust me — I was so hooked, I pushed back studying for an Advanced Placement Biology test just so I could finish the series.

The side characters were equally engaging. Bianca was the perfect antagonist-turned-ally. Whether it be in fencing or reciting the history of a poisonous flower, Bianca matched or bested Wednesday each time. 

Their rivalry added to Wednesday’s character growth since she had to realize the hard way that she wasn’t the best at everything. Bianca’s sarcasm and queen-bee attitude were both amusing and refreshing and sometimes had me rooting for her more than anyone else.

Then there were innocent and kind characters like Eugene who became Wednesday’s first friend — not that she would admit it. He added a warmth to the narrative and offered Wednesday unquestionable loyalty which allowed her to confide in him and even trust him as they searched for the monster that had been attacking the town. Eugene is a genuinely sweet character and I loved when he showed his worth and courage in the series finale.

What I didn’t like, however, was the love triangle and two of the most one-dimensional boy characters I’ve ever seen: Xavier Thorpe (Percy Hynes White) and Tyler Galpin (Hunter Doohan). It felt entirely forced. I would be happy if Wednesday didn’t date anyone.

In all honesty, Wednesday’s character isn’t suited for romance. She embodies what a powerful woman should look like — independent and confident in her abilities. Homicidal tendencies aside, she is never afraid to speak her mind and do what must be done. 

Her anti-hero aspect isn’t supposed to be tied down or controlled by a love interest, much less a teenage boy. 

The two points to her love triangle, Xavier and Tyler are both incessantly whiny, annoying and a hindrance to her throughout the storyline. 

I found Xavier to be a dry, forgettable character that didn’t add much to the plot besides as a fallout character to trick viewers from figuring out the real monster and a point on a love triangle that did not need to exist.

Tyler is actually a character who viewers are actually supposed to dislike by the end of the series. I disliked him the whole series. I found him to be akin to a mosquito buzzing next to your ear at 3 a.m. 

In one scene, Tyler said “call me crazy, Wednesday, but you keep giving me these signals.” This is unbelievably ironic considering all the signals Wednesday was giving him were blank stares and treating him like a glorified Uber driver — even Netflix’s official TikTok account made fun of the scene. 

To his credit, however, I did find him more interesting once I found out his true agenda, and I do think that Doohan did a great job playing him, especially in the scene when he confronts Wednesday. I literally got chills watching it.Despite its flaws, “Wednesday” was still excellent. Was it a good use of my time to binge this show? Definitely. Would I watch it again? Still a confident yes. Would I recommend that everyone drop everything and hit play? Yes!

— By Emily Cook

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