There’s a reason the Addams Family characters have stood the test of time for the better part of a century. In their best iterations, the creepy, kooky family members are a delightful mix of macabre and absurdity, and therefore it seems like a no-brainer that Tim Burton would try his hand at a new rendition. The upcoming Netflix series Wednesday is the result, with Burton helming the first four episodes and executive producing the spinoff that stars Jenna Ortega as the titular goth teenager. Reviews are in for Wednesday ahead of its November release to Netflix, and while overall reviews are mixed, they all seem to agree on the series’ lead actress.
Wednesday will see Jenna Ortega’s character going away to school at the Nevermore Academy, navigating the struggles of being a teenager and figuring out her newly-formed psychic abilities. Oh yeah, and someone’s on a killing spree. The Scream actress will be joined by Catherine Zeta-Jones as mom Morticia, plus Luis Guzmán as Gomez, and Fred Armisen as Uncle Fester. Also, Christina Ricci will appear, appeasing fans of the classic '90s movies in which she starred.
So what do critics have to say after streaming the eight-episode series? Daniel Fienberg of THR says Jenna Ortega has no trouble making the classic character her own, and she proves her star power:
Amelia Emberwing of IGN agrees that Jenna Ortega elevates the series with her performance, making a great option for young, budding horror fans. The critic rates the series a “Good” 7 out of 10, saying:
Dan Jolin of Empire gives the series 3 stars out of 5, saying that despite its flaws Jenna Ortega makes Wednesday “extremely watchable,” and is able to pull off a feat Christina Ricci never had to when she played the character. In the critic’s words:
Even the critics who struggle to find the entertainment value in Wednesday seem to appreciate the star’s contribution. Ben Travers of IndieWire grades the series a C- but still notes (mostly) good casting, including the “sharpened range” that Jenna Ortega shows with her traditionally emotionless character. Overall, however:
Meagan Navarro of Bloody Disgusting rates the series 2.5 out of 5 skulls, saying the series never gets mysterious or spooky enough to do justice to YA horror or to the classic characters. The actress’ portrayal of the titular character, however, is a fascinating case study of the unlikable protagonist. In the critics words:
While the critics don’t seem to agree on whether or not Wednesday lives up to their expectations — the series holds a 70% rating on Rotten Tomatoes from 19 critics’ reviews — there’s little argument about what Jenna Ortega brings to the table. If you’d like to check out the series, you can do so starting Wednesday (of course), November 23, with a Netflix subscription.
Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.
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