Wednesday

Over the Christmas period we watched Wednesday, the Netflix series in which Wednesday Addams is sent to Nevermore Academy — the boarding school for outcasts with which her parents have a long history. Here, as well as having to navigate the usual high-school cliches (all given a suitably macabre spin), Wednesday finds herself at the centre of a series of mysteries including murder, a monster and several attempts on her life.

It’s really good.

The series does take a bit of getting used to initially and this is not the Addams family we have come to expect. The family is a little more dysfunctional and I missed the sense of the Addams together, facing the world. And I have to admit that Luis Guzmán struck a slightly jarring note as Gomez Addams: He’s not Raul Julia.

That said, it is nice to see a series that attempts to be something more than a slavish retread of what has gone before, and Wednesday does work well as a new take on the Addams Family. A lot of this comes down to Jenna Ortega’s performance in the title role: She manages to channel all of Wednesday’s signature snark while also delivering enough depth to keep us all caring throughout the series.

And then there’s the dance.

Overall, Wednesday is a very well executed combination of Gothic mystery and school-age soap opera. The series is both funny and charming and is built around a mystery that is both intriguing and satisfyingly concluded.

I do hope that Wednesday returns to Nevermore for another term.