Poster for Wednesday, with a gloomy girl with dark hair in two braids holding a black umbrella


Title: Wednesday (Season #1)
Released: 2022

Fix: Dark comedy, boarding school, paranormal creatures, (goth) girl detective
Platform: Netflix

Netflix Summary:

Smart, sarcastic and a little dead inside, Wednesday Addams investigates a murder spree while making new friends — and foes — at Nevermore Academy.

FYA Summary:

When The Addams Family movie came out in 1991, I was in junior high, a.k.a the perfect age at which to become obsessed with Christina Ricci’s Wednesday Addams. She had a (razor sharp) mind of her own plus a killer sense of humor, and she really put the dead in deadpan.

Fast forward to this year, when I heard about this Netflix show and wondered: why try to reboot perfection? And then I watched the first episode and thought, ah, that’s* why.

*Jenna Ortega’s morbidly marvelous performance

*My YA greatest hits: a boarding school, a twisty mystery, a love triangle, the big dance, female friendship

*A stellar cast of absolute legends (see below)

Familiar Faces:

A scowling girl with dark hair in two braids in a black and white school uniform stands next to a blonde girl with pink and blue highlights smiling in a purple and black school uniform

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday; Emma Myers as Enid

I first saw Jenna in Season 2 of You, in which she played a precocious (but never annoying!!) young teen, and then I really dug her in this year’s Scream. As Wednesday, she pulls off the impressive feat of being winsomely taciturn, brooding yet endearing. She’s a brick wall of gloom and yet, you completely understand why people are drawn to her. While her line delivery isn’t quite as good as Christina Ricci’s Wednesday, she makes for a more believable Person (instead of Character).

And not to spoil anything but Jenna also choreographed what is arguably the most iconic moment from Season One. QUEEN!

I haven’t seen Emma in anything, but I kept thinking I had because she comes across as SUCH a Former Disney Star, but in the perfect way for her character. Enid’s a werewolf who hasn’t “wolfed out” yet, i.e. actually turned into a werewolf, and her bubbly, girlie personality is the perfect foil to Wednesday. (She’s also her roomie, much to Wednesday’s dismay.)

A beautiful, tall blonde woman in 1950s style

Gwendoline Christie as Principal Weems

I had a hard time choosing between a close-up shot (so you could see Weems’ gorgeous make-up, and yes, I did purchase a lipstick solely based on her wearing it) and a full length one, but I went with the latter to convey the total glamorous package, which was inspired by heroines in Hitchcock movies. As the Principal of Nevermore Academy, Weems has the thankless job of trying to keep Wednesday out of trouble, and Christie elegantly shifts between exasperated authority figure and powerful politico with a hidden agenda.

A white woman with long auburn hair and bangs, wearing blue framed cats eye glasses and smiling awkwardly

Christina Ricci as Ms. Thornhill

THAT’S RIGHT, Y’ALL! The OG (okay, second OG) Wednesday is in the show! She plays the only “normie” (normal human) teacher at the academy, and she’s also the dorm mom. While she’s not nearly as creeptastic as Misty in Yellowjackets, I still got the heebie jeebies every time she nervously pushed back her glasses.

Related, one of my favorite moments in the show involves a reference to this:

A grinning Puerto Rican man with a thin mustache and shiny black hair wearing a pinstripe suit and a glamorous woman with long dark hair and a black dress, with Wednesday (scowling girl with dark hair in braids) sitting between them

Luis Guzmán as Gomez Addams, Jenna Ortega as Wednesday, Catherine Zeta-Jones as Morticia

Luis Guzmán has been in, like, everything, but I most recently saw him in The Resort. His slightly oafish, fawning Gomez is not as entertaining as the darker version played by Raul Julia, but it’s kinda nice to see a sweet dad in the mix. And while no one in the world can hold a candle to Anjelica Huston in my book, Catherine Zeta-Jones is a lovely, enigmatic Morticia.

The cast also includes Riki Lindhome as Wednesday’s chipper therapist; Hunter Doohan as the “boy next door” love interest and Percy Hynes White as the MLD, neither of whom deserve Wednesday IMO; as well as Joy Sunday, the fierce queen bee.

Couch-Sharing Capability: Solo (Wednesday Style) or With Your Pack (Enid Style)

It’s easy to enjoy this series by yourself—the absorbing mystery and rich set and costume design will keep you engrossed and off of your phone—but it would also be fun to watch with your pals so you can trade theories about the identity of the monster and argue about which guy (if any) Wednesday should end up with.

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Pick Your Poison

Given the gothic setting and dark opulence of Nevermore Academy, I recommend brewing up a strong, classy cocktail (there’s lots of variations on the Nightshade cocktail, if you want to be especially on theme) and sipping along with the show. Bonus points if you try to concoct the smoking, electric blue punch from the Raven dance.

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Dreadfully Good

Do I wish Wednesday was slightly more deranged? Yes. Did I hope the humor would be even edgier? You bet. And yet! And yet, this is an incredibly satisfying, weirdly charming series that feels original while expertly hitting all of my favorite YA beats. Wednesday might rain on her own parade, but I certainly won’t!

Sarah lives in Austin, and believes there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure, which is part of why she started FYA in 2009. Growing up, she thought she was a Mary Anne, but she's finally starting to accept the fact that she's actually a Kristy.