This probably isn’t the article anyone connected to Netflix on Wednesday wants to see. and I know that. But as I was watching the series in a much shorter time than I expected (more on why I thought I’d let it languish later), I came to a startling realization.
Yes, it was kind of obvious that Wednesday’s series wasn’t meant to be a sequel to The Addams Family – just a rearrangement of some characters in a format that was more in the style of Netflix. It has been proven successful It beat the opening week numbers for Season 4 of Stranger Things (Opens in a new tab) for minutes watched on Netflix, a solid feat considering Wednesday’s eight episodes total 392 minutes, while Stranger Things 4 Part 1 (the second-most charting installment of all time, behind Squid) runs 547 minutes. All three are among the best Netflix shows, but don’t make me put them in any order.
Wed scratches the itch that young Mr. Potter is only used to. I’m not in a position to say that it’s the first show or movie to come out since the eight Harry Potter films that bears a similarity to them (School of Good and Evil being the most recent one that bears a similarity in terms of plot). But this is the first time I’ve actually set a Harry Potter successor that really appealed to me.
So, if you’ve been wary of Wednesday — I get it, it looks a lot like a CW show, and one of its options is basically haunting me — let me explain how I found myself desperate for the inevitable Wednesday season 2.
Also, this is a completely spoiler-free story, as I’m going to write in ways that hide all the neat little surprises I found on Wednesday.
Wed arrived when you needed it
I’ve read and watched all of the original Harry Potter books and movies, but I couldn’t even think of watching the 20th Anniversary reunion special on HBO Max. And I’m sure I’m not alone in this.
Yes, I am one of those people who was very interested in Harry Potter. I went to midnight release parties for those books. I stayed up later reading those books, and went to see all the movies in the theaters. Even though it was all very childish to me, I didn’t care.
but while Those Written by author J.K. Rowling’s words, the author’s written opinions on transgender people and their rights since 2019 totally turned me off — so much so that I can’t even watch movies, which is a point of frustration for my parents, who love to watch them during the holiday season. I hope I can turn them in on Wednesday.
Wed do school competitions right
I don’t know how I overlooked the colorful striped uniform of Wednesday Addams’ new school — Nevermore Academy, where her parents met — which is the first big sign that Netflix’s Wednesday will appeal to someone who knows all four houses of Hogwarts.
I start to realize things around the time of Bo’s Cup in Wednesday’s episode two, though, when the factions of the Nevermore School square off in a very similar situation to the Triwizard Tournament of Goblet of Fire.
This is where I have to be honest about how easily I get influenced: if I put groups of competing kids from the same school into a tournament for a trophy? I will likely be very interested. Then the actual events were played out in a delightful way. There are no rules, so everyone has to “cheat” and it’s all in fun.
Wednesday high school friendships really work
Wednesday’s roommate Enid Sinclair (Emma Myers) is one of those characters who would probably annoy you until you couldn’t imagine the show without her. Or at least, that’s the process I went through in the first episode alone.
The brightly colored Mrs. Sinclair just doesn’t get along with her new roommate, and she’s so obsessed with her own blog and the social classes of Nevermore that you might as well be wondering, “Who was Wednesday’s roast alive in a past life to get Enid for a roommate?”
This is a far cry from Harry Potter’s (Daniel Radcliffe) first reaction to early friends Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), but this friendship still reminds me of the Potter verse.
Alive to be Moaning Myrtle (Shirley Henderson) Enid reminds me of Luna Lovegood (and she looks like an Evanna Lynch character). Both characters seem a bit fuzzy at first blush, but once you get to know Enid’s backstory, you’ll be drawn to her, too. This backstory may have been explained too quickly, I’ll admit – but it worked regardless.
However, my favorite student on Nevermore is the bee-obsessed Eugene Oettinger (Musa Mustafa). He’s not popular — if a show names the character Eugene, expect bullying to continue until the hero’s journey begins — but he sure is likable.
Falling somewhere between Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) and Harry himself, Eugene is mis-picked and totally likable. Next up, you have the sultry romantic interest Xavier (Percy Hynes White) and the smiley caffeinated romantic interest Tyler (Hunter Doohan). Both feel a bit more twilight than Harry Potter, but they’re tolerable.
Wednesday’s apparent rival, Bianca (Joy Sunday), who is also Xavier’s ex-husband, has a great sense of humor which is great. I say it’s better Draco.
Wed what misses
Most adults on Wednesday are either well, great, or overwhelmingly successful. Gwendoline Christie is excellent as Nevermore boss Larissa Weems. Catherine Zeta Jones is the almighty Morticia Adams. Luis Guzman, as might be expected, is an A.J perfect Gomez Addams. Whoever casts it deserves a raise.
But then there’s Uncle Fester. Or, should I say, Fred Armisen playing Fred Armisen dressed as Uncle Fester. Not since the majority of Will Smith’s career has an actor done so little to hide his natural style while playing an iconic character.
And maybe I’m suffering from Armisen exhaustion, but this “grab” of Fester did absolutely nothing for me. Fortunately, he used very minimal.
Future outlook: I’ll be fine with 8 seasons on Wednesday
Wednesday, the show hasn’t quite reached the heights of the Harry Potter movies or books yet, but I enjoyed the first of eight episodes and look forward to many more.
If they can make eight movies of the Harry Potter books, I feel like we can have eight seasons on Wednesday. Certainly it seems possible. Wednesday doesn’t feel like a freshman (well, each season could have their own semester, and then summer holidays as their own seasons).
However, based on the ratings above, I imagine Netflix will want it to be on Wednesdays forever. Only time will tell. But for anyone who’s been looking for something like Harry Potter that just swapped a gothic teen for the bespectacled boy who lived? I can assure you, you’ll be happy to swap stick-waving for finger-picking.