On November 23, it premiered on Netflix the new signature show Tim Burton: Wednesday-Wednesday.

Between past and present, with an eye to the future

The show tells the adventures of Wednesday-Wednesday Addams, played by a stratospheric Jenna Ortega (Jane the Virgin, You, Scream) who at just twenty years of age confirms herself as the fastest growing rising star on the Hollywood scene, engaged in the not simple task of navigating adolescence between a beautiful and cumbersome mother figure and the discovery of herself and her own value far from family. 

This is perhaps the point that has caused the most discussion and that marks the most profound difference between the original 1964 series, and the films of the XNUMXs, and the Netflix series. 

Until now the viewer has known a character who is part of a family unit always together in the face of difficulties. A family that wants to live life according to its own rules and not those dictated by society. The Addamses don't want to conform, they are proud of their differences and face together what life throws at them. Not surprisingly, this particular and eccentric family has become one of the queer icons of the XNUMXs. 

Tim Burton change the rules and the setting. Wednesday-Wednesday is a high school student, a nightmare everyone can find themselves in, who finds herself suspended from an all too "normal" school.

Only I can torture my brother. 


Says the protagonist before getting rid of the swim team, with the help of two bags full of piranhas released in the school pool, since they had bullied Pugsley.
In this beginning the colors are so bright as to be exhausting for the eyes and sometimes blinding. We can easily recognize the director's saturated hand who loves playing with such dazzling palettes. But this does not happen for the whole series!

Wednesday-Wednesday she then finds herself being shipped off to the Academy never more (lovers of the genre have not lost the reference to Poe, the most famous of the students of that school). 
It is precisely the contrast with the "soft" colors of the never more which allows the more adventurous viewer the opportunity to watch all eight episodes without interruption. 

With the entry into the new school, we thus come to the great difference between the works of the past and this modern version: Wednesday-Wednesday he moves away from his family to face the most difficult test: growing up.

That said, the series does not disappoint expectations.

Cumbersome mothers and difficult relationships: in sinthesis adolescence

Jenna Ortega, of a Mexican father and a mother of Mexican and Puerto Rican ancestry, does an incredible job of bringing to life this new version of Wednesday-Wednesday Addams. An iconic character who is given new life by this good actress who respects the origins of the character born in 1932. Not an easy task given that the profession of actress is also based on the expressiveness of the person. Wednesday-Wednesday however, he does not show emotions, he never smiles. Everything is then left to the dialogue and to the way in which her entire body expresses what her face is silent about.   

Next to her, in the role of Morticia, always wrapped in a long, tight-fitting black dress, we find Catherine Zeta-Jones. The viewer learns that she was the queen of Nevermore, where she met Gomez played by Luis Guzman (Narcos, Traffic). 

One of the recurring themes in this series is precisely the conflicting relationship that Wednesday-Wednesday he has with Morticia. This conflict has its roots in Wednesday's fear of being only an appendage of her mother in whom she sees a centralizing and cumbersome figure. However, the real reasons for the conflict are others: the fear of not being "enough" and of disappointing expectations. Fears that are typical of adolescence.  

Yet when they are forced to work together and put aside misunderstandings and conflicts, they are a formidable match. What unites them? The pride with which they fight for their family. So when Gomez is accused of an old crime he didn't commit and arrested, together they become an irrepressible force. 

Seeing how Morticia protects their family, a role of protector that Wednesday has taken upon her from the first scene we see her in, is what breaks the wall between her and her mother.
And so Wednesday admits to having one more thing in common with Morticia: visions.
Both are condemned to see flashes of a time that was or maybe will be. The curse of knowledge that puts the protagonist's life in jeopardy. As if everything that's going on around her wasn't bad enough already!

M: «Our psychic abilities reside on the spectrum of who we are. Due to my frame of mind my visions tend to be positive. This makes me a dove.»

W/M: «What about for someone like me, who sees the world through darker lenses?”

M: «You are a crow. Your visions are more powerful, but without proper training they can lead to insanity.»

Morticia on Wednesday

With this dialogue, which takes place in the fifth episode, one of the narrative arcs of the series ends. 



Female characters. Finally a good development in Wednesday-Wednesday

They are the ones who dominate this series. Over Wednesday we have Enid, Emma Myers (The Glades, Girl in the Basement) a werewolf who can't transform, except for her claws, and who is in danger of becoming a lone wolf, estranged from family and pack. A fate worse than death for a social animal like the wolf. A not so veiled metaphor of the social reality of those who find themselves isolated and set aside. 

Enid risks ending up in a rehabilitation camp for werewolves with problems. A shiver runs down her spine making us remember the conversion camps that are never talked about and not denounced enough!

Among the sirens stands out bianca, Joy Sunday (McGyver) the leader of the group. Past love interest of Xavier Percy Hynes White (Edge of winter, A Christmas horror story) now intrigued by Wednesday-Wednesday. While at first Bianca seems to be the typical popular girl, with a bevy of admirers and sycophants, she too, like all tough girls, hides a secret. Unlike Wednesday who wants to escape from the academy, Bianca lied to get in! All in order to escape from a mother who has a mania for control and who gets it by abusing the power typical of their race. 

The narrative around these two teenagers who try to stay afloat in a world that would like them to be different, to fit into pre-existing boxes with a clear label that tells the world who they are, is perhaps one of the most important points of the entire series . 

For too long the viewer has been taught to believe that the only way to make a female character important is to place her at the center of a complicated love story, or make her a sidekick for male leads. This series has the merit of showing how easy it actually is to create a story arc that can help the characters grow. Which is the ultimate goal that everyone should strive for. 

Burton does not disappoint. For better or for worse, all of his characters arrive at the end of their story changed. No one gets stuck in their own stereotype. That shouldn't come as a surprise given the caliber of actresses he's worked with over his decades-long career. The point of view of a film director lent to television is what was needed to give a new breath to a medium that has become increasingly important over the years, but which today is still chained in the role of "Cinderella" by an obsolete vision by the public and critics. 


Controversies, controversies, more controversies Wednesday-Wednesday

You can't talk about a TV series without running into controversies that are very often sterile and ends in themselves. Wednesday-Wednesday is no exception.      

While Burton has created a very high public expectation, a fringe of it has resented his mere presence. It is not today's news that voices of dissent have been raised more than once around his figure for the choice of casts. 

Too little inclusive, too little attention to the many facets of the world according to some. The opportunity was not missed to remember how in 2016, after being cast in Miss Peregrine's home for Peculiar Children, The same Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, MCU) he found himself admitting he couldn't remember how many other black actors he'd ever seen in a Burton film.

I had to think about it, how many black characters are in Burton's movies? I may have been the first, I don't know, or the most prominent anyway, but these things happen the way they happen. I don't think there's any fault on his part or in his storytelling, it's just how it's done.

Samuel L. Jackson

The aftermath of this discussion has reached up to today. It cannot be said that Wednesday-Wednesday doesn't have a multicultural cast and then another aspect is attacked. Black characters, according to some, are still seen in a negative light because they are seen as villains. 

If at first Mayor Walker, his son Lucas and Bianca may appear as opponents of Wednesday and his search for the truth, things are a little different. 

It might seem tactless to put the Walker family in charge of the amusement park Pilgrimworld but honestly one could also read the matter in a different light, of social revenge. But many don't like to read between the lines. 

The mayor, who has his hand in many things, who has hidden in the past the unsuccessful attempt to kill all the attendees of the academy ball, who has a dual nature and is corrupt, is also the one who keeps the balance between the regulars and the outcasts. Without forgetting that he is also one of the victims of the entire conspiracy that unfolds during the eight episodes of the series.  

Lucas Walker is introduced as a bully, surrounded by bullies. He infiltrates, along with his classmates, the school dance only to ruin it with a rain of blood, blatant homage to Carrie. He also turns out to be a profoundly lonely boy who finds in Bianca someone who listens to him and understands him for the first time.
This is the healthiest relationship between an outcast and a normal that the series offers. Together these two characters find the drive to rebel against the status quo and find their way in the world. 

In the end, they are just controversies that arise for the sake of making them. 


Objective weaknesses of the series

Now become a viral phenomenon, for weeks in the Netflix Top Ten, this series is not free from criticism. While on the one hand, as has been pointed out in many places, the characters have been well studied and created, the plot shows weaknesses. 

A Netflix product in all respects, it has within it a model that is so easily recognizable that it sometimes leads the viewer to wonder if he hasn't got the wrong series. 

Just take for example another series of the same platform that winks at dark and supernatural themes without becoming pure horror: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
Same vibe. Same prompt as the young heroine torn between two worlds. School change that happens because the two protagonists have to follow a different path to find themselves. Same love triangle with the protagonist divided between a "normal" love and one that is not of this world.

Sound familiar? Obviously, because it is a formula studied at the table that has led fans to become attached to the first series and follow the protagonist throughout her journey even if the plot gradually became poorer. 

Wednesday-Wednesday it loses its originality and freshness when it simply becomes another title on the platform. It doesn't help that the plot is like a thousand others that audiences have come to love or hate as the case may be. A coming of age as many have seen. 

Anyone who has seen enough TV, read enough books, and watched enough movies knows what's to come if not from the very beginning, then certainly well before Episode XNUMX. This makes the series shaky because the foundation it's built on isn't all that stable. 

even the stud twist final was at least introduced too early. If new viewers didn't expect that Christina Ricci would have turned out to be the real villain of the story, who instead knows the dynamics of storytelling he expected nothing else. 

A great way to pass the baton between who Wednesday was and who is destined to be for at least one more season thanks to the renewal of the series. But, perhaps in the end, it didn't have the desired effect...


In conclusion?

An average series, with good characters that the viewer will surely enjoy seeing again in new adventures.
It teaches that sometimes the different is also by one's own choice but that in order to grow everyone needs to have others around them, even if they are different, even if at the beginning one might think that there will never be anything in common with them. 

The lesson that Wednesday offers is important to the extent that the viewer understands that the only way to deal with bullying is to form a common front against those who bully do it for the pure sake of crushing others. Accept everyone, because everyone has something to say. 

Unity is strength, but everyone is strong in a different way, it just takes the right circumstance to show it. 

A series full of good feelings, but rightly so, because in the end everyone still needs that little light in the dark that Wednesday gives away at the end of the first season. 

To be seen, even if only in the background, while engaged in something else, even if only for the smile that escapes in front of some of the situations in which the protagonists find themselves. And if looking at it leads to reflections, then they are welcome!