why we almost skipped

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What could be better than an Addams Family centered program for the holiday season? A great cinema classic, the “Addams franchise” is coming to Netflix on November 23, 2022 with a spin-off series devoted to Wednesday, the morbid and sarcastic teenager of the family.

The young Jenna Ortega puts on the black and white clothes of Wednesday alongside Catherine Zeta-Jones (in the role of Morticia, the mom) and Luis Guzman (Gomez, the dad). The Thing (you know the hand that wanders everywhere?) is also part of the adventure, just like the legendary Fetid Uncle.

The whole family is gathered around Wednesday. Well almost. In the series, the young teenager, after having terrorized her school friends for the umpteenth time, finds herself in Nevermore, a high school for misfits, strange characters or outcasts (call them what you want), some of whom are endowed with powers. . Mercredi, she has medium talents and can see the future of the people she meets when she comes into contact with them. So much for the plot.

Wednesday therefore stretches over 8 episodes with creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (the duo behind Smallville or Charlie’s Angels to name a few) at the helm, and, above all, Tim Burton directing and producing. On paper, everything seems ready for a good time. However, Wednesday almost lost us on the way.

When you venture into a universe as iconic as that of the Addams family, the risks of disappointment are great. Whether Wednesday is not missed, the Netflix series never reaches Barry Sonnenfeld’s masterpiece released in 1991 with, among others, Christopher Lloyd, Raul Julia or the excellent Christina Ricci in the role of Wednesday.

Too smooth, Wednesday from Netflix is ​​struggling to hook us. Tim Burton obviously did not interfere too much in the work of the creators. If photography is very close to the world of the filmmaker, Wednesday always has the ass between two chairs.

The glaucous and comic universe of the 1991 film is never transcribed. Wednesday is more rooted in the series for teenagers with fantastic hints of a Harry Potter. Far from being frightening, the series even sometimes falls into gratuitous violence (both in the image and in the dialogues). As for the jokes, they often fall into the water.

The creators of the series keep a neutral tone, never really committing to comedy, but not to horror either. The result is lazy writing with a predictable plot and fairly poor dialogue.

The 4-star cast struggles to give some consistency to the characters, without ever really convincing. Only little Jenna Ortega manages to flash smiles here and there. A few flashes also frankly made us laugh out loud. Another comfort: the soundtrack, simply excellent. Special mention to the arranged version of Paint it Black of the Rolling Stones at the end of the first episode.

Wednesday will therefore not rise among the masterpieces of Netflix. The series will not make us forget the excellent 1991 film either. But the timing is perfect for the American giant. As Christmas approaches, Wednesday is the perfect series to watch as a family (with children aged 13 and over) with a blanket and a good hot chocolate.

In this new series headed by Tim Burton, Mercredi, the daughter of the Addams family, observes her daily life and contemporary American society, as if she were in weightlessness. The teenager is often very critical and above all caustic. “I admire sadism” she says straight away.

She has visions and can predict defining moments in the future of the people around her. The series also offers a few goofy scenes, but many moments intended to be comical often fall flat, for lack of writing to match.

The atmosphere remains in any case very neat visually, but also via a soundtrack that sticks quite well to the atmosphere. We also appreciate the cast of the series which is well involved, special mention to Jenna Ortega who perfectly plays her role of Wednesday.

But ultimately, the sometimes horrifying atmosphere is not very faithful to the saga. It’s a production choice that won’t necessarily appeal to all viewers. We are also surprised to see some rather violent scenes, even if the whole remains accessible to the general public.

We can also criticize the series for its predictability, and we were not really surprised by the events that take up the codes of the genre. Without being perfect, nor entirely failed, Wednesday should nonetheless appeal to fans of the Addams Family. They will find certain elements of the past which enrich this universe a little more.

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