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'Wednesday' Beats 'Stanger Things' Record; All You Need to Know About The Show

Tim Burton's 'Wednesday' is available to stream on Netflix.

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Tim Burton’s Wednesday is a quirky show. It’s not entirely Tim-Burtonesqe in its characterization, as the protagonist is missing the signature frizzled hair, gangly limbs and baggy eyes. But perhaps Burton’s style is symbolized by the humane innately present in the monster. And it is precisely this trait that makes the Netflix original an absolute treat to watch, surpassing the success of Stranger Things.

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What's the History of the Show?

The Addams Family was created by a cartoonist in the 1930s. Addams were a satirical inversion of the wealthy aristocratic family of the 20th century, who had a taste for the macabre. Sometime after, a television series was ideated and produced. Barry Sonnenfeld’s films were released in the 1990s, and although they were box-office duds, they managed to have a cult following.  

Tim Burton's 'Wednesday' is available to stream on Netflix.

Pictoral depiction of 'The Addams Family' comic strip from the 1940s. 

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

Christina Ricci’s Wednesday from the 1990s films, The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values (1993) catapulted her into fame. She expertly enacted Wednesday’s stark and pointed nature – showcasing her penchant for the bizarre and the frightening. It is perhaps for that reason that Ricci features in Burton’s rendition in a significant role. 

What Makes It Stand Out?

But what makes the Addams family stand out? Is it their kooky nature or something else entirely? Perhaps it’s the trajectory of their creation – turning the ideal American family in over its heads – saying goodbye to the American dream. Or is it how the Addams’ can balance their taste for the monstrous with love and affection? It’s a difficult line to toe, and the original cartoons did it with hilarious zest. 

Tim Burton's 'Wednesday' is available to stream on Netflix.

Poster from the 1964 show, The Addams Family. 

(Photo Courtesy: IMDb)

But the satire has been notoriously difficult to reboot. The 2019 animated film, for instance, failed to create a spark. The moral messaging was too overt in its delivery, and the quirky nature became passé instead of standing out. The issue with reboots is that it's difficult to package a story in a way that would remain fresh. 

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What Does Tim Burton Get Right?

Tim Burton’s series manages to create something unique out of the story by focusing not on the family but the most loved character, Wednesday. His genius lies in evading the quirks of the family and focusing on the single-minded stubbornness of the character. Unlike the rest of the family, her humour is dripping in sarcasm and adds to the no-nonsense attitude that we have grown to love.

Tim Burton's 'Wednesday' is available to stream on Netflix.

A still from the2019 animated film. 

(Photo Courtesy: IMDb)

And the best part, the show is tailored as a coming-of-age high school drama complete with blooming friendships, teenage rivalry and a love triangle. At the centre of it is, as mentioned before is the titular character, as she attempts to navigate her way through monsters, murders and potential love interests. 

Her pigtails, pale skin, and black outfits add to the fascinating world that Burton has created. The school itself houses vampires, werewolves, telekinetics, who are brimming with nefarious possibilities. But the looming danger resides outside. It takes its page from the original, undercutting the lively yet hollow American community that is out to get the outcasts.

They bully, rage and instigate the outcasts and Wednesday crusades against it to the best of her abilities – reproaching them for being average bullies and promising that she could do a better job. 
Tim Burton's 'Wednesday' is available to stream on Netflix.

A still from Tim Burton's Wednesday. 

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

In Ricci’s portrayal, Wednesday’s dialogues was also devoid of any frills. In one scene a girl narrates her account of how babies are born, with tales of storks. Ricci pointedly responds, “They had sex.”  Jenna Ortega manages to keep this nonchalance in place and adds to her edgy characterization.

Tim Burton's 'Wednesday' is available to stream on Netflix.

A still from the 1991 The Addams Family.

(Photo: YouTube)

The Addams Family was always a treat to watch because they dared to undercut the rules of polite society and be honest, and cut-throat. Wednesday, did it with a creepy-blank stare while her parents did with a smile. At the heart of it is their love for each despite their inherent love for the macabre - it's perhaps this juxtaposition that throws the audience off and why they keep coming back for more. 

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