Is Netflix’s Wednesday an Addams Family sequel, reboot or a spin-off?

By Nicole Ackman
Published: November 23, 2022 (Last updated: May 22, 2023)
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Is Netflix’s Wednesday an Addams Family sequel, reboot, or a spin-off? We discuss the Netflix series and where it sits in the franchise.

Netflix’s latest series Wednesday releases on November 23rd and is sure to be a woefully good time. The series is produced by Tim Burton, who also directs the first four episodes and follows the Addams family daughter as she attends a boarding school and tries to solve a mystery from decades ago. Alfred Gough and Miles Millar serve as showrunners for the eight-episode show.

Jenna Ortega stars as Wednesday Addams and has absolutely mastered her homicidal stare. Gwendoline Christie plays Principal Larissa Weems, Jamie McShane plays Sheriff Galpin, and Christina Ricci appears as Marilyn Thornhill. There are brief appearances by the rest of the Addams family: Catherine Zeta-Jones as Morticia, Luis Guzmán as Gomez Addams, and Isaac Ordonez as Pugsley Addams.

Director Tim Burton is known for his gothic fantasy and horror films like Beetlejuice, Edward Scissor Hands, Sweeney Todd, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. He is associated with a sort of quirky spooky aesthetic that is a perfect fit for a show about Wednesday Addams. He has also collaborated with Ricci in the past, who notably played Wednesday Addams in the 1991 film, The Addams Family, directed by Barry Sonnefeld.

In his review for Ready Steady Cut, Adam Lock said, Wednesday is charming, cheeky and appropriately quirky throughout, paying homage to the original movies in many sweet ways. Yet the series tries to cram too many genres into its overstuffed narrative and falls into many of the pitfalls of modern TV.”

What is Wednesday (2022) about?

According to Netflix, “The series is a sleuthing, supernaturally infused mystery charting Wednesday Addams’ years as a student at Nevermore Academy. Wednesday’s attempts to master her emerging psychic ability, thwart a monstrous killing spree that has terrorized the local town, and solve the supernatural mystery that embroiled her parents 25 years ago — all while navigating her new and very tangled relationships at Nevermore.”

READ: The worst TV remakes of all time

Wednesday is a kooky teenager kicked out of her old school for getting back at some students who bullied her brother. She is resistant to going to Nevermore Academy, her mother’s alma mater, and is frustrated at feeling like she doesn’t fit in even in a school of outcasts, especially with her colorful, cheerful roommate. However, she soon gets drawn into both old family drama and the orbit of several handsome boys. In between her court-mandated therapy sessions and working on her novel, she must try to solve the mystery of the people being killed in the local area.

Is Netflix’s Wednesday an Addams Family reboot, sequel, or spin-off?

Wednesday doesn’t tread any ground that previous versions of The Addams Family have, ruling out it being a reboot. It’s also not directly a sequel to any specific version of The Addams Family. Instead, it’s something entirely its own. Showrunners Millar and Gough said that it “didn’t feel like a remake or a reboot” but rather something new. They elaborated, “It’s something that lives within the Venn diagram of what happened before, but it’s its own thing.”

Adam Lock called it a “welcome addition to the franchise.” In fact, we don’t see that much of the rest of the Addams family at all; the series is focused on Wednesday and a whole set of new characters. Perhaps, instead of more remakes of franchise films in the future, we can simply have more spin-off projects like this one that has a creative approach to an established property.

Will you be watching Wednesday? Be sure to check back for more coverage of the show on Ready Steady Cut.

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