Tim Burton’s Wednesday, Cats – I was hugely sceptical until having realised the immensely talented adidas fan Miss Jenna Ortega had also appeared in various other televisual feasts I’d recently seen, most notably the second season of “You”.
Spoiler Alerts, Cats …
“Wednesday” may be among the last few gasps of Hollyweird greatness, which of course harks back to its history, in this case, the wonderfully weird Addams Family series from the Sixties. Wednesday was so enjoyable, I binge watched all eight episodes in three nights.
While there are some regrettable references to progressive woke idiocy, it still manages to emphasise many universal truths for young people (ultimately its target audience) about society, families, friends and making your own way in this world.
It is an intelligent and esoteric series, prominently referencing as it does Edgar Allan Poe and that famous statement of the Raven, “Nevermore”.
It never takes its audience for granted – they’ll either know the references or be motivated to look them up, such as my having to look up which Cramps’ song Wednesday dances to at the “Rave’N”.
A stellar cast includes Gwendoline Christie, Christina Ricci*, Freddo Armison and Catherine Zeta-Jones who complement some competent (but still obviously learning their chops) young actors.
But the standout is Miss Ortega. Portraying the unrepentantly deadpan and gloriously gorgeous gothic chick, li’l Wednesday Addams, she is magnificent. While not of course, being seen dead in anything other than her preferred clothing tones of Black, White and Grey (Monochrome, Cats, I love it and wear it whenever possible).
Staggeringly beautiful with her “Dark Berry” lips, luminescent pale skin and jet-black pigtails, very petite (even her Doc Platforms barely elevate her to anywhere near her peers and elders) and infinitely knowledgeable, she effortlessly carries the entire series on her less than broad shoulders.
See for example, the scene where Wednesday “plays” a local mädchen guide (clad in seventeenth century puritan garments) informing in allegedly not impeccable German, a tourist group about the history of Jericho Vermont (the town where her school, the Nevermore Academy, is located) while “inadvertently” encouraging them not to indulge in some of the town’s famous fudges – all while not mentioning “the War”.
And – there are very complicated mysteries to be solved, which Wednesday engages in with much enthusiasm, bored as she is with School life and her insufferable roommate.
But the biggest shout out goes to Tim Burton. Thanks to the technicians in Hollyweird, the man has been able to harness the fruits of his unrestrained imagination for many decades. In 4K UHD his vision of the Addams family’s world just looks bloody magnificent (in more ways than one).
4.75 stars, Cats.
*Played Wednesday in the 1991 “The Addams Family” film.