Wednesday first reviews: Critics say Jenna Ortega-led Addams Family spinoff is ‘tolerable’

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Netflix’s new dramedy Wednesday, which is a spinoff of the popular TV series Addams Family, premiered on November 23. Helmed by Tim Burton, the story takes off when the eldest of the Addams Family, Wednesday (Jenna Ortega) is sent to a boarding school.

While the series opened to mixed reviews, Lucy Mangan’s The Guardian gave four stars to Wednesday and said that it has “the wit, charm and propulsive energy.” The review read, “The love and unity of the family against the world was always one of the great pleasures, in whatever incarnation you met them. But it has enough wit, charm and propulsive energy for that not to matter as much as it might have. Certainly, the 11-year-old I keep on hand to test programmes aimed at the younger demographic was rapt for the whole series, and proclaimed himself deeply satisfied by both its resolutions and its cliffhanger.”

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However, New York Times’s Mike Hale called the spinoff ‘tolerable’ and wrote, “This will not be what real fans of Charles Addams and his characters are looking for, and Wednesday is satisfying only on the level of formulaic teenage romance and mystery. On that basis it’s pretty tolerable, though.”

The Hollywood Reporter’s Daniel Fienberg opined, “Ortega’s Wednesday Addams is the perfectly creepy and kooky accumulation of eight episodes of deadpan line readings, precise comic physicality and expressive eye-rolls.”

Wednesday also stars Catherine Zeta as Morticia Addams, Luis Guzman as Gomez Addams, Christina Ricci as Marilyn Thornhill, Isaac Ordonez as Pugsley Addams, Gwendoline Christie, Emma Myers and Joy Sunday.