Wednesday is a mega-hit for Netflix, so much so that it has apparently satiated the service’s bizarre algorithm in charge of renewing shows. A second season has been announced (now that the rights have been clarified) and I can’t wait for another adventure featuring Wednesday Addams and her classmates at Nevermore. Wednesday may not be among the best series in the current television landscape but it succeeds at what it’s trying to be: a watchable and fun gothic adventure with great energy and witty scripts. Yet it can improve going forward, with the first season ending by not only creating questions for what’s next but hopes for how it can change too.
The protagonist is and should always be Wednesday Addams but the question of just how much of the other Addams family members should appear will never disappear. The first season struck a good balance, although I would have liked to have seen Gomez and Morticia one last time in the finale to comment on Wednesday’s growth. In season 2, I would like to see the family united more, friendly in their own demented way, rather than at odds. Strife within the family as we saw early in the series doesn’t feel right for the Addams family. Eradicating familial conflict may not be good for drama but it can be created from other character dynamics instead. Or, if there is to be more strife, have it come from a position of story. I think both the role and relationship Morticia and Gomez could have in the second season can come from one element: the empty principal’s chair.
The faculty of Nevermore reduced dramatically in the first season’s finale with Weems dying and Thornhill revealed as a villain. Positions are open for the new school year and is it too much of a leap for Gomez and Morticia to fill those roles to keep them in the show? Wednesday’s parents becoming her teachers could easily create comedy and Morticia especially makes sense as Weems’ replacement. Although I could easily see Xavier’s oft-mentioned-but-never-seen father becoming the new principal too. However Morticia and Gomez return I hope their scenes have more energy than they did in the first season. I like both performances individually but together they feel too samey, both speak slowly and have low energy. Perhaps if Fester could interact with them the scenes would have a bit more zest.
Whodunit murder-mysteries are a good way to begin a series. The viewer can immediately connect and relate to the detective character, with both searching for the truth, and a cast of characters can be introduced quickly and memorably. It opens up a world, as it did Jericho and Nevermore in the first season, but now that it is open and audiences are familiar and invested, I hope there is a different kind of plot in season 2. On one hand, ‘Wednesday the detective’ makes sense but on the other it doesn’t. Her characterisation in the first season is a little inconsistent, largely due to the story format. Wednesday becomes a detective, hunting for a killer, but let’s not forget that in the very first scene of the series she attempts to murder some people herself, and she’s disappointed the attempt failed. I was half-expecting her to finally identify the killer and then want to be friends with them rather than imprison them. The storyline of her trying to clear her father’s name of murder is also odd. Wednesday Addams wouldn’t be ashamed of her father being called a killer; she would be impressed.
More than anything, I hope the show gets weirder. Tim Burton may produce the series and directed the first four episodes but his sensibilities and style don’t shine through as much as I hoped they would. The Hyde monster looks like something out of a Tim Burton production, and the scene of Fester and Wednesday on that weird dog bike and side car was suitably strange, but the rest of the show feels more like a regular Netflix teen drama with minimal flourishes. The show shouldn’t be afraid to get creepier and kookier. Burton-ier. The dull cop plot can go and Normies should be kept to a minimum. I also have a curveball suggestion: for years they’ve been trying to get a sequel to Beetlejuice off the ground but if the character was to be revived for a new project, honestly, I think he would be a perfect fit for Wednesday.
The show’s first season ends fairly conclusively but some plot elements are left hanging, it just so happens what little is set up for season 2 doesn’t seem all that interesting. More of Tyler the monster? No thanks, I don’t need that to continue. Wednesday has a stalker? Eh, I hope that is concluded quickly. And then there’s Joseph Crackstone, who dies for the second time in the finale. Or does he? Any time a villain dies and we get a slo-mo shot of their ring falling to the floor I think of Ming in Flash Gordon or The Master in Doctor Who. I could easily see the writers using the magic ring as a way to bring Crackstone back once more, but should they? He was the one big element of the first season that felt like a straight-up miss. I can’t decide whether I want them to have another crack at him and make him better or just to move on and ignore him. I mean, why was the Normie who hated magical outcasts suddenly attacking Nevermore using an unexplained magical staff?
Nevermore is a school. Apparently. The hub location for the show currently offers little more than being a reason for all the characters to exist in one location. Moving forward I’d like to see Nevermore feel like an actual school. The only classes we got to see were a couple of Thornhill’s botanical science lessons. I know there is the fear of the show being too much like Harry Potter but I do want to get more of a grasp on what life is like at Nevermore for a student. In season 2 the budget can be raised and more teachers and classes revealed with it. I don’t want to see a boring maths lesson but rather the classes could be fun spins on school subjects, horror being the only genre taught in literature or werewolf history month. I also want the various cliques fleshed out more. The school teaches vampires but we never see any, and more can be revealed about the cultures of werewolves, sirens, and gorgons. The world is ripe for expansion.
What are your questions and hopes regarding Wednesday season 2? Let me know in the comments and be sure to geek out with me about TV, movies, and video-games on Twitter @kylebrrtt.