Wednesday vs. Wednesday

Haley Wright, Staff Writer

When I first heard about Netflix’s series Wednesday, I had my doubts, specifically about the portrayal of lead character Wednesday Addams. I had grown up watching the 1990’s The Addams Family films, in which I became accustomed to Christina Ricci’s portrayal of Wednesday. I had always loved watching these films due to Wednesday’s monotone and dead-serious one-liners, such as in The Addams Family, Wednesday’s response to a Girl Scout trying to sell cookies:“Are they made from real Girl Scouts?”. To this day one of my favorite Wednesday quotes is “This is my costume. I’m a homicidal maniac. They look just like everybody else.”

Christina Ricci was able to play the dark character well, so I was skeptical to see Jenna Ortega’s interpretation. Overall, I thought Ortega played an excellent Wednesday. One main difference I noticed between the two portrayals was the way the character interacted with others. Both Ricci’s and Ortega’s Wednesday seemed to want very little interaction with others, but whereas Ricci’s Wednesday was able to have more success with this, Ortega’s did not. Ortega’s Wednesday was constantly in the spotlight of the show, which making her isolated would have made for a relatively boring show. She was also placed in a school setting, along with a roommate, the character had no choice but to interact with others.

Ortega’s Wednesday also had more, dare I say, soul. She purposefully made jokes, whether it was to actually be funny, to make another character uncomfortable, or just to point out something obvious. With this portrayal, we see that Wednesday cares about people and has tons of hobbies, such as writing, fencing, and playing the cello to name a few.

There was a larger sense of purpose for the character in the series than in the films.

Additionally, during the now iconic “dance scene”, Ortega’s callback to Lisa Loring’s Wednesday shuffle dance from the 1960’s The Addams Family sitcom, shows Ortega’s dedication and respect to the character and to those previously portrayed her.

All in all, while Jenna Ortega’s performance as Wednesday was fantastic, Christina Ricci will always be considered the one who first made Wednesday Addams iconic.