Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture – what’s new and old in entertainment…
Anyone who was around in the 2000s can tell you just how much of a cultural force a YA series can become. Whether it’s Harry Potter or the Hunger Games, Twilight or the Maze Runner, there was a time not too long ago when studios were tripping all over themselves to shepherd the next great series for teens.
Currently, it feels like Netflix is the only company chasing those dollars, and they’re doing it to great effect. Of course you know all about how big Stranger Things is, and how it rode a TikTok-trend friendly song to cultural dominance. Now, the streamer is doing it again with their Tim Burton-produced series Wednesday, which stars Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams of the Addams Family.
The show, Wednesday, is set at the Nevermore Academy, a supernatural boarding school that is very much giving Hogwarts vibes in an episodic format. The show was created by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, who did something similar 20 years ago with the series Smallville, which told the story of Clark Kent’s Superman upbringing and teen years. With Wednesday, they use a similar approach to make dark, depressing Wednesday Addams into a gen z icon. Part Veronica Mars, part Edward Scissorhands, Jenna Ortega plays the role to perfection and dazzles across the show’s 8 episodes.
Wednesday is a family-friendly show that combines Tim Burton, Harry Potter, and TikTok-ready dance moves to predictable results – the show is tearing up the charts on Netflix and gaining a cult following.
Wednesday is available now on Netflix.
I’m Evan Rook.
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