How ‘Wednesday’ Fits Into Addams Family Lore and Themes

Iin 1993 Addams Family ValuesWednesday Addams (Christina Ricci) was sent to summer camp and she no I was glad about that. To make matters worse, the camp counselors wrote a Thanksgiving-themed play in which they forced her to participate in the role of Pocahontas. Amanda Buckman (Mercedes McNab), Wednesday’s nemesis, plays Sarah Miller, the “beautiful and kind pilgrim lady” who invites Pocahontas’ tribe to their first Thanksgiving. Wednesday goes off script at the last second.

“Wait,” he deadpans. “We can’t break bread with you.”

“You took the land that was rightfully ours,” he continues. “Years from now, my people will be forced to live in mobile homes on reservations. Your people will wear cardigans and have highballs. We will sell our bracelets on the side of the road. You will play golf and enjoy hot hors d’oeuvres. My people will suffer pain and degradation. Your people will stick to the queue. The gods of my tribe have spoken. They said, ‘Don’t trust the Pilgrims, especially Sarah Miller.'”

With this, he declares that he will scalp the pilgrims and raze their villages to the ground. All hell breaks loose as members of Pocahontas’ miscreant tribe set fire to the pilgrim village and flee in confusion.

This iconic scene—which has entered cultural memory (at least for millennials) despite its stereotypes aging poorly—exemplifies Wednesday Addams’ acerbic sense of justice. And it inspired showrunners Miles Milar and Al Gough WednesdayThe Netflix horror-comedy series starring Jenna Ortega will premiere on November 23. The New Yorker Animated films in 1938, followed by the beloved 60s TV show and 90s adaptations starring Ricci, Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia and Christopher Lloyd.

“People know him from that moment. But how do we extrapolate that?” says Milar, who, along with Gogue, answered this question with a premise that casts colonial Americans as oppressors. “It was very difficult to put him in the idea of ​​a pilgrim. It was very organic to The Addams Family.

Addams Family Roots

Regardless of the time period in which they are depicted, the members of the Addams family have always been perceived as outsiders. According to their neighbors, they are creepy and disgusting, they sound funny, they dress strangely, they eat strange food: they are perfect. an allegory for immigrant families.

Milar and Gough finally decided to make it public after years of planning. Wednesday’s newly discovered psychic footage on the Netflix show introduces us to one of Gomez’s ancestors, Goody Addams, a native of Mexico who founded a secret society to “protect the marginalized from harm and bigotry.”

When Wednesday was developing, the idea of ​​the “displaced” versus the “norms” appeared even before the criticism of colonialism. The concept of celebrating those rejected by society came directly from Charles Addams cartoons. “In a way, Addams was always disruptive in a normal world,” says Gough. “Charles Addams cartoons were a reaction to 50s America: the white picket fence and the house. It’s a little bit provocative, but it also shows that it’s kind of bullshit.”

In Wednesday, Milar says, “It’s an allegory for racism and prejudice and all the things we’re dealing with now. I think that’s what’s interesting about genre shows: you can talk about real issues that affect the world today – not like a sledgehammer, but in a buried way.”

Butler Lurch (George Burcea), Gomez (Luis Guzman), Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Pugsley (Issac Ordonez) visit Nevermore Academy for Parents’ Weekend.

Vlad Cioplea – Netflix

Outcasts and immigrants

This is one of the issues Wednesday appeals that align well with the critique of colonialism are immigrant identity. In the 1991 film The Addams Family and its 1993 sequel Addams Family Values, Puerto Rican actor Raúl Julia played Wednesday’s father, Gomez Addams. Since then, some have watched The Addams Family is canonically confirmed as Latino on Wednesday The casting of Puerto Rican actor Luis Guzman as Gomez and Mexican and Puerto Rican actor Jenna Ortega as Wednesday.

“Tuesday is technically a Latin symbol and it has never been represented” Ortega said in a behind-the-scenes video. “Any time I have an opportunity to represent my community, I want it to show.”

Milar says that although they considered many actors for the lead role, they always hoped to cast a Latino actor. “This has always been our goal. We wanted to make sure we left no stone unturned. Obviously, Jenna was Latina, but she was also the best actress for the role.

In the first series Wednesdaymournful performance La Llorona Playing the gramophone in the dormitory on Wednesday, he clicked away at the typewriter. Wednesday’s younger brother Pugsley (Isaac Ordonez) munches on tamarind candy when the Addams visits for Parents’ Weekend. “It’s not hit on the head, but there are moments,” says Milar. “The music he plays and the choice of food. That he is also American is subtly established; she is the daughter of immigrants. Because Gomez grew up in Mexico.”

Pugsley Addams (Issac Ordonez) eats tamarind candy bars on Parents’ Weekend.

Vlad Cioplea – Netflix

The Addams Family Thanksgiving

Given the gothic family’s long association with Halloween, it may surprise some that the show is set for late November rather than October. But the Addams family has also had a strong connection to both anti-colonialism and Thanksgiving since at least the 1993 film.

Wednesday‘s Pilgrim storyline goes all the way back to the early 1600s, when a fictional settler named Joseph Crackstone founded Jericho, the Vermont town where most of the show takes place. Jericho sits next to Nevermore Academy, the school he attends alongside werewolves and vampires on Wednesday. Pilgrim World, a modern living history museum that offers daily witch trials, describes Crackstone as “lovely and pious,” as Sarah Miller does.

On Spread Day—to improve relations between Nevermore “novices” and Jericho “normies”—Wednesday is forced to volunteer with classmates serving free snack samples at Pilgrim World.

Bianca Barclay (Joy Sunday), a siren student at Nevermore, offers free fudge samples at Pilgrim World as part of Outreach Day.

Vlad Cioplea – Netflix

He speaks fluent German to a group of tourists: “Enjoy ‘real’ pilgrim powder made with cocoa beans sourced from the oppressed indigenous people of the Amazon.” “All proceeds go to support this pathetic whitewashing of American history. Also, fudge hasn’t been invented in 258 years. Is there anyone on the receiving end?’

“Our first thought was that Thanksgiving was a time when the Pilgrims invited foreigners and then killed them,” Gough said. “It just felt like a very Addams Family approach. So it’s something that’s very much in the DNA—and then obviously it plays into the whole mystery of the show.

Joseph Craxton, as Wednesday soon discovered, vowed to prosecute all the outcasts. In true fire-and-brimstone fashion, he rounded up the town’s downtrodden – from those accused of witchcraft to immigrants, including an Addams family ancestor – handcuffed them to the warehouse floor and set everything on fire. Nowadays, it responds by burning a new memorial statue of Crackstone in the town square on Wednesday.

Wednesday frees Eugene (Moosa Mostafa) from stocks at Pilgrim World, where he was trapped by bullies.

Vlad Cioplea – Netflix

Unlike Pilgrim World, Gough grew up in southern Maryland, where there was an early settlement. He visited Colonial Williamsburg as a child. Series creator and director Tim Burton visited similar attractions in Massachusetts and New England while researching the 1999 events. Sleepy Hollow.

“It was always a fascinating thing to see, but then when you learn the actual history, you realize, ‘Oh, OK, it’s told from a certain point of view,'” Gough says. “We wanted to break that point of view and make Wednesday the focal point.”

There are many TV shows about dysfunctional families: Sequel, Arrested Development, Yellowstone, Game of Thrones, Empire. But few fictional families are functional, and even fewer love each other fiercely for their differences.

Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Gomez (Luis Guzmán) share a moment in the family car.

Courtesy of Netflix

“Especially going into the holidays – when people have to get together and it’s always very stressful – splits happen for whatever reason,” Gough said. “I think people end up wishing, ‘I wish we could go to Thanksgiving and all get along and celebrate our differences and be empathetic about them.'”

Enter: The Addams Family. Created as the ultimate outsiders, Wednesday, his brother Pugsley, and their parents Morticia and Gomez are, in fact, eternal and passionate in their closeness.

“We wanted to lean into that part of the Addams family,” says Gough of the immigrant identity. “People assumed a lot of it, but it hadn’t really been explored. And the beauty of an eight-hour show is that you discover.”

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