Here’s two random things I feel conflicted about that suddenly collided at the tail end of 2022: Netflix and Tim Burton.
Concerning Netflix: If they are the future of streaming, I don’t want anything to do with it. For every interesting good thing they put out, there’s at least five weird, trashy ones. I honestly hate the idea of dropping a season in its entirety – mostly because I love TV show watercooler talk and it’s pretty much my only way to engage in small talk without feeling awkward – and because I think it’s a financially terrible model. TV shows are hella expensive, that’s why they stretch them to infinity, yo!
Concerning Tim Burton: please see this 2012 review for Dark Shadows or this 2010 review for Alice in Wonderlands. Tim Burton is, to me, a visionary who can create wonderful things – but who needs artificial restraints. Ever since CGI has become a standard thing in movies, Burton has lost most of its appeal because everything is possible. And when everything is possible, Burtons movies lose every sense of cohesion. They are all over the place.
So when two separate people recommended Wednesday, Netflix’ Addams Family reboots featuring a 16 year-old Wednesday Addams in a supernatural high school, I was very weary.
But as it turns out, Wednesday is quite nice and definitely the best Burton thing I’ve seen the last decade! The dialogue is terrible, but that’s the point; the show’s supernatural aspect feels very cheap, but sort of by design; and the plot is entertaining young adult pulp in the best possible way – until Burton obviously loses every bit of restraint in the final episode and just tanks the whole damn thing.
You know, it seems about half of new Netflix shows are revivals of old ones. Most of these shows are just not good – because they just want an excuse to re-feature old characters and actors and settings and whatnot. They fail because they don’t have an original idea. Wednesday is, at its core, one of these revival shows. It features well-known characters, cracks inside jokes for the fans, waits until the final bout of episodes to reveal the last known character, and it even has the fans’ OG Wednesday, Christina Ricci. But it’s also completely new: The setting, genre, side characters – we haven’t seen the Addams Family like this.
I hope Netflix learns something from this.