Sunday Coffee – Wednesday

Back in November, I meant to watch Wednesday when it first came out. Jason and I were going to watch it together, because it was coming out during Thanksgiving week when he was going to be off work. Except then we both came down with covid, and once he went back to work, there was just never time over the weekends with Christmas approaching and our youngest coming home for a month. Then we began to see negative reviews of the show, and Jason decided he wasn’t really interested anymore. I was more preoccupied with other shows, and have been feeling mostly in a mood for rewatches rather than new stuff for months now. But I decided that it really had been too long, and it was time to watch the show, or cross it off my list.

Y’all. This show was like if Tim Burton and Disney Kids had a baby. It was so CGI-heavy (not for the monsters or paranormal stuff, but just the general colors and skin-shaping and everything) that it could almost have been entirely computer generated. The Addams’ family was always going to be over the top, but I was put off by how the weird stereotypes that everyone portrayed in addition to the Addams stereotypes. I know a lot of people complained about the shift from the traditional version of the story where it’s the one family different from the rest of the world, but I didn’t mind exploring new territory. What threw me off was the exaggerative nature of every aspect as the show began – like watching a modern-day version of the Black Hole Sun music video.

Obviously, I didn’t start by enjoying the show, and I wasn’t sure I was going to continue because it actually made me really uncomfortable, the stereotypes were so strong. Then I met Xavier, the one kid on campus who wasn’t exaggerated, and who basically played the straight man to bounce everyone else’s larger-than-life characters off of. That was a relief, but in itself wouldn’t have been enough to keep me watching. One straight man in a sea of caricatures can only do so much to balance things. But this particular character looked familiar, and so I looked him up on IMDB.

As it turns out, Xavier is played by Percy Hynes White, who in 2014/15 played a kid named Simon Brooks in eight episodes of Murdoch Mysteries. I’m not going to go into a ton of detail on who Simon is, only to say that he’s important to one of the major characters of the show in a near-family type of way. As watchers, we get to know him and grow fond of him, and it’s sad when he moves away and is no longer on the show. Simon is roughly pre-teen aged in Murdoch, but obviously is far more grown up now a decade later, playing a high-school-aged Xavier. Some people change a lot between those ages, but this kid looks just like himself, and so immediately I felt a kinship to him.

As I said above, I’ve been far more into rewatching shows, and this tends to be my nature 75% of the time. Murdoch is one of my comfort series, familiar and friendly. And as stupid as it is, that little drop of comforting familiarity in Simon-now-Xavier made all the difference to me with Wednesday. The characters thankfully grew slightly less caricatured over time, and the storyline settled into an interesting mystery. While it won’t be a favorite show that I rewatch often, I’m glad I didn’t give up on it.


About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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