Wednesday rockets to No.1 show on Netflix — should you stream or skip?

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams in Wednesday
(Image credit: Netflix)

Wednesday feels much more appropriate for Halloween than the holiday season. However, the slightly odd release timing doesn’t appear to have deterred Netflix subscribers as the new comedy-horror TV shows appears to be enjoying plenty of initial success. 

The show only hit Netflix last week (Wednesday, Nov. 23) but it’s already crashed the streamer’s top 10 most-watched list. In fact, in less than seven days it’s climbed straight to the No.1 spot displacing the drama series 1899, which has also been going down a storm with viewers. Wednesday's dance scene is blowing up online, too.

And it's been hard to dislodge Wednesday from the top spot, as Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields stormed up the Netflix Top 10, but can't take that #1 spot.

What is Wednesday about?  

Based on the beloved character created by Charles Addams, Wednesday sees the titular member of the family as she transfers to an academy for monstrous outcasts after being expelled from her previous high school for setting piranhas on the school swim team. 

Jenna Ortega — known for her roles in Netflix’s You and slasher flicks X and Scream — stars as Wednesday Addams. In this eight-episode series it’s not just settling into a new school that Wednesday has to worry about, she also discovers she has psychic powers and must help the local sheriff (Jamie McShane) solve a series of grisly murders. 

While the show is very much centered on Wednesday, there are guest appearances from other members of the eccentric Adams family as well. Catherine Zeta-Jones plays Morticia Addams, the matriarchy of the family, while Luis Guzman plays Gomez Addams, Wednesday’s father. Throughout the show also expect to see Pugsley Addams (Isaac Ordonez), Uncle Fester (Fred Armisen) and Lurch (George Burcea). 

What do critics and viewers say about Wednesday?  

Wednesday has received mostly positive reviews from critics, with a few lukewarm reactions thrown into the mix. The Netflix show currently scores 69% on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab), which indicates that it’s generally of acceptable quality but unlikely to truly wow you — that sounds like a lot of Netflix original content to us. 

CNN (opens in new tab)’s Brian Lowry said “Seeking to bring something new to a property like the Addams Family, which has been done so many times before, isn’t easy without altering its DNA. To its credit, Wednesday rises to the challenge and mostly manages to make it look like a snap.”

Cristian Escobar of RogerEbert.com (opens in new tab) was similarly impressed with the show and had particular praise for Jenna Ortega’s performance as Wednesday: “Ortega excels in the role, leaning into a deadpan humor made all the funnier by her character’s lack of interest in anything approaching laughter."

(Image credit: Netflix)

However, not all critics have been as enthusiastic about Wednesday. Jenna Scherer of AV Club (opens in new tab) claims the series misses the mark and isn’t the type of content that Addams Family fans would want. “The very last thing we want to see Wednesday Addams become is an emotionally enlightened do-gooder; we come to this character for po-faced one-liners and casual sadism,” they said in a mostly critical review. 

As often happens, it would appear that viewers have taken to Wednesday quicker than critics. The show had earned an 88% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and the positive takes aren’t hard to find on social media. 

In fact, there are already fan accounts demanding that Netflix commissions a Wednesday season 2 — but the streamer has been tight-lipped on whether this spin on the beloved Addams universe will see a second installment. 

See more

Should you stream Wednesday on Netflix?  

If you don’t mind watching a comedy-horror show in December — seriously Netflix why didn’t this drop in October? — then Wednesday could well be worth your time. The show clocks in at a trim six hours in total length, and there are plenty of laughs and surprisingly heartfelt moments across that runtime. 

The show does have elements of The CW about it, so you’ll need some tolerance for cheese, but if you don’t take your television shows too seriously you’ll probably have a good time with Wednesday. And even if you’ve never quite gelled with the Addams Family before this slightly different spin on these macabre characters may appeal to you all the same.  Want something else? We've picked the 7 best new movies to watch this week on Netflix, HBO Max and Prime Video.

Next: I just watched Netflix’s Wednesday — and it’s the Harry Potter alternative I didn’t know I needed.

Rory Mellon
Deals Editor

Rory is a Deals Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on deals, gaming and streaming. When he’s not scouring retailers for PS5 restock or writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found attending music festivals and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.