Could We Maybe Relax About People Not Recognising Christina Ricci In ‘Wednesday’?

I’m all for Christina Ricci appreciation but there’s no need to be pretentious about it.

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Tim Burton’s Wednesday landed on Netflix last week, and it’s charming audiences all around the world.  Jenny Ortega (Jane the Virgin) clearly understood the assignment as the series’ titular protagonist — she even choreographed her own gothic dance moves and avoided blinking on-screen to play up Wednesday’s icy front.

Now, there is so much to unpack about this series, like the relentless whiteness of the Tim Burton universe and Netflix refusing to engage with comments about the show’s sapphic undertones.

But for now, I’m tackling a sentiment I’ve seen online that’s admittedly far more trivial but infuriating nevertheless.  

Look, I sympathise. Christina Ricci’s portrayal of Wednesday Addams in the early ‘90s Addams Family movies was a straight-up cultural reset. To so many of us, the two are one of the same. 

Ricci is the Wednesday Addams that many of us grew up with. And you know a character is iconic if it becomes an easily recognisable Halloween costume. Chuck a white-collared shirt under a black dress, fashion your hair into two braids, and voilà! You’re good to go. 

Ricci played Wednesday in The Addams Family (1991), and at the age of just 10 she was catapulted into child stardom. She’s since miraculously come out the other end relatively unscathed, sporting an impressive filmography that includes Monster (2003), Speed Racer (2008), and Yellowjackets (2021).

It’s safe to say that Ricci has a special place in Addams Family lore, and many millennial and Gen X hearts. So when she made her appearance on Netflix’s Wednesday as botany teacher Ms Thornhill, fans of the original films were gifted a special treat. 

But that’s all it needs to be. Not everyone has an encyclopaedic knowledge of everything that came before it, and maybe that’s fine.