Entertainment & Media
A Rich Evolution of The Addams Family
By Rachel Ezeadichie
Image provided by Caitlyn Taylor
“They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious, and spooky, they're all together ooky. They’re the Addams Family!” This haunting family has been around since 1938 and has gone through many adaptations and revisions since. This family includes a married couple, Gomez and Morticia, and their children, Pugsley and Wednesday. It also includes their extended family, Uncle Fester, Grandma, and their giant butler, Lurch. From the first Addams Family comic strips published in 1938 to Netflix’s new show Wednesday, the Addams Family has lasted as a comical slice of life franchise for many years.
Although the Addams Family is most famous for its movies and TV shows, it originally was a cartoon published in the New York Times in 1938 by Charles Addams. The family wasn’t the family we know and love today. All characters went by different names, and it wasn’t until the television series that their characters formed. The Addams Family series first aired in 1964 and truly established the franchise. This was when we first got a glimpse of the Addams Family house, and the macabre inner workings of the characters. This show shaped the characters because their actors were allowed different freedoms when acting them out. The actors used a lot of their own personalities when playing their roles. These inclusions from the actors are what made the Addams Family what we know today. The show lasted two seasons and ended in 1966 but made its mark as the start of the Addams Family legacy.
The Addams Family and The Addams Family Values were the first films made about the family in 1991 and 1993 respectively. These movies gave back stories to characters and even introduced new ones. The Addams Family focuses on the Addamses getting their Uncle Fester back after a falling out between himself and Gomez. The Addams Family Values gave Wednesday and Pugsley a sibling named Pubert and showed the children navigating life with their new sibling. Other Addams Family movies were released in 2019 and 2021. They were the first computer-animated versions of the Addams Family and gave the family a different plot to follow throughout the films. All films that were made about The Addams Family have changed their image and made them more known throughout the years.
The latest addition to The Addams Family franchise is Netflix’s Wednesday. The show primarily focuses on Wednesday and her personal life instead of the collective family. We meet many new characters audiences have never seen before and gain a different perspective on Wednesday’s parents and their backstories. Wednesday needs to navigate the paranormal events happening at her new school while figuring out more about her family’s past and her own interpersonal relationships. In short, the newest addition to The Addams Family legacy is living up to its name.
The Addams Family has had many different adaptations throughout the years. From comic to movie to television series and even a musical (which is being performed here at North on March 31st and April 1st), the Addams Family has made its mark for its sometimes dark but always funny storytelling and characters. As it grows, we can look back fondly at its past and await its future.