Netflix series Wednesday has broken its own record and continues to soar up the streaming platform’s all-time charts. The mystery series, of which four episodes are directed by Tim Burton, is a spinoff that’s based on the characters of The Addams Family comics, created by Charles Addams. It follows Wednesday (played by Jenna Ortega) as she’s sent to a boarding school, Nevermore Academy, which is specifically made for outcasts. While Wednesday tries to live with a newfound psychic ability, she tries to solve a mysterious killing spree plaguing the academy and its nearby local town, Jericho, Vermont. Wednesday dethroned the hit series Stranger Things with the biggest week for any English language streamer on Netflix, clocking in with 341.2 million hours streamed worldwide, but it’s not done yet.
Twelve days after its debut, The Hollywood Reporter reports that the Jenna Ortega-led Wednesday has beaten its own record, as for the week of November 28 – December 4, the series had 411.29 million hours viewed. This is the first time any English-language series has reached and passed 400 million hours viewed in a week. With 752.52 million cumulative hours streamed, Wednesday is ranked No. 3 in Netflix’s all-time chart for English-language series, right behind Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story at No. 2 and Stranger Things season 4 at No. 1. It’s highly likely that Wednesday will surpass the former soon and take the No. 2 spot.
Why Is Wednesday So Successful
Wednesday opened with lukewarm reviews from critics on the review-aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, but it’s nevertheless become a major success, sporting, at the time of this writing, an 87 percent approval rating from audiences. A famous dance scene from episode 4 has also gone viral and inspired a trend of videos imitating the choreography on TikTok. The series owes much of its success to its offscreen and onscreen talent.
Wednesday Addams has always been one of the most commercially successful members of the Addams family with her precocious, dark, and shamelessly awkward ways. Out of all the members, a spinoff following Wednesday in her teenage years holds the most promise and garners the most interest, as seen by the series’ success. With Ortega in the lead, delivering the Addams family daughter’s deadpan sarcasm and sharp insight with ease, the show sports a lead character the audience can’t necessarily relate to, but enjoy watching all the same. Burton’s influence also seems to have set the right style and tone for the series, giving it the Burtonesque darkness and whimsy it needs. Being filled with dark humor associated with both the character and Burton himself — and engorged with Edgar Allan Poe references that extend outside Nevermore Academy’s name — Wednesday offers a lot for viewers to admire.
But the seeming x-factor for the show’s success is the fact that Wednesday is textbook dark academia. Set in a boarding school, being a mystery, and its aesthetic of prep school uniforms and gothic architecture are all attributes of the subgenre that’s gained a lot of attraction from viewers both in digital media and mainstream literature, especially from Burton. As long as the series keeps honing in on its promising lead character and attractive tropes, it’ll continue to rack up viewing hours and climb even higher up Netflix’s all-time charts, potentially resulting in the desired season 2 renewal.