Smallville Was A Huge Influence On The Wednesday Series

By Matthew Creith | Published

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The hit Netflix series Wednesday debuted on the streamer last week, and has quickly become one of the most watched series on the platform this year. The television adaptation of the popular Wednesday Addams character from The Addams Family stars Jenna Ortega in the titular role, as she attempts to navigate high school and a monster terrorizing her new friends. According to The Hollywood Reporter’s TV’s Top 5 podcast, co-creators Al Gough and Miles Millar confirmed that the teenage Wednesday was actually highly influenced by their other television drama, Smallville, particularly by the character of Clark Kent.

Actor Tom Welling portrayed a teenage version of Clark Kent in Smallville which aired for 10 seasons on what eventually became The CW. Creators Al Gough and Miles Millar had the arduous task of depicting a teenage Superman. Not much is shown in Wednesday Addams’ life post-adolescence, so the writers chose to use the same approach with the character of Wednesday of discovering a character’s part of their life that hadn’t been detailed before.

The approach worked for Smallville, as the series eventually aired 217 episodes and explored the adventures of young characters from DC Comics like Superman, Lex Luthor, Jimmy Olsen, and Oliver Queen. In Wednesday, Jenna Ortega solves a mystery plaguing her new school for outsiders, drawing on the character’s signature awkwardness and macabre sense of humor. The Netflix series has been a success so far, with Variety reporting that the show has racked up 341 million hours of viewing time in one week, breaking the record previously held by the fourth season of Stranger Things earlier this year.

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Jenna Ortega in Wednesday

Critics have been kind to Wednesday, but many have remarked that it’s similar to The CW shows like Smallville, Supernatural, and Riverdale. Rotten Tomatoes currently ranks the first season of Wednesday with a 70% on its Tomatometer and an Audience Score of 88%, but notes that the series “might as well be another CW drama” if not for the performance of the lead. Much of that criticism might come from those that viewed Al Gough and Miles Millar’s approach to making the lead character a lot like Clark Kent from Smallville.

Even though Smallville might have influenced how the character of Wednesday Addams has been portrayed, Wednesday is still likely to be renewed at Netflix due to its powerful showing. The supernatural drama costars big names like Gwendoline Christie, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Luis Guzmán as part of its ensemble cast of actors. But, Christina Ricci’s appearances on the series are notable to say the least, as she also famously portrayed the character of Wednesday in 1991’s The Addams Family, as well as its sequel Addams Family Values.