A twist in the Addams Family tale: Recharge by Rachel Lopez

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A twist in the Addams Family tale: Recharge by Rachel Lopez 1

Melissa Hunter created and stars in Adult Wednesday Addams. Over 13 brief episodes, she searches for roommates, aces a job interview (despite satanic references), meets guys and goes to the hairdresser.

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky. But the Addams family is also surprisingly easy to like. Like everyone in India, I was introduced to the original 1964 black-and-white series via satellite TV in the 1990s. I could never quite figure them out. They were morbid but cheerful; conservative but chill. They were romantic and close-knit and never cared that the world thought them bizarre. And gosh, that Wednesday Addams was fierce.

The household — Lurch, Uncle Fester, Thing, Cousin It and all — has made it to two films, a Broadway musical, six video games and several TV reboots. But before the new animated movie comes out this year, consider an oddball spinoff of this oddball show. The 2015 web series Adult Wednesday Addams imagines Morticia and Gomez’s daughter (pasty, scowling, braided, but otherwise all grown up) living in Los Angeles.

It’s hilarious. Wednesday stands out, of course — who wears black in sunny LA? But the city is so full of flakes, she also fits right in. Over 13 episodes, each only a few minutes long, she finds roommates, aces a job interview (despite satanic references) and meets guys. She even finds time to visit the hairdresser. “I think this chair is broken. I am feeling no electricity,” Wednesday deadpans as she takes a seat. [embedded content]

Melissa Hunter, who created the series and plays Addams, gives Wednesday a sharpness that’s missing from the official versions. Grown-up Wednesday throws shade at every vacuous LA stereotype. There’s the bimbo who refuses to clean up after her dog, the reality-TV starlet trying to order underlings around, the photographer at the hipster flea market, taking in her funereal look and asking, “Who are you wearing?”

“It’s faux,” says Wednesday, pointing to her beige bag. “I don’t have the budget for real human skin.”

Underneath that prissy vintage frock, Wednesday is a hero. She deals with one-night stands and anti-abortion activists. She intimidates catcallers and refuses to be bullied. When she’s babysitting one little girl, the kid worries there’s a ghoul in her bedroom cupboard. “Monsters don’t prey on boring children,” Wednesday says. “Real monsters prey on real monsters. As long as you never become a real monster, you never have to fear them.”

Hunter’s series garnered over 12 million views and 2.7 lakh subscribers before a copyright-infringement complaint from The Addams Family creators got her to take it off YouTube. You can stream them on ItsMelissaHunter.com. And maybe drop her a line requesting more adventures?

First Published: Aug 17, 2019 16:22 IST

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