Creepy, kooky, and crucial: The subversive sweetness of ‘The Addams Family’
As bonafide experts and enthusiasts of America’s first goth family, we’re hyped to hear about the casting of the latest incarnation of The Addams Family. MGM has set the cast for its animated take on the classic macabre tale and it’s as close to dream casting as we think is possible.
Joining the previously announced Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) as Gomez will be Charlize Theron (Tully) as Morticia, Allison Janney (I, Tonya) as arch nemesis Margaux Needler, Bette Midler (Hocus Pocus) as Grandmama, Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick Ass) as Wednesday, Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) as Pugsley, and Nick Kroll (Big Mouth) as Uncle Fester. The movie is scheduled to hit theaters on October 11, 2019.
The original 1964 series saw Carolyn Jones (Invasion of the Body Snatchers), John Astin (Betaville), Jackie Coogan (Oliver Twist), and Ted Cassidy (Star Trek) depicting the iconic spooky family, while the 90s movies The Addams Family and The Addams Family Values featured the legendary talents of Anjelica Huston (The Royal Tenenbaums), Raul Julia (Street Fighter), Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), Christina Ricci (Casper), and Jimmy Workman (As Good as it Gets).
Though it’s going to be hard to rival either cast, we’re fairly confident this latest ensemble has what it takes to deliver the story perfectly to modern audiences. Which frankly needs doing. The Addams Family provided a dark but family friendly tale that was years ahead of its time when it debuted and its subversive take on modern American values is just as relevant, hilarious, and necessary now as it was back at the tailend of the 60s.
Here are six reasons why the subversive sweetness of The Addams Family is still creepy, kooky, and crucial to this day.
It was birthed from the macabre genius of Charles Addams
The Addams Family originally started life in 1938 as a cartoon in The New Yorker. Morticia Addams was reportedly based on his first wife Barbara Jean Day, though his second wife Estelle Barb was reputedly even more of a Morticia clone. She was also a shrewd lawyer who infamously hoodwinked the TV and movie rights to his Addams Family characters. Charles appropriately married his third wife in a spooky pet cemetery before living in a New York estate nicknamed The Swamp, which is such a Gomez move. As a young boy, Charles apparently loved coffins, ghost stories, and spooky houses and had a habit of hiding in the dumb waiter of his home so he could jump out and scare his grandmother half to death. It all makes sense now!
Underneath their dark facade, the Addams Family shows one of the most stable homes on TV
With their morbid obsessions, black wardrobe, and distinctly creepy behavior, it’s easy for outsiders to write off the Addams Family as being a dysfunctional family unit. In actual fact, the family is one of the healthiest that’s ever been on TV. Morticia and Gomez are ludicrously horny for each other but they also exemplify the most caring, healthy, and honest relationship a couple could ever hope to have. Pugsley and Wednesday are encouraged to pursue their interests and are celebrated as individuals. Even Lurch is treated as being one of the family and not just some anonymous butler. In one episode of the TV show, Gomez and Morticia even swap roles with him so he can impress his mother when she comes to visit. They’re spooky, kooky, and low-key wholesome by all accounts.
Morticia and Gomez are legit couple goals (whether you’re into BDSM or not)
Speaking of which, the relationship between Morticia and Gomez has always been subversive yet sweet. Their kinky, experimental passion for one another is depicted with a refreshing lack of judgement or taboo. In fact, the couple are groundbreaking for being one of the first mainstream BDSM relationships portrayed with such honesty and played out so naturally, sharing an open communication regarding their desires that’s without boundaries but full of respect. The couple are portrayed as equals who endure the same difficulties and bullshit arguments that every couple does, except they always emerge respectful of each other and stronger for it afterwards. Their commitment to each other is unshakable and special and goddammit, we’re envious of it.
Morticia is an incredible feminist icon
It’s hard to even know where to start in explaining just how much of a ferociously strong and unique female character Morticia Addams is, but we’ll begin by celebrating just how fierce it is to see a woman so confident in who she is that she never tears other women down (unless they’re wearing pastels). Morticia knows exactly who she is and owns it without apology and though she meets other women with radically different lifestyles, perspectives, and goals to her own, she’s never judgemental of them unless they’re hurting her family. On top of that, the Addams Family queen is ruthlessly smart, staggeringly confident, and sexually liberated. What woman doesn’t aspire to such greatness?
Wednesday is an aspirational role model for all weird little girls
If Morticia sets new standards for feminism, Wednesday is the ultimate hero for weird little girls desperately trying to figure out their place in life. The morose, barbarous, and stony-faced daughter of the Addams clan is as confident and headstrong as her mother. Wednesday highlights the power of owning whatever class of bizarre your personality happens to be veering towards and feeling secure with the possibility that you’re vastly different to most other girls your age. And Wednesday proves that being different isn’t necessarily a hindrance but something precious and unique that should be nurtured and celebrated – no matter how much the boring normies stare at you.
The theme tune is still in a class of its own
Composed by the legendary Vic Mizzy and comprised of finger snaps, an eerie harpsichord, and a catchy melody outlining exactly why this family of oddballs are so damn lovable – along with some unique backing vocals courtesy of Lurch – the theme tune is an icon in itself. Created initially for the original TV show, it’s since been used in both of the 90s feature films and animated shows, and is a part of The Addams Family stage musical too.