As you may know, those of us here at Doomtastic are BIG fans of The Addams Family. Maybe not quite as obsessed as Graham is with Gundam, but close. We love the Addams Family, all the way back to Charles Addams’ original cartoons in the New Yorker. While there are many things to both admire and disdain about The Addams Family, including its unabashed campiness, it is hard to deny that The Addams Family was ahead of its time in many ways. Given both the upcoming festive season and the Fact that Netflix is set to release a new animated The Addams Family movie it seems only just to celebrate some of the features that made The Addams Family so iconic. And it goes beyond the fact that they are “Mysterious and Spooky… altogether ooky.”1) The portrayal of an incredibly stable home life. Underneath all the window dressing, The Addams Family portrays an especially close family, with the relationship between Gomez and Morticia being an incredibly warm and loving one, They encourage Wednesday and Pugsley to embrace each other and live with several members of their extended family in a display of family togetherness that provides a secure foundation for their entire lives.
2) Morticia is sexy, wildly in love with her husband, and a caring mother. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am well aware of the pressure on women to be ‘supermom’ and manage a career, family, a house, and anything else throws your way and I don’t support that. But Morticia was in love with her husband and was clearly viewed by him as an incredibly alluring, desirable woman when TV just did NOT portray mothers that way. The Addams Family portrayed Morticia as seductive while at the same time being an incredibly caring and wholesome individual. This as incredibly feminist take for a TV show its time (and still today.) In addition, Morticia is often portrayed as the calm-level headed individual in contrast to Gomez’s at time histrionic nature.
3)They are an incredibly tolerant, non-judgmental group of people. Unless you are out to hurt them or theirs, The Addams Family will gladly welcome you into their fold and appreciate you for all the good qualities you have without trying to change you. Wether it is the Normanmeyers who hate the Addamses, while their son NJ is best friends with Wednesday, or the Rocky the Beatnick, who they take in following a motorcycle accident. Morticia and Gomez embrace the influence that Rocky has on Wednesday and Pugsley, although very different from their own.
4) This goes back to number one just a bit, but Gomez Addams is the father we all want or should aspire to be. In the very first episode of the 1964 TV show. The Morticia and Gomez are confronted by a truant officer and decide to send Wednesday and Pugsley to school. Gomez’ reaction to the discussion is classic-he states he would be devastated and lonely without them “Why have children only to send them off to school in a few years instead of playing with them?” Isn’t that how we all want our parents to feel about us? And how we want to feel about our children? Not that they are a burden or take time from other pursuits, but that every minute is precious? In the sixties, when fathers were often portrayed as patting children on the head before bedtime. The amount of time that Gomez is able to devote to his children is perhaps unrealistic for most of us, but the sentiment is perfect.
5)They are all unapologetically themselves. While no one in The Addams Family actively seeks to try and change others, they also don’t see that others might think that they are odd. And if anyone does, they really don’t care. This is demonstrated in many different ways throughout all the different iterations. In the original TV show, the assumption on their end is that they are the norm. In the 1990’s animated series, they are constantly under pressure to change and leave Happydale Heights.
In the live-action movies, the family is constantly confronted with the fact that they are different than the rest of the world-and they don’t really care. Wednesday, in particular, is a steadfast example of this in the second movie. The juxtaposition between her and her so-called peers at the summer camp is a brilliant illustration of knowing yourself and staying true to your own beliefs.
There are many more reasons to love The Addams Family and I think everyone who has ever felt like an outcast can relate them as they make their way through the world. Of course, there are many other ways in which The Addams Family was and is ahead of its time and it will be interesting to see if the upcoming film captures that or will rely primarily on the campiness to carry the film. Especially when tomes have been written on Morticia and Wednesday as feminist icons.
Until then we’ll keep watching and laughing, and loving. What makes The Addams Family special to you?