Wednesday's Dance Was Viral in More Ways Than One
If you've heard of the internet, then by now you've heard of Tim Burton's Wednesday, a readaptation of the Addams Family, centered around a teenage Wednesday Addams. The series has been breaking records left and right. It continues to hold the number one spot on Netflix 5 weeks after its debut. It also holds the record for the most hours watched of any English language series in the platform's history, and it's their third most-watched English language series of all time.
There are a lot of reasons why the series was so successful. The deadpan humor, their seamless appeal to their target demographic, and a stellar aesthetic are just a few. Wednesday is a beloved character. She embodies the teenage spirit, even as a child, and it's been known for some time now that the audience was hungry for a more grown-up version. We were bound to see a readaptation at some point, but nobody could have foreseen how popular the series would become.
Jenny Ortega's portrayal of Wednesday was seamless and iconic. She could stare someone in the eye, say the funniest thing imaginable, and keep a perfectly straight face. It must've taken discipline because some of Wednesday's lines were amazing. They definitely helped skyrocket the series to viral status. She was dark and cruel, patronizing, and far too observant. But the lines were only part of the allure.
In Episode 4, which is titled 'Woe What a Night,' Wednesday is coerced into attending Nevermore Academy's annual Rave'N Dance. She wasn't the social type. She loathed everyone. But Thing wasn't having it. He stole the perfect dress, a black lace number, and she showed up to the ball, which had been decked out like a winter wonderland.
As soon as the students got her out onto the dancefloor, she performed an eccentric, jerky jive to 'Goo Goo Muck' by The Cramps. The actress choreographed it herself. She said she was given the song beforehand and she took the moves from wherever she could find them. Apparently, Siouxsie Sioux was a huge inspiration. People laughed. It was absurd, but there was a level of skill behind it. The students were certainly impressed.
Wednesday Addams | Dance Scene | Netflix
The dance went on to become a viral sensation. It was remixed to a faster version of Lady Gaga's Bloody Mary and spread across social media. People couldn't help it. It was fun and absurd. Even Gaga herself gave it a go. Fans tried out different combinations, strange outfits, and new tracks, all a tribute to a series that nobody could get enough of. It was seen as good, harmless fun until Jenny Ortega did an interview with NME where she admitted that she had been feeling sick that day when she woke up.
She told them that she never got sick. It was strange, but she was having body aches. She said she felt like she got hit by a car and that a little goblin was scratching at her esophagus. The studio decided to give her a COVID test. The symptoms matched up, and they wanted to be careful. But they still filmed the scene, and her body ached the entire time.
Normally Hollywood productions halt filming when someone experiences symptoms. They tend to work with large crowds--extras, crewmembers, and the like--and it's easy for the virus to spread in that environment. That was certainly the case with the ball. The students were packed into a small space. Many were standing close together. There was no social distancing, and apparently, they weren't following the proper protocol. Jenny Ortega didn't seem to think anything of it when she confessed that her test came back positive. That's right; she had COVID--textbook symptoms. They knew there was a chance that she was positive, and they let her enter a room with dozens of people while they waited for her test results.
There's been no word on who got sick, or if anyone got sick at all. Depending upon the legalities behind production--things like non-disclosure agreements and gag orders--we might never hear. Actors and crewmembers are often limited in what they can say to the press or on social media. The only thing we can be sure of is that there were no precautions being taken at the time. The studio did halt filming when her test results came back, and that was announced, but at that point the damage was done.
Fans were predictably furious. People started speaking out on Twitter. They wanted to know why the studio wasn't being more careful, and that's probably a question we should all be asking. What if they killed people? What if people were left with long-term symptoms? There could be hair loss, respiratory issues, and extended stays in the hospitals. Why did they do this? Were they trying to meet a deadline, or did they just stop taking the virus seriously? It doesn't matter how much you hate wearing a mask, the body count speaks for itself. COVID kills.
Let's hope that nobody got hurt. It's not fair to put people at risk for the sake of entertainment. The cast and crew deserve to go about their lives without being exposed to a fatal virus, and if that's not something the studio can ensure, then they don't have any business filming. Sorry.