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Addams Family, The (90's)

USA



Original Air Date:
1992
Channel:
ABC
Prod. Co.:
Hanna Barbera
Genre:
Series
 

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Characters & Voices
Gomez - John Astin
Morticia - Nancy Linari
Uncle Fester - Rip Taylor
Lurch - Jim Cummings
Cousin Itt - Pat Fraley
Wednesday - Debi Derryberry
Pugsley - Jeannie Elias
Granny - Carol Channing
 
The Addams Family

Charles Addams's creations from single-panel comics in The New Yorker returned to the small screen in the form of an animated cartoon set to capitalize on the success of a big screen venture. The series was a chronicle of the misadventures of a highly misunderstood family and their antics. Gomez and his brother Fester shared their ancestral home with Gomez's wife Morticia and their children Puggsley and Friday, as well as an elder matriarch of unclear relation (referred to as Grandma-ma; I've never seen the family tree, so I'm not sure who's, if anyone's, grandmother she was), Lurch, the hulking mute butler, and Thing, Gomez's pet (?) hand.

Their adventures typically dealt with their unconventional perspective and how it acted as both a hindrance and a boon in their dealings with the rest of the world. The Addams were an earnest clan whose wholly unconventional lifestyle tended to be off-putting to the world around them; this was compounded by how oblivious they were to their abnormality. Essentially, this show was about a family that approached the mundane in an offbeat way.

Critical Analysis

There exists a certain irony in the fact that the popularity of Raul Julia's portrayal of Gomez Addams in the movie The Addams Family led to John Astin reprising the role from the sitcom in the 1960s. There's no question the two performances were distinct; one could argue they were not even the same character. Julia's macabre Latin lover seemed so far removed from Astin's unflappable patriarch, and yet it's hard to think of the former without remembering the latter. Diedrich Bader's Jethro Clampett was not as uniquely evocative, nor was Christopher Daniel Barnes's Greg Brady. Only Gomez.

This interpretation stacked up pretty well against the '60s sitcom and the '90s movie; it managed to maintain some of the black humor of the movie without crossing any family-friendly lines, and even without John Astin the series played out much like the original sitcom, albeit a bit more frenetic in its delivery. It didn't add anything inventive to the franchise, and was sadly too short-lived to combat the impact of the dreadful live-action remake of the sitcom on the Family Channel starring Tim Curry and Darryl Hannah.

Buy, Watch or Ignore?

If you've enjoyed the Addams Family in the past, you'll like this one, but it's not so special that it's worth hunting down. It's better than the Addams's appearance on The Scooby Doo Movies.

- Michael Albright

 
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