As we expected, Netflix announced Wednesday that it would be renewed for season two this week, which is pretty obvious given how well it’s doing as one of the service’s top shows of the year. The only hiccup was a potential rights issue with now-Amazon-owned MGM, but apparently that was all resolved, and no, Season 2 of the show isn’t going to Prime Video or anything crazy.
I wonder if Netflix is trying to prime Wednesday to be a megahit stand-in for its outgoing champion, Stranger Things, which has just one season left. This year, Stranger Things season 4 has amassed 1.87 billion viewing hours, with only season 1 coming anywhere close as of Wednesday at 1.314 billion. That’s the highest tally for a first-season debut ever (outside of Squid Game), and it’s certainly better than any previous seasons of Stranger Things itself.
The shows share some loose parallels. Wednesday is more fantasy than science fiction, but both play a young girl of the same age with mind-based powers. And both have reached an absolutely massive audience.
However, I would be a little wary of predicting Wednesday as a simple replacement for Stranger Things. Part of the reason Stranger Things works so well is because of its huge ensemble cast and also because of its interesting script, which has only gotten more layered and emotionally gripping as time has gone by.
At its core, Wednesday feels like a season of Sabrina the Teenage Witch or Nancy Drew. A supernaturally influenced mystery where the season progresses through a series of Red Herrings (seriously, how many times has Wednesday accused an innocent person of something before they ended up getting it right?). I’m worried to much depends solely on Jenna Ortega’s stellar performance, and that won’t be enough to sustain the series over time if the rest don’t get up to meet her.
I’d be a little concerned that they’d try to force the lighting to hit twice with a second season (okay Jenna, time to invent a new creepy viral dance for TikTok!), and the show might not get any better . One thing Stranger Things has managed to do is get a lot better over time and evolve beyond the things it “celebrated” in the beginning (namely, Season 1 was essentially just ET). I hope Wednesday gets a chance to do the same, but I’m just not sure how far the relatively standard point of view of the supernatural mystery storyline can go.
Still, I’d predict nothing short of a huge viewership for season two whenever it arrives. It will take at least a year, and we’ll no doubt hear more about what’s to come before then.
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