The first season of Wednesday has been a major hit for Netflix, so it’s no surprise that the streamer is pushing full speed ahead on production for season 2, this time with series star Jenna Ortega on board as a producer. While on the red carpet for the delayed ceremony of the 2023 Emmy awards, Ortega gave fans a hint of what they could expect in the upcoming season.
One of the most notable tidbits from Ortega was that each episode of Wednesday season 2 “feels like a movie” and that “everything is bigger” and “a lot more action-packed.” While Ortega herself doesn’t bring up Stranger Things, it’s hard not to think of Netflix’s other major teen horror series and its recent attempt at a bigger and more action-packed season.
The most recent season, Stranger Things 4, features the series’ longest episodes thus far, with the shortest of the season’s nine episodes being 64 minutes and the longest being nearly two and a half hours. There’s no word on the exact runtime of episodes in Wednesday’s second season, but if each episode “feels like a movie,” there’s a chance we could be getting some beefier episodes and longer runtimes than season 1’s 50 minute average.
Like Stranger Things 4, season 2 of Wednesday is also going to lean “into a little more horror.” Even though the first season of Wednesday did touch on the character’s gothic roots, the series was characterized as a comedy when it was nominated for the 2023 Emmy awards. It’s doubtful that we’ll be saying goodbye entirely to Wednesday’s unique sense of humor, but the stakes will likely be higher than they were last season.
It makes sense for Wednesday to take a page out of Stranger Things’ book, whether intentionally or not. Both series have seen huge success on Netflix, and this wouldn’t be the first time that other series on the streaming service have followed the lead of Stranger Things 4.
However, Wednesday shouldn’t follow too closely in Stranger Things’ footsteps. Stranger Things 4 may have succeeded in bringing a larger, more spectacular season to fans than they have before, but in doing so they missed a lot of what people love about the series. Raised stakes are important for character growth, but not at the expense of the heart and soul of the show.
Calling Stranger Things a teen drama may be a bit of a stretch, especially with how young the main characters were when the series began. But, at the same time, the first few seasons of the show were fairly consistent about balancing its terrifying creatures and horrific moments with the core cast’s youthful energy. Their fears about Demogorgons and the Upside Down were balanced with their anxieties about growing up and the drama over who likes who.
Ortega has been vocal about her desire for Wednesday to be about more than who her character likes romantically, saying on the red carpet that “being in a love triangle made no sense” for Wednesday. And in a world where so many female characters have been reduced to playing the love-interest or whose importance is only equal to her desire for a man, I wholly support Ortega in her desire to explore her character beyond that. My only ask is that in doing so, the series doesn’t entirely abandon its teen drama roots.