Growing up, the relationship I always wanted was full of romance, passion and undying admiration. I wanted to grow up and meet someone who was spontaneous and have a family that just got on. In short, I wanted to be Morticia Addams. Who doesn’t want to be wooed years in to marriage? To have the perfect marriage?
Morticia and Gomez always have had the perfect marriage in my eyes. They danced every day as if it was their first dance together. They raised their children together in a relationship built not on gender roles and duty, but out of mutual love and respect. They communicated with honesty, and had a healthy sexual relationship on top of all of that.
So why was it that I found this perfect couple in a comedy?
And not just as a romantic unit, but as a family; grandmother, uncle, children and all, the Addams family are amazing together, and that is the source of humour.
The Addams Family was originally a comic strip, before they were turned in to a TV show and later a movie series. They’re a family unlike any other. That’s pretty much their premise.
They’re creepy and they’re kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They’re all together ooky,
Too often in family-based sit-coms is there a fish out of water in the family, or their photo-negative counterpart of the only normal one amidst insanity. There is only one normal member of the Addams Family: Pubert. Pubert was the child born in sequel movie Addams Family Values, all blue eyed and blond haired. Pubert was nothing like the other Addams.
And Gomez and Morticia didn’t penalise him for that. In a lesson all parents should adhere to, they took an interest in the things their baby liked. They redecorated his room in bright colours, read him books that made him laugh, even though both find it repulsive. There is a truly touching scene where Morticia reads him The Cat in the Hat, and she hopes the cat dies in the end. (In an unrelated note, I think even Morticia would have issue with the Mike Meyers monstrosity that is the Cat in the Hat movie).
That, to me, is truly what the Addams family is about. Acceptance. To set a family so perfectly in synch in a macabre environment should be unnerving, but all the guillotines and electric chairs serve to do it emphasise how close they are.
Obviously, there’s some differences made in the transition from comic, to show, to movie. Wednesday’s original persona of a wide-eyed innocent was changed to a more somber demeanour in the 90’s movie franchise. And likewise, Pugsley’s bullyish nature was softened, making him a devoted and doting older brother to Wednesday. But even in the comics, their sibling bond is stronger than most families have.
I suppose this blog is about healthy relationships. The Addams Family are the epitome of trangression in suburbia. Nothing they do would be seen as normal to most of society. And like most great Gothic characters, they just did not care, and that is what makes them memorable. It’s not their dark outlook or melodrama that draws us in, but how ardently they relish in their own abnormality. They draw in those around them, and their reactions are often the comedic part of the bit. They are a family that would do anything for each other, and that is something I think we all want.
And so, dear readers, we reach the end of another blog post.
Let me ask you, what do you like or dislike about the Addams Family? Which character do you relate to most? What was your first encounter with them?
Let me know your thoughts.