Thursday, October 16, 2014

Why I like the Addams Family

Why I like The Addams Family

1) This is gonna start with another "look how big a wimp Joe was" stories. My dad took me to see The Addams Family film when I was a kid. I covered my eyes during the walk through the cemetery, though my imagination vividly conjured up the horrible images of all the dead Addamses. When they got to the scene where Pugsley and Wednesday violently recreate Shakespeare, I was crying and had to be taken home.

2) Years later, as a sullen Goth teenager, I went back to the Addams. I started with Addams Family Values, worked up the courage to watch the first film, then bought a collection of Charles Addams comics. I was still worshipping the ground Tim Burton walked on, and I wanted more stories set in strange dark fairytales. 

3) If there are two things Goth kids respond to, it's romance and antiquity. The Addams family have both in spades. Their house is a crumbling old Victorian abode, much like the one I grew up near in San Francisco (I refuse to believe that the Addams actually live in New York City, no matter what the musical tries to say), full of old antiques for the family to lounge on.

4) As to the romance, Gomez and Morticia are positively gross in love with each other. Because they live in their own tiny crazy world, they never deal with the mundane crap that most cohabitating couples deal with. They fawn and swoon over each other, waltz constantly, and babble sweet nothing in French. It's all so cute. Every once in awhile, I see a run on my social media feeds about how people are looking for romance like Gomez and Morticia share. 

5) The Addams Family are just plain odd. Unlike the Munsters, who seem completely unaware of their strangeness, the Addams see their strangeness as normal and don't see how the rest of the world doesn't go along the exact same way. The charm of the Addams, beyond their cute morbidity, is that they are so completely comfortable in being themselves. Because of that, I've never seen a more loving family portrayed in any medium (once you get past the occasional lighthearted murder attempts.)

6) I have a strange relationship with morbidity these days. When I was a kid, I used to read anything I could on death and dying, in the certainty that my own life would last forever. The older I get and the more I've encountered death as a reality, the more I find most people who profess to be morbid as either wearing it as an affectation or as having not suffered any real loss in their lives. But the fact is that death is interesting. Funerary rites are interesting. Lurid murders are interesting. The Addams Family is a way to find humor in the dark side of life. 

7) The farther I get from the Musical, the less I like it. No Addams family member should have the goal of wanting to be more normal. 

Conclusion: I like to check in with the Addams Family from time to time in order to remind myself that I'm still a little bit weird. The older I get, the more cluttered my life becomes with compromises and concessions to the oppressive crush of the day-to-day world. I like my family quite a bit, but it would sometimes be nice to have a family like the Munsters or the Addams. It's a place where my dark side could fit in.    


Cheryl said...

I love the Addams Family, especially the sequel. It's rare when a 2nd movie outshines the first. I always like that none of them also gave a fig about the rest of the world, just each other. There was goth but very little angst.

Cheryl said...

I'd also like to add that I find Christina Ricci more off-putting as an adult than as Wednesday Addams.