‘Merlina’, by Tim Burton: a proudly strange young woman

Juan Carlos Garcia
Reform Agency

Wednesday, November 23, 2022 | 11:15 a.m.

Mexico City.Punished for her rebellious and catastrophic behavior, as well as for being intolerant of “normal” boys, Merlina Addams is giving up to Neverland Academy so she can blend in with the “misfits” and fraternize with girls of her kind. But this decision enrages the young woman, who will try to escape at all costs.

Played by Jenna Ortega, the smartest and most skilled of the Addams comes to the small screen in Merlina, a program available from this Wednesday on Netflix. The series has episodes directed by Tim Burton, who also participated in the development of the project along with Miles Millar (Smallville) and Alfred Gough (Charlie’s Angels).

The adventures of the intrepid, polyglot and super intelligent Merlina will revolve around mysterious murders and the paranormal powers that surprise her, since she has visions into the past of strange events.

“I got into the skin of a girl with a super high IQ, who has her own self-confidence that flashes and that at first glance has no weaknesses.

“I loved her way of seeing life, so according to her own standards and without thinking about what society says. She has her own idea of ​​life and what it is to be a ‘foreigner’ in society due to the fact that be different,” Ortega explained in an interview.

A family like no other

But to understand her story, you have to understand why the brilliant student was expelled from her previous school and why her parents, Homer (Luis Guzmán) and Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones), decided to put her in a new place.

You also have to delve into her exotic personality, a neat and self-sufficient girl with a funeral look, to savor the panorama where it unfolds. She hates social media because they say it fosters a human void. She regards her parents as “remote puppeteers” and she loves her brother Pericles (Isaac Ordonez), though she tells him little.

“I fully support her in her way of seeing life: she does not live according to anyone else. I understand that rejection that she has of social networks, sometimes they can be very dangerous and I think there must be a balance to manage them. I think that Merlina, as an ‘excluded’, she is the example that you can be very bold without being complacent,” said the 20-year-old actress, of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent.

Upon arriving at the school, located 20 minutes from the town of Jericho, the protagonist of this story is almost X-rayed by all the “misfits” who study there: Tyler Galpin (played by Hunter Doohan), Enid Sinclair (Emma Myers ), Xavier Thorpe (Percy Hynes White) and Bianca Barclay (Joy Sunday).

“It is very symbolic to talk about a school for ‘excluded’ for the simple reason that at some point, we have all gone through it. Whether it is because of the physical appearance, by way of being, by ideology, there are groups in the school that have given us excluded and we look for where to fit in,” said Hunter Doohan, whose character will become Merlina’s ally and suitor.

“We have to watch this series with wide eyes and in a receptive way because each of the boys in the school has their abilities, but they are the example that if you do not direct them towards something positive, you derail, as happens with my role added Joy Sunday. Her character, Bianca, will be Merlina’s rival in love, since Xavier will fall for her personality.

And yes, you have to keep getting to know Merlina and understand her to enjoy her conduct and laugh at her wickedness. For example, she forces Fingers (Victor Dorobantu) to betray her parents and become his accomplice. She proves to be a skilled fencer, typist, and researcher. She is empathic with the weak and just and implacable with the bullies. And if she has any weakness, it will be revealed until she tells why Nero, her scorpion, made her cry. Yes, she cried one day, consciously.

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