This review is about the new Netflix original series A Series of Unfortunate Events, if you have not watched at least the first two episodes, then stop reading. Spoilers, as River Song says.
As some who read A Series of Unfortunate Events when I was an adolescent, I was very excited when the movie came out. Excited here means “very enthusiastic and eager.” However, much like the movie adaptations of Eragon and Inkheart, that excitement was squashed.
The directors of A Series of Unfortunate Events attempted to combine four of the books into a movie that was an hour and 48 minutes long. That would be like trying to combine the first three novels of Harry Potter. It simply would not do. Alas, much like Eragon and Inkheart, I was doomed to suffer through these tragic movie adaptations and realize that we would never get a good adaptation.
I was mistaken.
When I heard that Netflix was planning to do an adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events, I was both thrilled and terrified. Would Netflix finally get it right? Let me tell you, yes, they did indeed.
It has been years since I’ve read the books. Years. However, I do remember how dry, drab, depressing and dark the books were. The books always had that satirical edge, the odd humor.
Last night, my family and I watched the first two episodes. It was horrible, and by that I mean, horrible in the best kind of why. The writers nailed that dry, drab, depressing and dark humor. They have an actor who plays “Lemony Snicket” who narrates the story – like in the books. He is often in scenes with the Baudelaires but they do not interact. It adds an interesting element to the show. The books themselves were told in Lemony Snicket’s POV, which is odd. Most stories are told from a main character’s POV but not A Series of Unfortunate Events. It’s told like Lemony Snicket is a reporter in a way. I found it to be an interesting take on writing.
Neil Patrick Harris plays Count Olaf. He delivers the notorious Count with all the horribleness and creepiness that the books made him out to be. I honestly forgot he was even apart of the series because Neil Patrick Harris (NPH) was so cleverly done up in makeup and costume. He’s nearly unrecognizable. NPH is an amazing Count Olaf. There was that sinister element but also, comedic. That type of satirical edge that I felt was missing in the movie.
The first two episodes perfectly showed the first book.It was dark. It was creepy. It captured the essence of the series. So, this is my review. If you are a fan of the series like I am. If you were disappointed in the movie. If you wanted that satirical edge, the odd humor and different story-telling, this series is for you. Give it a chance. It is so worth it.
There are eight episodes in total, thus two episodes for the first four novels. I’ve only watched two and I am already impressed. Give it a chance.