Alright guys. When this was announced early last year, I lost my mind. The Series of Unfortunate Events holds a similar place in my heart to Harry Potter; it’s an amazing book series that I literally grew up reading. But I was a tiny bit nervous, because the movie treated the source material TERRIBLY. But as I started watching the show Friday after work (Friday the 13th, ace job Netflix), my fears disappeared.
The Series of Unfortunate Events is a 13 book series focusing on the Baudelaire orphans; Violet, Klaus, and Sunny. They’re each very unique and talented, but their parents just died, and they are being shipped off from one guardian to the next, thanks to a man named Count Olaf.
Olaf, played by Neil Patrick Harris, is a cruddy thespian who wants nothing more than to con the Baudelaire’s out of their enormous inheritance. Since he can’t always show up as himself, he disguises himself as various different people throughout the series to get close to the guardian at the time, and hopefully get his hands on their money.
The first season shows us the happenings of the first four books, and are broken up into 8, 1 hour long episodes. Each book gets 2 episodes, and I was blown away. The episodes encapsulate more than just the important parts of each book, they show Lemony Snicket (our narrator, played by Patrick Warburton) as he explains things in ways that are perfectly matched to the books, and even uses direct quotes from the books. For example, Kalisz is so tired that he’s reading the same sentence over and over; Snicket says that as the camera pans in, then that same exact statement and pan are repeated. It’s very much like the books, and I’m astounded. There’s also a very Pushing Daisies feel to it, with the shots and the backgrounds. If you know nothing of this series but liked that show, you will at least enjoy the way this show looks and feels.
Though I truly adore NPH, he is not my Count Olaf. It’s very difficult to see past his NPH-ness into Olaf, but that is not to say he doesn’t do a good job; he performs wonderfully. I think (because I’ve heard from several people who feel the same about this) that it’s just tough to see him as someone so villainous while knowing about who he is.
I was also very surprised by the choice of Warburton as Snicket, because we never see Snicket in the books. Sure, he’s the author and narrator so of course there aren’t illustrations of him, but even his author photos are blurred or too dark. Warburton is very recognizable, and I was nervous about that. But my fears were put to rest; I think Warburton was a phenomenal choice.
Netflix’s Series of Unfortunate Events was amazing. It’s a beautifully crafted love letter to the books that I can not wait for the second (and third) seasons of. The children were phenomenal, the costumes (far less gothic and more realistic than those in the movie) were beautiful, and everything felt right. For those of you with choulraphobia, be wary; episode 6 has quite a bit of time in a restaurant called the Anxious Clown and if they continue the series, there is a book about a carnival. So be aware, but please watch it. It’s amazing and I’m so glad that it exists.
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