Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Series of Unfortunate Events

I've read most of the books in A Series of Unfortunate Events as well as seen the movie version starring Jim Carrey. The movie had its issues so I was really looking forward to seeing how the Netflix series stacked up.

The first season was available yesterday, and since it was only eight episodes long, I watched the entire thing. What follows are some of my thoughts, including some spoilers so if you haven't seen it yet, don't read any further!

I honestly loved this series. Neil Patrick Harris was brilliant as Count Olaf. He had the perfect air of ridiculous and menacing that is in the books. The children were also perfectly cast and the supporting characters were all great as well.

I've read some reviews that says it's too dark, too morbid and too unfortunate. I read one review that was unhappy that the story is actually a series of unfortunate events the Baudelaire children go through which seems odd to me since it's right in the title.

It's gothic and dark, but so were the books. I didn't watch it with my daughter, but I wouldn't have a problem with her watching it. Yes, there is death and murder, but none of it is gory. Usually the dead person is either not shown, or is taken away rather quickly. 

There is bits of humor, here and there. Patrick Warburton's deadpan portrayal of Lemony Snicket adds a lot and of course, the outrageous behavior of Count Olaf's acting troupe / henchmen lighten the darkness.

The biggest surprise I found was the short bits showing a mother and a father. We aren't told who they are until near the end of the season. They bring hope but it is dashed away, sadly. But as we are told often in each episode, this is not a happy story.

All in all, this show is all I had wanted the movie to be. Each book is presented in two episodes which gives plenty of time to explore the story fully. The movie tried to cram three books in and it felt rushed.

I'd highly recommend A Series of Unfortunate Events to fans of the books and fans of gothic misery!

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