From the earworm of a theme song to the peculiar set design, the viewer can palpably see the hand of Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler) in Netflix’s adaptation of the popular A Series of Unfortunate Events books.
The series follows the plight of the Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus and Sunny, as they try to unravel how they’re connected to the mysterious VFD. while dodging a maniacal actor’s attempts to steal their fortune. Fans of the books can rejoice over this adaptation, as it is true to the beloved series (unlike the terrible film starring Jim Carrey that we won’t speak about) and truly plunges the viewer into the eerie world of Lemony Snicket.
Neil Patrick Harris is a brilliant Count Olaf, as he leads his bumbling and absurd acting troupe around the gothic and steampunk world of the Baudelaires. Balancing out the over-the-top acting required to play the excessively theatrical Count Olaf, Patrick Warburton plays the role of Lemony Snicket, and his deep baritone provides the perfect narration for the gloomy and dismal story about the orphans. The books’ fans will appreciate that certain Snicket-y touches, such as the campy vocabulary lessons and seamless breaks from the plot to Snicket’s commentary, are present in the Netflix series.
Malina Weissman and Louis Hynes bring Violet and Klaus to life, while little Presley Smith provides an adorable face to an otherwise grim chain of misfortunes.
The casting director deserves to be praised, as the show features a variety of talented actors who bring each of the orphans’ less than helpful guardians to life. Some recognizable names that appear in the series include Nathan Fillion, Cobie Smulders, Sarah Rue, Will Arnett, Catherine O’Hara and Joan Cusack.
The first two seasons are on Netflix and a third season is already in the works, with the first nine novels available adapted for bingeing. The series is rated TV-PG and is suitable for family viewing. Viewers might also enjoy watching 13 Reasons Why, a series about the reasons behind a teenager’s suicide, or Sense8, a show about eight strangers from across the globe who share a strange connection.