The fourth grade version of myself has been giddy for the last twelve hours because of the release of the new Series of Unfortunate Events adaptation. I may only be four episodes in at this point, but the new Series of Unfortunate Events Netflix show has not disappointed so far. Movies based off of books are almost notorious for being disappointments, and for me it is now clear that TV series are the best format for adapting books. The dark yet humorous tones of the Netflix series are much truer to the book series than the the 2004 film that focused far too much on Jim Carrey’s goofiness.
The tale of the Baudelaire orphans has been near and dear to my heart since childhood, so following the disappointment of the 2004 film, I am happy to say that the new series has so far provided redemption. The show contains many references that will only be recognized by folks who have read the books, which is a fun little reward for those of us who have been following the series for a while now.
Neil Patrick Harris’s Count Olaf is a great combination of ignorant and mischievous, that draws a contrast to the intelligence of the Baudelaire children, while still presenting him as a credible threat. The show does a fantastic job of playing up the mysterious conspiracy angle that is present in the books that keeps you asking questions and paying attention. Even what appear to be casual throw away lines can hold a much deeper meaning when you know what to look for.
The show is beautifully colored, and while it might be a little heavy on CGI, it does a good job of creating the fascinating world in which the series takes place. Additionally the show sports a remarkable cast including big names like Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Warburton, Joan Cusack, and Aasif Mandvi. The Baudelaire children are very accurately depicted by Malina Weissman, Louis Hynes, and Tara Strong.
So I would encourage you to tune into the show if you have time. If you are a fan of the book series, you will not be disappointed with the results, and if you are new to the tale of the Baudelaires,I would encourage you to watch the show with a keen eye.