If you are interested in stories with happy endings, then you would be better off somewhere else. In this story, not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning, and very few happy things in the middle. My name is Lemony Snicket. It is my solemn duty to bring to light the sorry history of the Baudelaire children as it happened so many years ago.
Was I the only one yelling when I found out the series of my childhood was being turned into a series on Netflix? A Series of Unfortunate was one of those books that all the cool kids had a copy of and every new installment was bought and read vivaciously. You know how the kids of today are obsessed with Marvel and DC, constantly talking about Batman and Ironman? Imagine it like that. If you didn’t know about A Series of Unfortunate Events, I regret to inform you that you were considered to be very, very unfortunate.
(see, that’s me doing a lemony impression)
Sometimes when I think about it, it amazes me how a series on.. well, unfortunate events could’ve gotten so popular among children. Published by Scholastic, it was the series that was always lined up in the shelves whenever the Scholastic Book Fair rolled around (and boy, those book fairs were fun. I remember buying the Dragons of Deltora and Dolphin Diaries set from there and they were my most favorite series for a long time.
I watched the movie once, it didn’t strike me as very interesting or worth rewatching, so when I heard about there being an entire show series dedicated to the book series (honestly, Harry Potter should have had a television series instead of eight movies. Petition for Netflix to remake Harry Potter sometimes around 2030 or whenever the current franchise dies out) ahem, so when I heard about the Netflix series, I was really excited.
It started out great. I had read up a few reviews, like how people didn’t like the fact that Lemony Snicket was shown in the movie (he was mysterious in the books) but I really liked how the narration was handled, with him sometimes in the scene, sometimes in his own scene. The narration itself was fine too- kind of catchy actually! After watching a few episodes, you can’t help but pick up on the style. It’s very distinct and interesting, just like how it was in the books.
Other people said they didn’t like the visual aesthetics (like how Violet was generally dressed in bright colors while Klaus had toned down colors), but I honestly didn’t mind it. I think it reflected their personalities a lot. Klaus was the one who went through a lot more visible disturbance and despair regarding their situations while Violet was the one who kept trying to cheer him up and keep everyone together.
I’ll admit, Count Olaf was amusing with his dark sense of humor. Out of all of his accomplices, the hook-handed man stood out the most because of his expressions and his overall ‘comic relief’ type of characterization. He seemed like the chaotic neutral sort, pushed towards the evil spectrum because his boss is evil.
One thing I liked especially was the whole sequence with the two agents trying to get back to their kids. Since I hadn’t read the books recently (in fact, its been several years) I honestly forgot how things ended and what had actually happened. Because the whole sequence made it appear like the Baudelaire’s parents were alive, I had accepted it too (even though the show kept reminding me over and over- “nothing but horror and dismay”) so when we find out who they actually are, it was a real punch in the gut. I honestly felt sick and nauseous, and then even more so because I had thought something good would happen in the end.
And then I realized. I liked that twist. Even though it was so obvious, it was still a twist. Even though it was there in front of your eyes and the show reminded you over and over not to expect good endings, I still fell for it. I bet the real fans of A Series Of Unfortunate Events would brand me as a heretic xD but there we go, it caught me off guard.
I’m not sure what that says about me though! Does it means that I have an unreasonable optimism that things will always end well? I guess that’s a good thing- except for the fact that things don’t always end well and could in fact, end up breaking my heart (like how this show did).
Overall, I would give this show a rating of 5/5. Whenever I get time, I will definitely sit down and rewatch it, but with my siblings (because it’s that good! plus it’s kid friendly for the most part). So yes, I highly suggest that you go watch it as well if you haven’t! If you have watched it, did you like it? What did you feel about this new visualization of the book series? (And do you agree that Harry Potter should be relaunched similarly sometime in the future?). Have a nice day!