‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’: The Series We Deserved All Along
Like other Netflix originals, “A Series of Unfortunate Events” has proven to be an instant hit, which is something we’ve come to expect from the streaming media service. Based on the bestselling books that came out in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, the show captures every aspect and intricate details from author Lemony Snicket’s novels. The accuracy in scenery to the portrayal of the characters will not disappoint both old and new fans alike.
The children’s story, being documented by Snicket (Patrick Warburton), tells the story through a series of flashbacks and paused scenes allowing Snicket to explain every situation, further driving the plot of the story.
The series follows the story of the Baudelaire orphans, Violet (Malina Weissman), Klaus (Louis Hynes) and Sunny (Presley Smith). After their parents perish in a mysterious fire, the children are placed in the care of their “uncle,” Count Olaf. He becomes the main villain in the story and is played by Neil Patrick Harris. When the children discover that Count Olaf is only after the enormous fortune left behind by their parents, they do everything they can to try to stop him. Unfortunately, he escapes before the authorities can capture him.
Each episode finds the children trying to escape the greedy clasp of Count Olaf. He disguises himself as a different person each time, fooling everyone in the story except for the children. Playing on the word “unfortunate” in the title, the cynical story consistently insists that it is a horrible tale to tell. The storyline doesn’t have a hard time keeping viewers on the edge of their seat with every episode.
The first season covers the first four books in the 13-book series. Each book is divided into two episodes, giving you eight episodes in total. The series has received high praise from critics and has even been deemed a better version than the 2004 film adaptation. Though the film grossed $209.1 million at the box office and won an Academy Award, Netflix seems to have captured the true essence of the books.
Filming took place in Vancouver from May to August 2016. Painted backdrops are used throughout the filming instead of green screens, not only to make it seem more realistic, but to let younger viewers have some imagination as to what’s in the background.
There were concerns, however, about Warburton portraying Snicket due to his past films. He is well-known for his comedic role as Kronk in “The Emperor’s New Groove,” which is a vastly different character than Snicket. Fortunately, Warburton nailed the role and was successful in giving his own flair to the author.
Another thing that has stood out to viewers is how the adults are portrayed throughout the series. They appear as incompetent, uncaring and even stupid, which infuriated many people. If anything, it sheds light on how many adults in real life treat children, such as barely listening to them. The slant makes it even more relatable for younger viewers.
With a 92 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, each episode is as suspenseful as before. Netflix was able to produce a hit and stick to the feelings that the books inspired over 15 years ago, an admirable feat which is rare in the cinematography world. Season 2 is expected to cover the next four books in the series, as the first season left audiences with quite the cliffhanger. For both new and old fans, “A Series of Unfortunate Events” is worth binge watching or taking it slow, and is a nostalgic tribute to the popular book series.