‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ is the Series We Deserved All Along
Fatima Rivera | Contributing Writer
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 channel. 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 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 the talented 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 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 in the box office and won an Academy Award, Netflix seems to have captured the true essence of the books.
Filming took place in Vancouver, Canada from May 2016 to August 2016. The producers decided to use painted backdrops throughout the show instead of green screen filming to not only make it more realistic but to let younger viewers have some imagination on what’s there in the background as they pointed out that they intentionally left blank areas in the backdrop for that purpose. The writers had complications in how they wanted to go with the show, since the movie had set a choppy, incohesive, precedent; executives decided to give them creative freedom where they set it as a book series rather than a t.v show. With that, they were able to explain each book more thoroughly than movie.
The children’s story is being documented by Lemony Snicket (Patrick Warburton), the author of the books. He tells the story through a series of flashbacks and paused scenes, so that Snicket can explain every situation and further drive the plot of the story.
There were concerns about Warburton portraying Snicket, however, 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% 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 to continue the style they have going on, since the first season ended with a reasonable 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.