Netflix Review: ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’


After a late night, there is nothing more relaxing than curling up on the couch with a poodle curled next to me watching something random on Netflix. The most recent thing that I found and enjoyed with my family is a television show called ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events.’ I grew up with the books as a kid so it is interesting to see how a different set of eyes brought this classic tale to life. The thirteen-book series was perfect for a bright eyed, middle school student who loved to read and thought that the books brought about a different world where troubles happened to other people and not to others. This same middle school student remembers nights spent wondering what is going to happen next in the books, and anxiously could not wait for the next visit to the library to get the next book, or even when the book fairs would roll around she was perusing the shelves for the next book in the series.

Then back in 2004, the most amazing thing happened. A movie was released for the book series, then to quote the fictional Lemony Snicket (the books are written by a gentleman by the name of David Handler), “Deciding whether or not to trust a person [or a movie] is like deciding whether or not to climb a tree because you might get a wonderful view from the highest branch or you might simply get covered in sap and for this reason many people choose to spend their time alone and indoors where it is harder to get a splinter.” The movie was new and exciting but in many ways we just ended up covered in sap because Jim Carrey treated the movie as a farce. For those who do not know the definition of a farce it is, “a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and typically including crude characterization and ludicrously improbable situations” or “an absurd event.” The movie was a farce in every sense of the word.

When the new series on Netflix was announced, I was generally curious to see how Netflix would mess this up, long story short they did not screw anything up. When I finally was able to catch the series after it premiered this last January, I was floored on how good the series became with just a few changes, as well as sticking to the books. Neil Patrick Harris, known for his numerous roles on Broadway, became Count Olaf and stuck with the seriousness when needed, and kept the silly to when it was needed with most of the supporting cast providing the humor in the series.

This series would be recommended for upper elementary school and up due to numerous deaths in the show, as is the case, and lots of misfortunate befalling the Baudelaire orphans. Otherwise from what I have seen it is a great show, and what helps the show immensely is that the original writer for the book series is writing the script on the Netflix original.

However like any great show it brings plot twists in and shows the realistic world where not everything good happens to people in our society. It shows that even if you have everything going good for you, somewhere along the way, we are just waiting for the other shoe to drop. A phrase which here means, we are waiting for something bad to happen. So as Lemony Snicket, likes to remind us numerous times throughout the show, “At times the world may seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough, and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may in fact be the first steps of a journey.” So tonight enjoy your time with your family and watch the series with your older kids, after all we all are living in a world with a series of unfortunate events every day.

Author: Courtney Swessinger

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