A Series of Unfortunate Events is Netflix's take on the fantastic book series that follows the miserable lives of the Baudelaire orphans on their many woeful tales. I don't particularly read often as I'm too busy, but this was one series I've always loved and I hope that brings some extra context when writing this review as I come from the background of folks that know the literature. In season one they've split each book that's covered into two 50 minute episodes. This is actually a perfect format so far as each book has been adapted exactly from the pages with some side improvements as well. The first season covers; The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, The Wide Window and The Miserable Mill. Things start off by quickly explaining the skills that each of the orphans present in a fashion that feels almost Wes Anderson esque if only toned with the melancholy of a Tim Burton film. The story focuses on the three orphans, but also is heavily narrated and guided by Lemony Snicket (Patrick Warburton). This is great as it helps to explore various literary topics while also providing more context for scenes. Warburton is just perfect for this role and I never thought his performance would be so excellent.
When it comes to the orphans we have Violet (Malina Weissman), Klaus (Louis Hynes) and Sunny which is a baby. Violet is incredibly smart and gifted when it comes to inventing. Klaus is also highly intelligent though towards discovering things and a gifted reader. Sunny also shows some signs of higher knowledge though her skill is sharp teeth that bite anything. The orphans were actually exactly how I imagined them from reading and it'll be great to see them age with their book characters over a few seasons. I also found the casting for their guardians and relatives to be fantastic, with each beautifully bringing the characters to life. I particularly loved Aasif Mandvi as Monty and Sara Canning as Jacquelyn. I've also saved the best for last with Count Olaf being played by Neil Patrick Harris and he absolutely killed it. The character had a fantastic balance between being purely sinsister and comedic while also giving a musical spin to it which was appreciated.
I could probably go on forever when discussing this series as it's one of my favorites and with that in mind this Netflix take captures A Series of Unfortunate Events excellently. The cast is perfect with the orphans coming alive, the extra bits of added story helped flesh out future characters and Neil Patrick Harris is a great Count Olaf. The show also brings each iconic location to life though in a bit odd of a way. I was initially slightly put off by the CGI as it can be glaring at times, but grew an appreciation of it over the course of the season. It eventually felt more natural in creating this type of book world where it's supposed to have almost digital extremes. That aside, I can't wait to see more in the future and this is another must watch Netflix series. There were some great musical elements, the meta jokes were hilarious and it stayed faithful to the source material which I appreciate.
Review for A Series of Unfortunate Events at Home with Streamed Viewing