A series of Unfortunate Events: Have Netflix found themselves some puttanesca or roast beef?

For those of you who understood that reference…Well done.

A series of Unfortunate events by Lemony Snicket is one of the greatest series of children’s novels of all time. They were sad stories about three wealthy orphans who are pursued by a tattooed cad hell-bent on stealing their immense fortune. The books are wonderful tales that taught myself and many children around the globe humour and important grammatical lessons whilst weaving a tale of woe. Snicket’s books were an intelligent blend that should have been successful like all young adult books on the big screen. They tried, they failed. And with Netflix picking up where Paramount left off, are they the right company to take the tale of the Baudelaire orphans to the tv screen?

The series is in good hands with Netflix. They are a passionate company who clearly care for the plight of the Baudelaire’s as much as the fans do.

The books being represented as a TV show is an idea I welcome. There are 13 books in total. Cramming 13 books into one or two movies? In the words of Tony Stark from Marvel’s Avengers Assemble (2012) “Not a great plan.” Even if 3 films are made. You still have to condense every aspect of each book down and cut so much. Harry Potter missed out the castle’s ghost’s Death Day parties and characters like Peeves, Charlie Weasley and the son of Reemus Lupin, Teddy. The Hunger Games missed out the Avoxes in the first two films before shoehorning them in due to fan backlash. Game of Thrones killed off Jojan Reed and he’s still alive in the books. TV shows just like movies have to leave out massive points if it changes the tone of the movie or they just don’t have time to include them all. Personally, I don’t want to see anything left out. I want to see Violet make the Grappling hook, I want to see them stay at Mr. Poe’s home directly after the fire, I want to see Violet sign the marriage certificate using her left hand without Count Olaf realizing, I want to see so much more than the previous film offered us.

The trailers look fantastic. They’ve got the gothic look and feel of the books spot on.

The most thing that all those who saw the movie want to see in this series, is genuinely scary Count Olaf. Jim Carrey’s performance was enjoyable. He’s an extremely enjoyable comedic actor who has probably past his best. Need I remind you of Dumb and Dumber To?  He captured the hilarity of Olaf’s character. But he was just not scary. Count Olaf has haunted the dreams of children for years. The scariest thing he did in the movie was slap Klaus. He wasn’t a villain he was more of a weird guy who had bad intentions. There was a deleted scene where Carrey’s Olaf actually kicked the children’s pasta puttanesca off the table which should have been in the movie as it actually was an evil moment. Compare that with Carrey’s Dinosaur impression during the movie. The trailer has shown moments of humour from Neil Patrick Harris’s Olaf interpretation. One line that stands out is when he asks the children as what he is holding. Their response is “It’s a list,” only to be bluntly told by Olaf “Wrong. It’s a list.” But there are other moments we see such as his disguise in the second book, Stephano the Italian Man, menacingly chasing the children through the maze actually looks terrifying. I’d rather watch that a thousand times than Olaf being a dick in a shop near a train track waiting for the train to unsuccessfully crash into the car.

The trailers look fantastic. They’ve got the gothic look and feel of the books spot on. The story of the upcoming series actually surpasses that of the first 3 books unlike the movie. It’ll be fantastic to witness the Miserable Mill; The Austere Academy and I even witnessed what looked like bits of the Ersatz Elevator. Fans of the series haven’t seen this places come to life bar the wonderful drawings in the novels themselves. Each book will have two episodes to weave each story. This is what fans are crying out for. Movies would gloss over so much content and by having two episodes per book it allows each detail to be portrayed correctly. Patrick Warburton, the voice of Joe Swanson in Family Guy, will be playing Lemony Snicket. I think it’s a good sign that Netflix will be adding Lemony’s voiceover and narration throughout the show just like in the books. The wry humour yet serious tone of Snicker in the books encouraged the audience to realize that the Baudelaire’s plight is as worse than first thought with his emotive description of events.

The series is in good hands with Netflix. They are a passionate company who clearly care for the plight of the Baudelaire’s as much as the fans do. It will be massively more impressive than the movie and will not only capture the hearts of fans but will bring those who aren’t aware of the perilous plight of the orphans Baudelaire. Perilous is a word which here means, chased by a deluded, shoddy actor hell-bent on stealing their fortune. One thing I’d like to take care of is to not cut out a lot of the books I believe that every detail is necessary in weaving this woeful tale. The casting choice seems appropriate and I know deep down this will do well if they stick to the books. Only time will tell.




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