Fortunate for the unfortunate


The Mirror reporter

Ordinarily, you will come across tv shows and movies in which there is a problem that turns into a happy ending, but that is not the case with Series of Unfortunate Events. The name really is quite self-explanatory.


The show is based on a novel series of the same name and is written by Lemony Snicket. Starring Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Warburton, Malina Weissman, Louis Hynes, K. Todd Freeman, and Presley Smith, the first season of the show consists of eight episodes which correlate with the first four books of the series. As you view the show, you will watch as the Baudelaire children are placed into the care of a distant relative Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris) who is determined to claim the Baudelaire family fortune. When Count Olaf’s plan to claim their fortune fails, the children are sent to the homes of relatives they’ve never heard of, on a quest to find out more about their parents’ past.

While first viewing this tv show, Warburton who is narrating as Lemony Snicket, sets the tone of the series describing the story of the children as misfortunate, miserable, and full of despair. As you continue to view the series you will see that, in fact, the children are never given happiness. Warburton, who is many times seen in comedic films, is uniquely brought into every episode coming across as blunt and sinister in a slightly humorous way. The snippets of the show that Warburton narrates also contain a visually satisfying aspect to the series, simply because his words are also seen as visuals in the background.

Not only is there a tv show, but the 2004 film of Series of Unfortunate Events (starring Jim Carrey) is also based off of the books. While the movie seems to cover the bases for how the book went, moving faster and covering much more in so little time, I feel that the tv show has the depth of what the book deserved because of the slower pace. I am very pleased with the eccentricity of each of the characters in the show and feel it was a perfect balance of dark and amusing, unlike the movie which has more of an emotional and significantly dark feel to it. Both Carrey and Harris use their amazing and unique talent to construct the character of Count Olaf in their own ways, but I feel Harris does a better job of it. But all in all, I feel the tv series best captured the book and its story and was able to have a greater development of characters.

At first, I was unsure of how Harris would be able to take on the role of Count Olaf, but his more serious and less silly sense of humor (like Carrey) is just what Series of Unfortunate Events needed to encompass his character best. Other characters such as Violet (Weissman) and Klaus (Hynes) provide the viewers a tasteful representation of what Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) wanted the roles to be. I find that I have no complaints with any of the characters other than spending too much time becoming attached to the development of them. The Baudelaire children’s impressive intelligence makes the episodes irresistible.

While still faithful to the Lemony Snicket vision, I believe the series created its own vision giving a “cartoony” feel and exaggerated details. The perfectly crafted lines of the tv series create a charm in which catches the viewer’s attention and the mysterious ending to each episode will keep you on the edge of your seat. I would highly recommend anyone to watch the tv show version of Series of Unfortunate Events.