‘Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events’

‘Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events’ [Review]

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Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

The first season of the Netflix original “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” aired on Jan. 13, 2017. The American drama series was adapted from the children books of the same name by Lemony Snicket, which is the pen name of the novelist Daniel Handler. The first season is an eight-episode run that follows the first four books of the series.

The first season came out on Friday the thirteenth, 13 years since the film adaptation of “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events,” which coincidentally has 13 books. The eight-episode run, which follows the first four books of the series, aired solely on Netflix.

The show stars Neil Patrick Harris, as Count Olaf; Malina Weissman, as Violet Baudelaire; Presley Smith, as Sunny Baudelaire; and Louis Hynes, as Klaus Baudelaire. As in the movie, “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events,” Count Olaf is a greedy, manipulative, mean man, who is only after the Baudelaire children’s fortune. Unlike the movie, the television series is slow and very hard to watch.

There are mixed reviews on the television series “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.” A writer from Digital Spy named, Tom Eames, feels that “movies aren’t always the best way to bring books to life.” He also feels thankful to Netflix for bringing back the haunting children’s stories.

Netflix’s “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” review: Don’t let the Jim Carrey movie put you off, this is worth your time.

Eames could not be further from the truth. The new adaptation of the “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” is slow-paced, boring, and characters seem lost and out of synch with one another. On the other side of the spectrum, writer Caroline Franke vehemently disagrees and feels that the new series on Netflix is:

“Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” [is] divorced from the original source material that inspired it.

Consequently, Franke’s take on the new Netflix series hits closer to home. Fans will feel unpleasantly, unsatisfied with the series, “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” adaptation from film to television.

The Children’s Book-to-Film Franchise

The Harry Potter series dominated the children’s book-to-film franchise in the early 2000s. It was not clear whether this was a single phenomenon or if it was the beginning of a new trend. With the success of Harry Potter movie, studios were keen to replicate the blockbuster hit with other children’s books that had yet to exist.

This included “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events,” by Handler. Before the books even came to exist, they were optioned for the movies. In 2004 Handler said:

The books were optioned for the movies before they were published. I honestly didn’t think anything was going to happen with these books and I certainly didn’t think anything was going to happen in terms of a movie.

“Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events,” along with other children’s book-to-films like “The Golden Compass” and “The Seeker,” was meant to be the first in a series. Unfortunately, the films never gained enough momentum, or box office revenue, to continue.

‘Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events,’ Pros & Cons

Every television show or movie have good and bad features, and every one of them also has fans who absolutely love it and naysayers who bash it into oblivion. “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” is no different.

Cons

  1. The shows pacing and tone are way off.
  2. “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” characters seem to think they are on different shows.
  3. The loose pattern of the series becomes an annoying loop.
  4. Episodes range from 40 minutes to over an hour.

Pros

  1. “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” does look or feel like anything else on television.
  2. The best acting comes from side characters like Justice Strauss Played by Joan Cusack and Aunt Josephine played by Alfre Woodard.
  3. The Gothic sets.

However, if fans have read the books “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” they may have more admiration for the television series than the film. This is because the movie did not closely follow the books, due to Handler being removed from the scriptwriting process.

It is said that the movie “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” went through a crisis during production because, the original director, Barry Sonnenfeld, was either fired or quit, it is not clear what happened. That said, Handler stated he was disappointed in the movie because little of what he wrote was in the final product.

Opinion by Tracy Blake

Sources:

Vox: Netflix’s take on Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events embraces weirdness, and not much else
A.V. Club: A Series Of Unfortunate Events goes to a lumber mill and loses the forest for the trees
NewsStatesman: How A Series Of Unfortunate Events went from a children’s book to a postmodern masterpiece

Image Courtesy of Cameron Evans’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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