‘A Series Of Unfortunate Events’ Review Roundup: Refreshing Adaptation That’s True To The Books
Netflix’s take on the Lemony Snicket classic children’s book series A Series of Unfortunate Events is so true to the books, fans will love it. It helps that he actual author, Daniel Handler, adapted his work himself, wrote the scripts, and co-produced the show. Neil Patrick Harris stars as the evil Count Olaf, alongside Patrick Warburton as Snicket, and Malina Weissman, Louis Hynes and K. Todd Freeman as Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire.
A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS REVIEW ROUNDUP
“It looks fabulous, very Burtonesque. I enjoyed the big budget sets, the colours, the flying lizards and ironic serpents, Lake Lachrymose, inventive Violet’s amazing inventions, baby Sunny’s human lathe dental skills, and the appearance of Don Johnson (Don Johnson!) from my own childhood, owner of the Miserable Mill here. It’s smart and funny and fun. But – and this might have something to do with me not exactly being the target audience age – I never quite got lost in its world.”
–Sam Wollaston, The Guardian
“I regret to you inform you that what you are about to read is a positive review of some very terrible things… There are a fair number of reasons to enjoy Lemony Snicket’s mordant epic A Series Of Unfortunate Events, but arguably the most important would seem the greatest challenge to adapt into another medium: Snicket’s despairing deadpan narration. Daniel Handler’s nom de plume is the secret fifth lead of the series, a background figure whose mournful commentary provides much of the works humor and charm. This version makes the smart choice of making Snicket’s presence literal, putting Patrick Warburton front and center as the investigator and sole chronicler of the Baudelaire’s misfortune. Warburton introduces the episode, and provides gray color commentary throughout—and while none of the characters acknowledge his presence, having him wander through scenes is a terrific device that helps translate on the page into narration into something both visual and evocative.”
–Zack Handlen, A.V. Club
“One of the great delights of Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is the world-building, aided by stunning production design that translates the books to screen while adding new flourishes. It was never clear exactly when or where the story of the books takes place: The series is riddled with playful anachronisms, from the characters’ old-fashioned outfits to steampunk technology, and mixes real geographical references (Arizona, Peru, Winnipeg) with invented ones (Lake Lachrymose)…
“The rest of the show’s levity comes from the cast, who bring to life a script that lurches between bizarre and mundane…The difficulty of portraying Olaf lies in capturing the inherent ridiculousness of his character along with how frightening he is. Harris succeeds unevenly, but fills in the gaps with physical comedy, hilarious deadpanning, and scene-stealing theatricality. The actors who play the older Baudelaires, Wiessman and Hynes, are terrific and instantly likable, ably holding their own against more experienced actors.”
–Lenika Cruz, The Atlantic
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