Warning…The article before you may contain spoilers…Reader discretion is advised
While Lemony Snicket will always have the voice of Tim Curry (pre-stroke) in my head from the audio book series, that’s no reason not to try the unlucky premier of Netflix’s Series of Unfortunate Events. The extreme colors and striking camera angles that made us enjoy the 2004 film version are not lost in this new series which has an artistic Pushing Daisies whimsy feel. I’m sure if you’re a fan of the books you’re a bit apprehensive to the role of Count Olaf switching from Jim Carrey –who was perfect- to Neil Patrick Harris. But there’s nothing to fear, I can assure you this series isn’t a horrible mistake.
It’s unfortunate that the film which was perfectly cast made such Hollywood mistakes of plot faux pas, so another attempt is more than warrant. Especially now that all the books and plot twists have been published Netflix manages to stay amazingly true to the text.
There’s many dissuasions not to watch the series by Lemony Snicket himself (played by Patrick Warburton) but none from me. I say enjoy the hidden gems tucked in the background as one of the darkest children’s texts comes to life. There’s loads of disguises, antics with the frustration for children wanting to be taken seriously by adults and wordplay. Oh the wordplay, a term here which refers to a use of vocabulary that is beyond the usual intelligence. The use of language is by far the best part of this show.
But just like all book adaptations. There are some issues. First being that it ends after only eight episodes with each book in the series getting two episodes this means we hardly get half way through the story. But I suppose that’s not really an issue so much as a complaint that Netflix wants to keep us dangling a bit longer.
My major criticism is the heavy use of the eye symbol. While the eye is an important and prominent symbol surrounding Count Olaf and the mystery that the Baudelaire orphans journey to solve, it comes to their attention much too soon and much too often before Olaf even makes his first appearance.
A lesser criticism is the music. Oh, but that’s one thing the 2004 film did so well, the music was eerie and playful like the story and Daniel Handler himself. But what is with that intro song NPH is yammering in the opening credits? If you can muddle through that ear-splitting flop at a Shakespearian device and are still sitting when Lemony tells you to choose a different show for your weekend well then, you’re in for a good time.
Overall I find our fears of failure for this Netflix feature are founded without fact. What’s more I will be rewatching this for all the hidden secretes I can spy throughout this series.