A Series of Unfortunate Events stays True to the Book Series
“Look away, look away,” for the unfortunate twisted tale of the Baudelaire orphans premiered on January Friday the 13th.
Netflix’s adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events accurately captures the children’s book series, giving a refreshing nostalgic feel.
Except it’s hard to look away as one is captivated by Netflix’s clear dedication and promise to provide in depth coverage of the book series.
Netflix is known for creating hour long episodes and this benefits their adaptation very well.
This show, unlike the 2004 movie adaption, is not afraid of quoting the book verbatim. Much of the dialog comes straight from the book and they made sure to keep key motifs and themes that the series and each book covers.
The movie itself tried to forced three books and their own plot twist to the series. Their murky interpretation of the series as well as a rushed plotline earned them a low rating. Yet Netflix decided to move on forward with a calm, thorough production. Their dedication to their audience truly shines through this series.
Most notable are the interesting casting decisions Netflix took. Casting Neil Patrick Harrison as the tall, unibrow laden, wrecked Count Olaf and the hefty Patrick Warburton as Lemony Snicket, the narrator of the series. Harrison doesn’t fail at portraying the greedy, almost childish yet evil Joker like villain. With Olaf’s passion of theatrical performance, sarcasm and sadism it’s clear Harrison is having fun with the role. Warburton in the other hand portrays the gloomy, pessimistic investigator with his grave voice and serious expression. A serious man, for a serious role.
They made sure to avoid an all-white cast. The movie showed us the world of the Baudelaire orphans through the eyes of an all-white society. Aunt Josephine, a paranoid, phobia stricken woman was portrayed by Meryl Streep. Yet the show casted Alfre Woodard, known for playing Miriam in Captain America: Civil War. Their decision of including African American roles are welcomed. As well as portraying the owners of the Lucky Smells Woodmill, Charles and Sir as having a relationship. Netflix continues to push on forward with progressive ideals and the occasional references to our modern society.
There are times the adaptation does a better job at explaining certain technicalities the books failed to clarify. Such as how Olaf and his minions were able to escape a packed theater in a brief blackout. Or the reason behind why Uncle Monty wanted to take the Baudelaire orphans to Peru.
From the get-go we encounter references to “VFD”, a secret society, and a spyglass with cryptographic capabilities. Snicket pushed the introduction of VFD later in the book series. But the adaptation’s decision to introduce members of this society early on, allows for clarification of the book series as a whole.
The adaptation refuses to omit even the faintest detail. Look away to solve the seemingly impossible message. Look away to read the series. Look away to give them five stars.