The Netflix adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events successfully aired three seasons from 2017 to 2019, offering a new dynamic to Lemony Snicket’s classic books through a gripping visual representation of the unexpected twist and turns that the Baudelaire children are forced to encounter.
Mark Hudis and Barry Sonnenfeld exploit the sinister elements of the original stories, relying on the uniquely abnormal quality of the narrative to power the ominous mise-en-scène of the show and the never-ending misadventures of the characters. The drama adopts black comedy in order to heighten this malevolent ambience, emphasising the ‘unfortunate’ lives of the Baudelaire’s and evoking sympathy from the viewers, strengthening the relationship between the protagonists and the audience. The ironic comedy also allows the series to abandon the childish connotations associated with the books and display a darker rendition of the tales, reaching out to a slightly more sophisticated watcher and creating an alternative perception to Snicket’s originally innocent motives.
The bond presented between the siblings is realistic and relatable, their compassion towards one another and their instinct to protect what remains of their family installs sympathy and care within the audience
In addition to the television programme been critically acclaimed for its excellent production and scripts, the cast have also been praised for making the directors’ ambitions a rewarding reality. The ingenious addition of establishing the narrator of the events in the show as a representation of Lemony Snicket not only makes the storyline more comprehensive for the viewer, but respects and pays tribute to the original inventor of the fantasy. The actors of the Baudelaire children were, as expected, children themselves; the impressive talent shown at their young ages, particularly within the first season, sets the precedent of the show and enables a captivating performance of the three main protagonists. The bond presented between the siblings is realistic and relatable, their compassion towards one another and their instinct to protect what remains of their family installs sympathy and care within the audience, creating an emotional connection between the two.
Furthermore, the villainous Count Olaf is performed by the sublime Neil Patrick Harris. Harris delves into the epicentre of the persona that he is required to invent; as a result, he offers an outstanding interpretation of Snicket’s fortune driven criminal. It is now almost impossible to imagine an alternative actor to deliver a performance as captivating and believable as Harris – the perfect creator of the narcissistic mastermind who dominates the events at the heart of the drama.
In essence, although A Series of Unfortunate Events has unfortunately concluded, it is definitely an excellent creation which deserves a watch.
Last modified: 10th February 2020