‘This show will wreck your evening, your homelife and your day. Every single episode is nothing but dismay!’ is what the audience is told in the catchy opening sequence to Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, and the show has proven to be a timely adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s famous book series.
The story follows the turbulent lives of the Baudelaire orphans, Violet (Malina Weissman), Klaus (Louis Hynes) and Sunny (Presley Smith) as they attempt to flee the villainous Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris) whilst uncovering the mystery of their parents’ lives and the secret organisation known as V.F.D.
The wordplay, slyness and wit of the books translates brilliantly to the show. Each book is adapted into two episodes, allowing the audience to fully enjoy the topsy-turvy world that the Baudelaire children find themselves in. The young actors deliver heartfelt and charming performances and Harris is delightful as the pantomime-like villain as he dons several ridiculous disguises in an attempt to steal the Baudelaire fortune. This is all narrated by the hilariously dry-humoured, fourth-wall breaking Lemony Snicket (Patrick Warburton).
Throughout the three seasons, the show incorporates the perfect mix of horror and comedy, making it both suspenseful and wickedly fun. The show drips with atmosphere and the inventive set designs of Lake Lachrymose, Prufrock Prep and Caligari Carnival.
Whilst whimsical and humorous, the series also delivers some beautiful, tender moments between the Baudelaire family and is honest about the harsh trials that children sometimes face in life. The talent and enthusiasm of the storytellers and actors make A Series of Unfortunate Events an entertaining watch. It’s full of visual artistry, well-developed main and side characters and is a wonderful, loyal adaptation of Snicket’s beloved books that lives up to the hopes of long-time fans. You won’t want to look away.