Last week Netflix premiered an eight part series adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’
The story follows Baudelaire children Violet, Klaus and Sunny following their parents sudden deaths as they endeavour to uncover the truth behind their parents tragic end whilst attempting to avoid Count Olaf’s grasps as he makes a play for their substantial inheritance.
Whilst the series stays faithful to the original adaptations, it sets itself apart through it’s cartoonist contrast between good and evil, presented through the use of colour and theatrics.
Taking its time to tell the story, unlike it’s full screen predecessor, A Series of Unfortunate Events perfectly encapsulates the novels tone by creating a universe that delicately hangs between fairy-tale and nightmare. Despite this, the new Netflix series edges away from the dark, serious and emotive tones that were heavily favoured in the full screen adaptation in favour of a colourful, lighthearted and playful depiction, perhaps to appeal to a more youthful audience.
Malina Weissman and Louis Hynes were Netflix’s casting choice for 2017s shiny new Violet and Klaus. Unfortunately this casting choice falls flat on its face in comparison to Emily Browning and Liam Aikens previous outstanding depictions. The Baudelaire children seem better suited to a gawky pre-teen sitcom but have instead somehow stumbled into Lemony Snickets fantasy world; the only thing unfortunate about this series of events is their lame acting.
However this is easily made up for with Neil Patrick Harris’ portrayal of Count Olaf. Taking the role on as his own, he perfectly executes the sub par script, creating a mesmerising and comedic performance whilst still retaining the qualities that make us both love and hate Olaf.
His all singing and dancing act fits in perfectly with Patrick Warburtons portrayal of Lemony Snicket. The contrast between Olaf’s ostentatious behaviour and Snickets dark and serious narrative tones creates the perfect comedic relief.
This adaptation is perfect for those who are both familiar or unfamiliar with the franchise, adding in some extra twists and turns, lovers of the 14 part book series will delight at being able to see it carefully played out on screen, whilst still experiencing something new.