TV series review: A Series of Unfortunate Events

When I was a little girl I devoured about half of the books in A Series of Unfortunate Events, apparently written by a mysterious author known as Lemony Snicket. Somehow, when the film was made with Jim Carey I never quite got around to seeing it, although I did once catch part of it in Spanish during a family holiday, I’m not sure that really counts.

On the other hand, P loved the film and still considers it one of Carey’s best and, while he never read the book, he was tentatively looking forward to the new Netflix series with Neil Patrick Harris reasoning that the story was so good that even if NPH didn’t do quite as good a job as Carey did as the villain, Count Olaf, it would still be worth a watch.

Neil Patrick Harris, playing Count Olaf, playing Stefano in episode 4 of A Series of Unfortunate Events – The Reptile Room part 2

I may have mentioned before that I’m not great at watching TV. I find it hard to make the time for more than an episode or two of something in any given week and when IΒ do sit down to watch something, I’m usually up again after a few minutes to do something else. Somehow, though, we managed to watch all 8 episodes in about a week and a half. That has to be a record for me.

It happened because they’re hilarious. I didn’t previously really consider ASoUE as being true comedy but it turns out that I was absolutely wrong. NPH is amazing as Count Olaf, even more so when he’s playing Count Olaf in disguise as some other baddie (I particularly loved Stefano). Meanwhile, the rest of the cast does a similarly wonderful job, with Patrick Warburton playing a brilliantly deadpan Lemony Snicket and K Todd Freeman doing a great job as the incompetent banker, Mr Poe.

The series gives two episodes to each of the books and finishes up at the end of what would be The Miserable Mill, seeing the orphaned Baudelaire children off at the beginning of the Austere Academy. The best thing about this structure is that it rather promises at least two more series, assuming they all get 8 episodes since originally there were 13 books. Since I only read the first 5 or 6 of these, I’m very intrigued to see what will happen next.


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