The Netflix original series based on the Lemony Snicket book series was released on Friday the 13th. The 8 episode season, consisting of 4 sections each with two parts, follows the unfortunate events that plague the three Baudelaire children, Violet, Klaus and Sunny, following the death of their parents.
Lemony Snicket is both the author of the books and the narrator of the story. He warns the audience from the beginning that you should immediately stop watching the show and that there are no happy endings. The title song even urges you to look away.
Neil Patrick Harris plays Count Olaf, an awful man trying to get his hands on the fortune that was left to the Baudelaire’s by their parents. He is the children’s first guardian following their parents death and continues to make their lives miserable even after they have escaped his care. He creates many different identities and disguises to be able to gain access to the children’s lives, my favourite being his portrayal of a female receptionist. Neil Patrick Harris does an excellent job of creating and portraying these different characters and switching between them.
The series recreates the story from the first four novels. This is similar to the movie released in 2004. The movie, however, only covers the first three novels. I presume that the reason they chose to cover the additional events in the series was to give fans of the movie something extra to enjoy.
The story is rather ridiculous with an inordinate amount of unfortunate events occurring to the group of orphans. The occasional interruption from the narrator, urging you to stop watching and explaining the meanings of words, simply add to ridiculousness. The show also implies connections to some form of secret society or spy organisation although has not yet revealed much about the connections being formed.
Below is my favourite trailer released for the show.