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A Series of Unfortuate Events: Review

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at ECU chapter.

I have the misfortune of recording these events exactly as they occur. Unfortunately, they aren’t even worth the breath. I’ve been endlessly confused when reading reviews of the new Netflix original TV show, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and seen that it’s actually been praised and considered entertaining. Recieving a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.2 on IMDb, “Enjoyably dark, A Series of Unfortunate Events matches the source material’s narrative as well as its tone, leaving viewers with a wonderfully weird, dry, gothic comedy,” is not exactly how I would describe it. I put myself through all 8 of these awful and ridiculous episodes so that you don’t have to. If you decide to start watching and you hear the opening theme song, listen to it and take its advice: look away. 

Despite all the hype about this since Netflix announced they would be doing their own adaption of this book series, it clearly did not live up to the excitement. Considering the strong cast that the series developers, Mark Hudis and Barry Sonnenfeld, had under their belt you would think the show would prove to be much more entertaining. Neil Patrick Harris’s character was nothing like Jim Carrey’s take on Count Olaf in 2004, and K. Todd Freeman’s character, Mr. Poe, can’t even be considered funny because you’re too busy annoyed by the amount of times he gives you a vocabulary lesson. Speaking from a fan who read all the books, I hated this series from the very first episode. The minute NPH broke out in song with his groupies, I was a little skeptical. But they’re supposed to be horrible so I gave it the benefit of the doubt and continued. But things got more and more ridiculous and then at the end of the Bad Beginning they revealed the fact that their parents are alive and the telescopes came into the picture. Too many things are revealed and it takes a lot of the mystery out of the series.

I will praise Netflix’s version of this story for including Lemony Snicket (Peter Warburton) as a character and giving him personal narrations. It adds an interesting perspective that at first I questioned, but by the end you come to appreciate. Until he suddently bursts out in song during the last 2 minutes of the Miserable Mill… That was when I knew I wouldn’t even attempt to watch season two. I only continued watching this series because the child in me kept hoping Lemony Snicket would pop out and say, “Just kidding, this isn’t the real show. Here’s the actual version, the wonderful version that people are talking about.” I just kept hoping that something in it would get better and make it worth watching. But that never happened so I’m just left confused as to why anyone, especially someone who read the books, would enjoy watching this. I know that the horrible circumstances of the Baudelaire children is supposed to be bad, but I didnt think the actual show would be so unfortuately portrayed on screen with terrible acting and terrible music.

Born and raised in Fayetteville, NC, but Ocean Isle Beach is closer to my heart. I'm an East Carolina University sophomore and a passionate English and Creative writing major.