Not to brag, but as a child I was lucky enough to have the whole Series of Unfortunate Events book set in hard cover. Those page-turners taught me tons of new words and concepts and overall matured my reading level. So I am and have always been a major fan.
The alliteration of the titles, the sarcasm, the feeling of not being treated like a child by the author (it’s a thing, trust me) made these books perfect for me. I was always a mature reader, but it was difficult to find an appropriate read that didn’t insult my intelligence. Hopefully, I’m not the only one who feels this way.
(Although completely off-topic, I want to also add that any parents who thought these unfortunate events are too unfortunate for children are seriously over-protective. These stories can give children nightmares only if they were the slightest bit realistic. But they are not, and they never will be, even to gullible children. I, a very gullible child, could not believe that the grown adults in the story couldn’t see right through Count Olaf’s countless awful disguises. But I digress.)
Anyway, when I heard that they were making a movie out of it in 2004, I was more than excited. I thought there were going to be 13 movies to enjoy, starring Jim Carrey who was my favorite actor at the time. It was going to be the best thing that ever happened in my short life.
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What I got was about three of the books scrunched up into one movie. The comedy was there, the sarcasm, the…unfortunate-ness. But there was so much missing from the film, as is what always happens when Hollywood foolishly tries to shove tons of amazing content into a 2-hour movie. Although, they couldn’t have made billions of more dollars on the creation of 13 individual movies that isolated each book in all their greatness.
Alas, we were stuck with it, until now. Netflix, as they did with The Little Prince, took something from my childhood and resolved to turn it into something half watchable. They took A Series of Unfortunate Events and turned it into…well, an actual series of unfortunate events.
I’m only a rookie binge-watcher, as I get quite sad when I watch things too quickly and have nothing left to consume my time. It’s the same feeling I get when I finish a particularly delightful book. So I have just finished the second episode.
So far, so good. There a lot more details that I craved from the movie included in Netflix’s rendition. However, it only took two episodes to breeze through the contents of the first book of the series! At 13 books and two episodes per book, we may see 26 episodes at max. I’m not sure about anyone else – and I am also not sure if my crazy is showing with how much I care about this – but I would be left wanting more if 26 episodes is all this rendition of The Series of Unfortunate Events has to offer. Perhaps, as a child, the books seemed much longer than they really are.
As always, adult jokes have been added to appeal to the current adults watching. An example of something so “adult”, it shocked me: “Say your prayers, unless you’re atheist.” (said by the hook-handed henchman). Of course, children wouldn’t understand this – it may, in fact, elicit unwanted questions: “Mom, what’s atheist?”. That, among other seriously mature insinuations (including the reaction of the adults when Count Olaf revealed his intent to marry Violet for real), made this just like many of the other children-intended stories/films (it is PG, after all).
Keep an eye out for an update if my opinions change. I’m only two episodes in, as I said. I will also update if I should ever get over my obsession with movies being exactly like their books (which is never).
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