Unfortunate Events becomes fortunate series


Cover for new Netflix series “A Series of Unfortunate Events” released on Jan. 13.

Ahilyn Aguilar, New's Editor

In the first minutes of the new Netflix’s series A Series of Unfortunate Events, the audience is warned to look away and watch a show more pleasant; within 10 minutes, however, taking Lemony Snicket’s advice seems impossible.

A Series of Unfortunate Events is based on a 13-part book series written by Daniel Handler under the pen name Lemony Snicket, but the show focuses on four books in the series: The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, The Wide Window and The Miserable Mill. Despite only eight episodes, creator Mark Hudis managed to bring every page of the books back to life.

A Series of Unfortunate Events tells the fittingly unfortunate story of the Baudelaire siblings, Violet, Klaus and Sunny, and what happens after their parents’ death in a house fire. The orphans move from one guardian to another, all while trying to escape the clutches of the evil Count Olaf (played beautifully by Neil Patrick Harris), a man set on acquiring the Baudelaires’ immense fortune.

From the start of the show, the viewers can appreciate the show’s scenery, which varies throughout the series. The scenery goes from a dark, gothic castle, to a flowery and colorful garden to a dirty industrial mill. All conveying the show’s tone as the events the Baudelaires’ go through occur.

The show’s title’s meaning is first seen by the audience during the opening credits, warning the audience of all the tragic events that the Baudelaire orphans will go through. The show also brings its audience unique storytelling and narration through the voice of Snicket, played by Patrick Warburton, who brings snide comments with dry humor as the unfortunate events occur.

Hudis accomplished the difficult task of balancing the show’s tragic plot with outstanding visuals and memorable humor, yet it still allows time for the losses the characters suffer to sink in. This dreadful and melancholic series bonds with its teenage audience by capturing that childhood frustration of being looked down on by adults, making it easy for the audience to develop a strong link between the siblings and their emotions.

As Snicket warns the audience in this show, “There is no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in the middle.” Despite this, the show’s tiny but meaningful details, like the bond between the Baudelaire siblings, bring the feeling of happiness and comfort despite the misfortunes. While going from house to house, the siblings find strength on each other and help each other out, the bond between the Baudelaire is especially seen during their stay at Count Olaf’s house and the Lucky Smells Lumbermill, where they are forced to do child labor. That said, the books don’t need to be read to enjoy the adaptation; the show stands on its own.

A Series of Unfortunate Events is a unique, nostalgic, exciting Netflix show, and even though there are no happy endings, the show is guaranteed to fill the need of watching a new show, leaving viewers with a wonderfully weird and gothic comedy.