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Review: A Series of Unfortunate Events

Netflix

Six of ten rating for Netflix's Series of Unfortunate Events

Ben Schnuck, Legacy High School

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Based on the hit children’s book series, A Series of Unfortunate Events, released on January 13th, follows the (unfortunate) story of the Baudelaire children and their struggle against the mischievous and villainous Count Olaf (played by Neil Patrick Harris) as he tries to steal the massive Baudelaire fortune.

I started the show with the mindset that it would appeal to the 15-25 year old demographic that read the books when they were kids. This mindset hurt my enjoyment of the show as, something that became quickly apparent to me, it’s a children’s show. In hindsight, I should have figured that this would be a program for children, but that didn’t stop the part of me that wanted to see a dark and gritty version of the books, a core part of my childhood.

The Pros
It is very apparent that the show was based off of a book since the way characters talk and interact is almost like a visual audiobook. The show is almost exactly like the book, the interactions, vocabulary and character building are excellent representations of the books.

The Cons
There are some issues with the show. First, it relies way too heavily on computer generated imagery to the point of feeling animated. Secondly, I mentioned how the interactions between characters are exactly like the book, but this doesn’t translate to good television. The dialogue is awkward at times, and it can take away from the story. On top of this, the show really isn’t incredibly depressing. This is more of a story issue than an issue with the show, but 5-10 minutes of every episode consist of Lemony Snicket talking about how horrible and depressing the Baudelaire children have it. The children are in a very rough situation, and it is sad, but really the issue is more frustrating than it is depressing.

The Verdict
Read the books first. I recommend it for kids ranging from 10-13, but there are still problems with the show.

BEN’S RATING: 6/10

Read the original story here.

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