by Delanie Meisner – Editor-in-Chief
The phrase “when something isn’t broken, don’t fix it” is advice that the writers of the Netflix rendition of A Series of Unfortunate Events clearly did not listen to.
The 13 book series, cherished as a childhood favorite by many, is dark, somewhat demented, and a reminder as to why Child Protective Services exist, while the Netflix’s version is bright, strangely optimistic and at best, cartoony.
The basic story thankfully stayed somewhat the same. (Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire’s parents die in a mysterious fire, their banker hands them over to a strange man who tries to kill them multiple times.) Each book is split into two episodes, and the first season covers the first four books Somehow, though, the Netflix series managed to make the whole situation seem less dangerous and psychotic. Sets in the series were bright and not nearly dark, dingy, or dirty enough to accurately portray the imagery from the original books.
Possibly one of the worst parts of the series is Patrick Warburton, most notably recognized for his role as Ken, (the man who is dumped for a bee in the classic film “The Bee Movie”). Warburton, looks like a knock off Jon Hamm, and sounds like every voiceover on a commercial. He is more like a used car sales man that the tortured, secret society member, Lemony Snicket described in the books.
While Neal Patrick Harris did not necessarily play Count Olaf exactly as written, he brought something new to the role. Adopting strange accents, whimsical clothing, and a constantly annoyed attitude, Harris made Count Olaf seem threating and harmless in the same stroke.
All in all, the show was a miss for those who enjoyed the book series. Those who haven’t yet read the series and just watch the Netflix series, will most likely enjoy the series though. Honestly, the only enjoyable part of the series for those who have read the books is Neal Patrick Harris in a dress and butt padding.