Television Review: Lemony Snicket

It took us a bit longer than I would have liked. (Sometimes persuading the entire family they want to watch a certain show can be difficult. There’s a fair amount of compromise that has to happen to keep everybody happy.) But the family and I finished the Netflix adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events. It’s the first season, which covers the first four books of the series.

I wasn’t completely sure what I thought of it at first. It had a unique style to it: very imaginative, with a different sort of humor. I wasn’t sure if they would be able to stick to that consistently or not. But the show grew on me as it went on. I came to appreciate and understand the style it was going for, and I think in the end it did a fantastic job of it.

So what is the style exactly? It’s hard to describe. Deadpan humor, and lots of it. Visually, the show is very impressive right off the bat. Set design is imaginative and varied from book to book. A lot of it looks to be done digitally, but it feels like they played that up some. Sort of the Pee Wee Herman “I meant to do that” approach which makes it all better.

Acting is great. Neil Patrick Harris does a super job as Count Olaf, but the show can’t ride on his work alone. The two older kids do a really good job selling it too. And then there’s the surprising role of Lemony Snicket himself, played by Patrick Warburton (of Kronk and David Puddy fame). He weaves in and out of the storyline, narrating the events and commenting on what’s happening on the screen. It feels strange at first, but by the end his sequences are some of my favorites.

Another shout out to the music. There are a few musical numbers peppered throughout the show, and they’re a lot of fun to listen to. Same wit and dry humor as the rest, and always a pleasant surprise.

The whole family has enjoyed the show. Even MC watched it, though I’ll admit it’s pretty intense for a 3 year old at times. There’s no way I would have had Tomas watch it at that age. Clearly I’m slacking off as a parent. (Or just realizing that not everything that happens in the family can be dictated by what’s age appropriate for a three year old.)

If you haven’t already checked out the show, I definitely recommend it. It’s unique, which is more than can be said for many shows. It starts a bit slowly, and it will take you a little to get a feel for what to expect, but once you do, I think you’ll love it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *