Adapted from the beloved children’s series written by Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events is an intricately stylised television show.
The series revolves around the Baudelaire children, orphaned by a fire that burned down their house with their parents inside. Misery follows the orphans in the form of Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris) as they are passed through the guardians designated by their late parents. A mystery begins to unfold, a secret organisation by the name of VFD.
The plot of the recently released second season follows straight on from the first, meeting the orphaned Baudelaire’s as they head to their next ‘adventure’, the Austere Academy. Every two episodes, the orphans are in a different place with a different guardian, making it more like five movies to a season instead of ten separate episodes. The show calls for brilliant child actors, due to the main parts being inventive eldest daughter Violet (Malina Weissman), bookworm middle child Klaus (Louis Hynes) and strong-toothed baby Sunny (Presley Smith). Luckily, they found great child actors who all play their characters well, bringing the show to life against Neil Patrick Harris acting a perfect villain.
A Series of Unfortunate Events manages to be evenly dark and humorous in tone, more like the original books than the creepier film version released in 2004. I’m not sure I would encourage children to watch it, but tweens, teens and adults would all enjoy the show.