I adored Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events growing up. From the witty writing style of Daniel Handler to the absurd scenarios and lovable characters, I could not put these books down. Having said that, I was quite disappointed with the 2004 version starring Jim Carrey, Jude Law, Meryl Streep and others. On paper this sounds like a successful film, it had a good plot and a great cast; but it failed miserably. Now with Netflix releasing their original series on January 13th, I find myself hoping and praying that this series will capture the unique world of Lemony Snicket. So here’s a list of five mistakes the movie made and hopefully a list of things Netflix will avoid.
5. Film it and be done. One of the worst things Neflix could do is continue the story after all the material has been used. Although the movie never had a sequel it did add ridiculous story elements that are nowhere to be found in the books like the weird giggling elf. Who thought that was a good idea? If this series is successful hopefully Netflix will be able to say no and not ruin a good thing.
4. Don’t give it away! The 2004 film failed when it tried to reveal too much of the plot and characters in a two hour movie. The movie jumped from one setting to the next and introduced too much when it didn’t have the time. Netflix will have more time with the characters and story so they need focus on developing them and not give away twists so quickly.
3. Count Olaf needs to be ridiculous yet still intimidating. Honestly Count Olaf is just a silly villain only focused on stealing the Baudelaire fortune, yet in the books he is still intimidating. This is a tough feat to accomplish on screen. Jim Carrey embraced the crazy side of Olaf, but wasn’t intimidating. He really acted like a child who never grew up. Hopefully Neil Patrick Harris can capture the more villainous side of Count Olaf.
2. Kids have to be kids. The Baudelaire orphans must be convincing as children, but also innovative as they are in the books. We should see an evolution from when they become orphans to when they become adults. In the books, the children grow as a family unit. When they first lose their parents they are scared and saddened, but as the series continues we see the children grow together and become more cunning and alert of Olaf’s schemes. This must be true in a TV series as well.
1. Why so serious? When it comes to A Series of Unfortunate Events, tone is everything. This is a children/young adult series and if Netflix starts taking this show too seriously it will crumble within the first episode. Whether you have read the books or not, most everyone realizes that the majority of things that happen to the Baudelaire children would never happen in real life, so this show needs to be self-aware!