It’s been two weeks since my son and I sat down to binge on Netflix’s version of A Series of Unfortunate Events. It took all of this time for me to finally find time to process and assess all of my thoughts on the new series.
First of all, let me point out that I began reading the series in December of 2004. I had seen the Jim Carrey movie the weekend it came out and immediately proceeded to the local bookstore to pick up all of the books that I could. As I delve into the books, I found the plot’s continuous foreboding to be amusing and it only furthered my interest in the books. As I pursue the prospect of becoming a teacher, I look forward to using these books in my future classroom.
When I discovered this new series emerging, I found myself a bit skeptical, yet eager for it. After all, the actors from the movie have forever been the faces of the Baudelaire children and Count Olaf for me. My son thoroughly enjoyed the series and proudly stated that he thought it was more entertaining than that of the movie. I, on the other hand, was not as easily impressed.
First of all, I hate the opening credits for the show. The darn song they chose was beyond annoying and I found myself practically tackling my remote so I could fast forward through it. I think this is just a matter of personal interest. But I was actually more fond of the movie’s opening sequence, because it felt like it tied better to the actual books. But I’ll leave that up to you to decide for yourself.
As if the title sequence wasn’t enough to get on my nerves, I found that I was not impressed or interested in many of the actors/actresses chosen for this project. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the works of many of these actors, but I cannot say that Neil Patrick Harris did a better job as Count Olaf than Jim Carrey. Because he didn’t do a better job. Maybe it’s a matter of comparing apples and oranges, but Carrey was more menacing and I just didn’t get that from Neil Patrick Harris. I had the same problem with Violet’s actress in this series. The Baudelaire children are supposed to be lacking in their ability to come off as cheerful children. They have, after all, lost their beloved parents and are being chased by a madman. Yet, the young actress smiles a lot through out the series and honestly, she looks too sweet to play Violet. I just felt the children didn’t fill the roles as well in this new version. I also found myself constantly being annoyed by the presence of Lemony Snicket in every scene. He was supposed to be some mysterious character and instead he was always there. His presence in the scenes served as a distraction and I think it took away from the plot.
Don’t get me wrong. I did enjoy the new series. But despite how hard I tried, I couldn’t stop comparing the two. It was much like when I watch a movie or show that is based off of a book. I just couldn’t help it and I wish Netflix would have done a better job at giving the series a darker feel to it. That’s how it’s supposed to be and though the series was good in it’s own right, it just wasn’t good enough because the bar was already set with the movie in 2004.
I found this awesome side-by-side comparison of the movie and the show. I would love to know which version you liked better, or if you are like me and even though you were critical, you still found a way to like both. Feel free to leave me a comment below and tell me what you thought!