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Netflix releases ‘Unfortunate Events’

Jan 17 • Arts & Leisure • 384

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In the early 2000s, children and young adult literature were dominated by the forever-adored “Harry Potter” series.
However, wiggled in between the growing wizarding world was a slightly less popular, but equally loved, children’s book series titled “A Series of Unfortunate Events.”
“A Series of Unfortunate Events” was written by Daniel Handler, who used the pen name Lemony Snicket for the series.
The series consists of 13 books that follow the “unfortunate” life of three orphans, Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire after their parents perished in a fire that also destroyed their entire home.
The children are bounced between very distant and far more peculiar family members while being sought out by the deranged Count Olaf, who is after their sizable inheritance.
The books tackle some very dark content for a children’s series, but with an equal balance of ironic humor and satire, they work well and have been a popular read for kids since their original release.
In 2000, Nickelodeon Movies purchased the movie rights to the books, and in 2004 released “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events,” which covered the first three novels in the series.
The movie starred Jim Carrey as Count Olaf and was filled with the dark humor he is known so well for.
Fans of the books enjoyed the movie and were excited to see the Baudelaires’ unfortunate tales coming to life on screen.
In 2014, Netflix in association with Paramount Television, announced that it would be adapting the book series into an original Netflix series with the author of the novels, Handler, serving as the executive producer.
In 2016 it was announced that the first season would consist of eight episodes and cover the first four books.
Later it was announced that the entire book series would be covered with three seasons of the show on Netflix.
Season one was released on Friday the 13th, and while fans had greatly anticipated the show, it was far off the mark of what most people were expecting.
The show is strangely humorous, and the tone is much lighter than that of the books and 2004 film adaptation.
Initially, the show doesn’t seem very good. The forced acting and less-than-believable stage production was not very appealing to watchers, but those who stuck it out for a few episodes were able to understand and realize the true value of the series.
It follows the plot of the books very closely, but takes a different approach to creating the tone.
The show is dripping with sarcasm and dark, satirical comedy, which was not overly apparent in the books.
However, the books were written for children, while the show was geared more toward those children who are now adults, so the shift in tone and mood may resonate more with an adult audience. So though it is different and hard to get used to, it works.
The TV series has been getting mixed reviews, from fans who are less than impressed with the show to a 92 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.5/10 on IMDb.
Overall, the show is refreshing, mindless entertainment that will douse many who watch it with a heavy dose of nostalgia.

By SARA BORRO
borro003@knights.gannon.edu

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