A Series of Unfortunate Events

Violet Krause, Staff Writer

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The Netflix Original “A Series Of Unfortunate Events” starring Neil Patrick Harris premiered Jan. 13, eight years after the original movie starring Jim Carrey was released. Both productions are based on the book series of the same name written by Daniel Handler under the pseudonym Lemony Snicket and follows the storyline up until the third book, “The Wide Window.”

“A Series of Unfortunate Events”  is narrated by a character named Lemony Snicket whose job is to record and report the unpleasantness that follows the Baudelaire orphans after their parents perished in a tragic fire—or so they think. The movie received a seventy-two percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes while the Netflix series earned a ninety-three percent rating. The set design conveys the same gloomy theme, however the script showed many differences. The show is a total of eight episodes leaving the audience with a depressing cliff hanger after the several warnings given by the character Lemony Snicket regarding the continuous sense of let down viewers are guaranteed to experience. The show had a decent following awaiting the shows premier after the few subtle trailers spread around social media sites.

The Baudelaire children are put into the care of their parents’ banker, Mr. Poe, whose character is noticeably oblivious and is portrayed so in the movie, while K. Todd Freeman, who was casted by Netflix, shadows his character with a sense of ignorance that leaves his character seeming unfulfilled. The original Mr. Poe was played by Timothy Spall, who has made appearances in several films leading up to that one such as the “Harry Potter” series, “Enchanted” and Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd. His spin on Mr. Poe was portrayed very thoroughly and almost without error. The Netflix series seems very light in comparison to the movie version and gives off a sense of false cheer throughout the shallow plot. The movie version gives a stronger sense of mystery and suspense. However, both productions follow through on spreading the intended amount of despair and distress revolved around the theme of the story.

The character of Count Olaf was originally played by Carrey and set the bar high for Harris who plays the role in the Netflix series. Carrey’s portrayal was more loyal to Count Olaf’s depiction in the books capturing all of the disguises accurately while the Netflix series again left the character seeming a bit hollow or unfulfilled. Violet Baudelaire is known for being the inventor who saves her siblings from sticky situations with her homemade contraptions. The ribbon-wearing girl was played by Emily Browning in the movie several years ago but this time around the role is filled by Malina Weissman, who is much younger than Browning when she took on the role (Browning was 16 and Weissman is currently 13). Both actresses are beyond their age when it comes to their acting skills and make it apparent when the spotlight hits. The second oldest Baudelaire child is Klaus, a witty bookworm who memorizes facts in his spare time. Klaus was originally played by Liam Aiken and has now been taken over by Louis Hynes. Both actors play the role as it was demanded and it is difficult to decide which outshone the other. The youngest sibling, Sunny, is an infant in all productions and all personality traits were produced with editing and special effects. Netflix is yet to officially confirm if the show will be renewed for a second season but the executive producer, Jim Van Wyck, is very optimistic that the Baudelaire orphans will return to the screen.

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