A Series of Unfortunate Events
I had never heard of Lemony Snicket’s books before I watched the recent adaptation by Netflix. ‘Lemony Snicket’ is the pen name of the author Daniel Handler who wrote the series about a trio of children whose wealthy parents die in a mysterious fire and are subsequently shuffled from one guardian to the next with increasingly disastrous results.
In the new retelling, the story follows the Baudelaire children (Klaus, Sonny and Violet) after their parents die in an ‘accidental’ fire leaving a massive fortune for them. After their parents’ will is read and executed by clueless banker, Mr. Poe, the children are sent to live with Count Olaf (played by Neil Patrick Harris) then Dr. Montgomery (Aasif Mandvi) and later Aunt Josephine (Alfre Woodard). The children’s short-lived stays with each guardian is marked by one misfortune after the next.
Although based on a children’s book, the series excels by using its source material as a starting point and extending its themes to appeal to a more adult audience. The cast is great and the writing is sharp, with humorous moments and ridiculous scenarios. It also offers a healthy dose of grammar lessons for the mechanically-inclined.