What I Want to See in Netflix’s Series of Unfortunate Events

One of my favourite series as a tween was Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. I felt it a special sort of series in the way it was written and how the plot unfolded. I loved Snicket’s quirky narration–the way he would constantly define words, or break the fourth wall, or how he would insert little things like two completely black pages because there was no other way to describe how dark an elevator shaft was. I loved how ridiculous it could be. The adults never listened to the obvious, and you’d think after Olaf’s third attempt on the orphan Baudelaires, the adults would have been more wary. There was a sense of fun to the books, and you always wanted Violet, Klaus, and Sunny to make it out okay, even if you knew there was only misery ahead.

Recent word on the web promises the books are to be made into an official series by Netflix. It’s exciting news for fans, especially after the disappointing film starring Jim Carrey. Though the “official trailer” for the series turned out to be fan-made, it got a lot of us even more excited for what this series has to offer.

Though, perhaps Netflix ought to hire this person on. This video is a masterpiece.

I eagerly await to relive my childhood in full with the coming of this series, but there are a few things I would like to see from it.

Lemony Narration– The movie did this with a shadowed Jude Law cast as Mr. Snicket and I would love to see something similar from the show. Snicket’s unique commentary was part of what made the books so enjoyable. I want Mr. Snicket telling me to turn off my TV and watch something happier. I want him to apologize to the audience after an episode leaves us on a cliffhanger. Snicket’s job was to tell us all he had learned of the Baudelaires, and I want him to continue to do so.

Proper Pacing– A big issue with the movie was how they chose to organize the events. They combined the first three books in the film, splitting the events of the first book between the beginning and end. This did not work. Now, this will be unlikely with a full series as we’re dealing with a different format. I don’t know how the seasons will be paced though. Will each season be a couple of hour and a half long episodes following a single book? Will three books make up each season? There are thirteen books to get through. I wonder how Netflix will do this.

An Intimidating Olaf– I get that the guy is over-the-top looking and that his design screams “eeeeevvviiiiillllll.” He’s so obviously evil it’s hilarious. The movie took the easy route, working with his absurd appearance by casting Jim Carrey and having him be whacky. I want Netflix to take the tougher route. I want then to keep the iconic look of the character, but cast an actor who can make me feel the same menace the Baudelaires felt. I want Olaf to be frightening. I want him to be somewhat dignified. I want him to feel like a real threat.

Story-telling Quirks– This sort of ties in with the narration, but Snicket always had these little things he would do that were interesting and entertaining. Above I mention two completely black pages being published in one of the books because Snicket decided this was the best way to describe the darkness of the elevator shaft the children are trapped in. I want the episode matching that scene to just have a few minutes of complete blackness, with Mr. Snicket narrating over it. Little additions like this would help keep the spirit of the books, even in a completely different medium.

Maintaining the Ending- Oh, how the series end screwed with people. There were so many questions! What was the purpose of the Sugar Bowl? Who were VFD? What was Olaf’s connection with them? These and many other questions were left hanging after The End. I want it to stay that way. Snicket’s opinion was that life never gives you all the answers, and I want Netflix to keep with that philosophy as best they can.

There’s a great deal of time between now and the premier of this series. The future will bring news of cast choices, sneak peeks, and eventually a release date. I pray to get my wishes for this series, and I look forward to watching it as each episode is released, and then binge watching the entire thing in proper Netflix fashion.

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Categories: musings, stuff i like | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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