Netflix Version of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” Stays True To Source

The book series “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” written by renowned and self-described miserable author Lemony Snicket, has recently been made into a Netflix series.

The books tell the tragic tale of the Baudelaire orphans as they go through trials and tribulations after the death of their parents in an enormous fire. There are 13 books total; the Netflix series covers the first four.

Netflix allots two episodes for each book adaption, bringing the total number of episodes to eight. Because of the length of each episode, which comes to an average of 45 minutes, watching the two episodes that cover one book feels like watching a movie with one central plot.

Despite that, the episodes do a fantastic job of hinting at events to come.

“There’s so much foreshadowing,” said Charity McClellan, a junior at Bartlett high school. “The first few episodes mention stuff in passing that you don’t pay attention to, but if you’ve read the books you understand that those tiny [details] are actually the most important.”

This is one of the best things that Lemony Snicket does in his writing: everything is important, and will show up again later in the plot.

One thing that I appreciated in the Netflix adaption is how quickly some of the major plot points come into play, primarily, the mystery of the secret organization called VFD, sometimes referred to as the Volunteer Fire Department, though nobody knows its true name.

In the books, VFD doesn’t come into play until book five. In the Netflix show, however, there are hints of the organization that can be seen in many places, but primarily in the amount of eye imagery that is seen everywhere the children go.

“There’s so much [stuff] that [make me think] ‘Oh my god, did you see that?’ But nobody notices because it’s so subtle,” said McClellan.

The series isn’t just appreciated by fans of the books series: there are many people who have watched it that have never seen the books.

“With Lemony Snicket as a character in the show it [helped me] follow the plot,” said Sydney Asplund, a junior at Dimond high school. “I think I understood what was happening.”

This is another unique aspect of the show: Snicket, instead of being an omniscient narrator, interacts with the story real-time as the events occur. Patrick Warburton, the actor who plays Snicket, did a fabulous job of embodying Snicket’s dry wit and macabre sense of humor.

All of the actors on the project did a wonderful job.

Malina Weissman, Louis Hynes and Presley Smith- Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire, respectively- did an amazing job at portraying the children in new way, while still staying true to the source material.

“[The Baudelaires] were so cute and brilliant and unique in their own way, and I loved them,” said Asplund. “[They] were in such bad situations over and over again, and when you think they catch a break, they don’t.”

All in all, Netflix’s version of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” stayed true to the source material, and is an enjoyable show to watch.