“A Series of Unfortunate Events” is Witty, Unsettling, and Entertaining

Cover art by @wunder.kid on Instagram

“A Series of Unfortunate Events” is a captivating, ominous show about the three recently orphaned Baudelaire children. After learning about their parents’ recent death, the children go to live with who they think is their nearest relative, Count Olaf. The children quickly learn that Count Olaf is really just in pursuit of the fortune that the children will inherit when they turn eighteen, and they proceed to go through a sequence of new guardians. As the Baudelaires go from one guardian to another, they also deal with trying to escape Count Olaf and his henchmen. The exaggeratedly unlucky situations the Baudelaires get into often gives the show an unsettling yet almost humorous feel. Filled with grim humor, likeable characters, and a repetitive yet interesting plot, this show was very entertaining.

Violet, the eldest of the Baudelaires, is very intelligent, kind, and resourceful. Her genuine, charming personality makes her a very likeable character, and she was a calming presence throughout the series. Violet’s amazing inventing skills often come in handy when the Bauldelairs are in a tough situation, and her caring nature toward her siblings can often be comforting to viewers. Klaus, the middle child, is also very kind and intelligent. He reads very often, and is often considered the researcher of the siblings. His ability to remember passages from books he’s read is often useful in situations that relate to things that he’s read, and he can be very protective of his siblings, especially the youngest child Sunny. Klaus’s slightly negative nature can sometimes contrast with Violet’s optimism, and between the two there is a good balance of hope and logic. Sunny, the youngest of the children, is just a baby at the beginning of the show. Sunny was one of the funnier characters in the show, as her ability to easily adapt to situations and help her siblings was unrealistic yet amusing. Sunny’s babbling, which is often translated by the older siblings, was always a funny aspect of the show. Her sarcastic perspectives on the siblings’ circumstances are especially entertaining because of how young she is. 

Count Olaf, the main villain of the show, is both amusing and menacing. His over-the-top villainous personality was often funny, but could also be very off-putting. Count Olaf and his eccentric henchmen fit very well into the bizarre, offbeat nature of the show. The narrator of the series is named Lemony Snicket. Lemony was a very mysterious character in this series. The audience sees him often at the beginning of the episodes, giving some backstory or exposition, but they don’t find out too much about his character until the later seasons of the show. His deadpan manner and honest outlook often creates some grim humor for the show. There were many other entertaining characters in this show. Almost every episode contains a quirky, caring new guardian for the children, as well as some other interesting characters that live in whichever town the children are in during that episode. The fun, unique characters always created entertaining circumstances and were one of the best parts of the series.

I thought that this was a fantastic show. Based on a book series by the same name, I think that the series did an amazing job of adapting the books and staying unique at the same time. The Baudelaire children’s ridiculously exaggerated disadvantages often created some grim humor, but their continued hope and resourcefulness was inspiring. Despite the unlucky situations the Baudelaires continue to get in, I wouldn’t describe the series as a depressing show. In fact, I always finished the episodes with a good feeling. I liked how the main characters didn’t let their circumstances define their personalities or attitudes, and how they never gave up even when situations seemed impossible.

There were a few things I didn’t like about the show. The episodes were often very formulaic, and many similar plotlines were repeated. This could sometimes add to the likable strangeness of the show, but there were also times when it would get a little too repetitive. It also didn’t give too much background about some of the side characters, which could get a little annoying, and there were many questions still left unanswered at the end of the show.

Overall, I thought this was a fantastic show. It’s unique, offbeat nature blended wonderfully with the hilarious characters. The contrast of optimism and negativity was a common theme throughout the show, and I liked how everything, even the sets and costumes, often reflected the tone of the scene. I would especially recommend this show if you like slightly unconventional shows with individualistic characters like “I Am Not Okay With This” or “Once Upon a Time”. You can watch the three-season show now on Netflix.

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