(Non-bookish) Some thoughts on Netflix’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events”

I’m a big lover of TV and film, as well as books, so I thought I might start adding in a few of my thoughts on recent watches. Today, I’m talking about the long awaited and highly anticipated Netflix Original, A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Now, I have a disclaimer to make, I haven’t watched every single available episode available yet. However, I can still have my opinions!

Warning: this is a longish and mostly complainy post!


Positive thoughts:

Casting: Joan Cusack! How did they manage to cast Count Olaf so wrong, and Justice Strauss so right? Cusack absolutely made the first series. She was so incredible in her role, she deserves a lot more recognition for it.

Our narrator, Lemony Snicket aka Patrick Warburton, has also been an excellent casting choice. His recognisable deep and melancholy voice builds upon the story so well. At this point in the series, I think I’d much rather listen to Warburton just read out all of the books than sit through much more of it.

Set: I will give Netflix credit for using its vast amount of budget to create such beautiful scenery and sets throughout. Even the small props in scenes are magnificent and look so magical. They’ve done a really excellent job at making the books come to life.

Negative thoughts:

Casting: For me, they got the casting all wrong. Neil Patrick Harris is not Count Olaf. When I found out he was to play our villain I grumbled. It’s not that I don’t like him as an actor, although he did star in How I Met Your Mother which I thought was absolutely atrocious, it’s just that he’s not the kind of actor who should be playing a menacing, evil and revolting character. Harris is a comedic actor at heart, I really can’t picture him succeeding in any other kind of role, and maybe that’s me being close minded, but it’s the way I truly feel at this moment in time.

There have been several actors and actresses who have surprised me by how well they’ve shed their normal acting role and fit into something completely out of their normal genre. Take, for example, Jim Carrey, as he was our Count Olaf in the 2004 film adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events. Carrey is known for being goofy and irritating but he shocked audiences everywhere when he appeared as Joel in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. He pulled the role off so well that it’s seriously hard to comprehend how the same man pranced around as Ace Ventura and Lloyd Christmas not long before. (Note: Dumb & Dumber is one of my favourite movies of all time, not hating here, just saying).  But, so far, Neil Patrick Harris has not shown me that he can fit into any other role, other than comedy. His role in Gone Girl was uncomfortable to watch, he just doesn’t strike me as a “serious” actor. And maybe you’re annoyed because you’re thinking that “this isn’t a serious series!”, but I will get onto that later on…

Character creation: Now I have a character to complain about, not an actor, a character. What has Netflix done with the real Claus and can we have him back, please? Netflix has destroyed Claus’ kind hearted, intelligent and loving nature and turned him into an obnoxious, self righteous and rude boy. From reading the books to watching the 2004 film, Claus was always my favourite of the three Baudelaire children. I liked his intelligence, the fact that he was a bookworm and that he had real love and strong protective feelings for his siblings (I probably fancied him a bit too) but now I couldn’t give a shit about him. I hate this new Claus and I’m finding it difficult to watch the series because of it.

General: I know this series isn’t supposed to be “serious”, at the end of the day, the books were published for children and so needs to have some light humour, but I feel Netflix have gone a little bit overboard on the comedic aspects of the story. Watching some of the “funny” scenes has just made me cringe. They’ve tried so hard, that they’ve now tried too hard.

There are a million more things I could say about my negatives and not a lot more I can say about my positives, which is not a good sign, but there you have it.

Clearly, this series isn’t for me and so I’m going to let me boyfriend continue watching it without me if that’s what he so desires to do. It’s a shame because the books are amazing (I’m planning on rereading them this year!) and I actually really enjoyed the 2004 movie with Jim Carrey, but hey, “all good things must come to an end”.

I’m thinking of doing more things like this on my blog, what do you guys feel about it? If you’re not at all interested in hearing my thoughts, do tell me, I don’t want to be wasting my time, but if you enjoyed reading about this then maybe I’ll write my thoughts on the recent release Split, which I saw a couple of weekends ago!

13 Replies to “(Non-bookish) Some thoughts on Netflix’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events””

  1. I still haven’t read number 13 which is why I haven’t begun on the Netflix series Once I finish the books, then I might… You see, I saw a trailer for it, and it didn’t look too good Count Olaf looked too happy and it looked to jolly and comedic for me.I think your post has confirmed that However, I’ve heard it’s really good and i should totally watch and I’ve had warnings like this one about how it’s that amazing. I’m really debating on whether to watch this Netflix adaptation or not.


    1. You’re right that Olaf is too happy and that it’s overly comedic! It’s been a real disappointment for me but loads of people are loving it. I’m just one opinion! If you do get round to watching it, I hope you enjoy it more than I do 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually thought this was Neil Patrick Harris’s best role yet. I loved how he was a bit silly because I always thought Count Olaf was weirdly funny (but hey that’s just my opinion). I was too hesitant to see him pull off the evil role but I was greatly surprised.

    But it’s interesting to see other perspectives on the show and what others think, even if I don’t agree with them.

    I also really like Warburton’s voice (once I no longer associated him with Family Guy).

    I don’t think I mentioned the set in my review but I also have to agree that Netflix did a great job building the world.

    And I personally like movie/tv/non bookish review posts and I would be interested to hear your thoughts on other non-bookish things.I like your reviews because they are honest! 🙂 Hope to see more in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you like him as Count Olaf, I just can’t seem to get into him, but like you say, it’s nice to hear from others who think differently from me! You’re right about not associating Warburton with Family Guy haha, it takes some time to stop picturing Joe 😂
      Thank you for your feedback!


  3. I like your honesty and your order. Although I strongly believe that you should keep watching. When I starting watching my first impression was ” Oh no, this looks like it’s gonna be horrid” that impression didn’t stay for long. The series got way way better.


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