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!
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.
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!