Netflix’s eight-episode adaptation of Lemony Snicket‘s “A Series of Unfortunate Events” has finally premiered on the streaming service (watch the trailer above) and the reviews are quite positive, with an 82 score on Metacritic. Based on the best-selling children’s book series by Snicket (aka Daniel Handler), Emmy winner Neil Patrick Harris stars as Count Olaf, a creepy guardian who wants to acquire the inheritance of the Baudelaire orphans following the mysterious death of their parents. Barry Sonnenfeld and Handler executive produce the show for Netflix, with Mark Hudis listed as the project’s developer.
The 2004 film of the same name starring Jim Carrey as Olaf only covered the first three books, while Season 1 of the Netflix revival follows the first four novels. Since that film won the Oscar for Best Makeup, will the TV version be a frontrunner at next year’s Emmy Awards? Sound off in the comments section below or in our TV forum. Among the rave critics’ reviews are these:
David Wiegand (San Francisco Chronicle): “‘Unfortunate Events’ is not only binge-worthy, it’s binge-demanding. Whether you’re a kid or just a child at heart, you’ll be giggling so much at the mock-melodramatic high jinks of each episode, you’ll go right on to the next.”
Ben Travers (Indiewire): “Just as the blunt-in-message and beautiful-to-behold production design works in the series’ favor by leaning into its allusions, ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ proves as inspirational and endearing as it claims to be forlorn and heartbreaking.”
Sonia Saraiya (Variety): “What’s best of all about ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ is how every element of it — from the performances and set pieces to the detailed production design and steady pacing — come together to form a complete, considered vision.”
Ken Tucker (Yahoo TV): “How much you enjoy these ‘Series of Unfortunate Events’ depends on your appetite for the TV equivalent of consuming bowlsful of meringue — there’s a lot of excessively rich, fluffy, eggy humor here. The show is, over the long haul of near-hour-long episodes, rather too precious and campy for my taste, but I can certainly imagine a large audience for such well-written joking.”
Neil Genzlinger (The New York Times): “The whole enterprise is wrapped in a big-budget look and served with a respect for the ability of young minds to perceive offbeat, incongruous humor, the very quality that made the books so successful in the first place.”