Book vs. TV Show: A Series of Unfortunate Events

Hello my lovely readers!
Here comes another Lemony Snicket post! After I compared the books and the 2004 movie adaptation, I also wanted to shed some light on the recently produced TV show.

 

The Plot:
A Series of Unfortunate Events follows Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire. After a fire destroyed their home and killed their parents, they struggle with their new guardians. The first new care-taker they get is Count Olaf who is only after their money. However, each time the Baudelaire children seem to get rid of him, some new peril awaits them…
There are 13 books in total, and Netflix dedicated 2 episodes to each book. So the first season consists of 8 episodes and deals with the first four books.

 

Book vs. TV Show:
I’ll begin with the novels. Although Daniel Handler’s book series is intended for children, it is certainly one of the kid’s novel I read as an adult. The characters are relatable and I love that for once kids are taken seriously. Even if you are already grown up you’ll be able to recall that often what you had to say was ignored just because you were a child. Beside the three main characters we get many weird additions to the characters and thus end up surprised each time somebody new shows up.
The setting is rather dark and unusual for a children’s book, which makes it even more enjoyable. It certainly is something different!
Moreover, I need to mention that A Series of Unfortunate Events comes with a great sense of humor. You might not expect it at first, but it made laugh all the time.
Before I talk about the TV show, I’d like to remark how wonderful the illustrations are. A huge plus point for the books!
Let’s move on to the series. Whenever it comes to book adaptations I am a bit sceptical. But a TV show is always better than one movie, as the story and the characters get more time to develop. So I was pretty excited to check this one out. First of all, the casting is perfect. Most of the actors look at lot like the drawings and descriptions from the book (there are often huge differences when it comes to adaptations). In general the show keeps very close to the books, with the little exception that a side-plot was added. So far I only read the first four books (which are covered by the TV show) and that part is not mentioned up to this point. I’m excited to find out whether it will pop up in the other books! I have to say it’s a nice addition. By the time I finished book 4 the rather repetitive (yet funny and original) plot began to become a little bit boring. The side-plot thing is really only one or two little scenes per episode so it fits in perfectly.
Another point I’m glad they kept is the narrator. In the books Lemony Snicket not only tells the story, but also interrupts himself to explain certain things. In the show they really added scenes with Patrick Warburton instead of just doing a voiceover and it blends in very well!
Furthermore, the setting hits the spot. The colors, the scenery – we get just the right gloomy and melancholic atmosphere.
The last point I need to mention is the wonderful music. Each episode has a different theme song, and also the music featured in the episodes couldn’t have been chosen better!

This is one of the best adaptations I’ve seen in a long time. Both the books and the series are wonderful. I can’t wait for season 2 to come out!

Did you read the book? Watch the show? Let me know in the comments what you think!

 

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4 thoughts on “Book vs. TV Show: A Series of Unfortunate Events

  1. Great review. I never read any of the books, only watched the Jim Carry movie. I have to say that Neil Patrick Harris seems to be taking over Carry’s Count Olaf quite successfully. I love this kind of dark stories.

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