If you’re looking for news about feel-good family entertainment then close this article right away and find one about happy elves to read instead. However, if tales of murder, treachery, and despair interest you, then you’ll be pleased to learn that Netflix has secured the rights to Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and will release a new original series based on the books in 2016.
It has been almost a decade since Lemony Snicket released The End, the final book of The Series of Unfortunate Events, and for this fan, that is far too long. I became interested in the books after seeing the 2004 film adaptation starring Jim Carrey (I know, I know. I should have read the books first). I enjoyed the film’s dark humor and found that the film closely resembled the books. Lemony Snicket’s narration of the series is a cross between A.A. Milne and Edgar Allen Poe. If you are a fan of Tim Burton and you haven’t experienced A Series of Unfortunate Events, do yourself a favor and get on that. These books and the movie are a gothic mix of adventure and mystery that you are sure to enjoy.
This last year, I read the entire series to my 9-year-old son who loved the books even more than I did. His favorite character is Sunny, the baby who defends her family with her gift for biting and enjoys cooking when she’s not escaping the dreaded Count Olaf.
The series begins with three orphans: Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire learning that their parents perished in a fire. Mr. Poe, the banker in charge of their large inheritance, delivers them to their new guardian, Count Olaf. Olaf is a thespian and a tyrant and the orphans soon uncover his plans to steal their fortune by any means necessary.
My son and I are eager to see the television series when it premieres next year. Netflix has yet to unveil any casting information and according to the press release, they are still seeking a director.
“On the search for fantastic material that appeals to both parents and kids, the first stop for generations of readers is A Series of Unfortunate Events,” said Cindy Holland, VP Original Content at Netflix. “The world created by Lemony Snicket is unique, darkly funny and relatable. We can’t wait to bring it to life for Netflix members.”
From what I’ve seen of Netflix’s original content, I am confident that they will do the series justice. A few of my favorite Netflix original series have been Hemlock Grove, Arrested Development, BoJack Horseman, and, of course, Orange is the New Black.
“I can’t believe it,” Snicket said, from an undisclosed location. “After years of providing top-quality entertainment on demand, Netflix is risking its reputation and its success by associating itself with my dismaying and upsetting books.” Netflix went on to say, “Mr. Snicket’s participation will be limited, given his emotional distress, but the project has the full involvement of his legal, literary and social representative Daniel Handler, who is often mistaken for him.”
While I enjoyed the cast in the movie, I expect a new cast for the TV series. One actor that comes to mind is Peter Capaldi of Doctor Who. He’s tall and lean, he has the bushy eyebrows and I think he would brilliantly balance Olaf’s menacing schemes and silly antics. I haven’t thought much about who should play the children except that they should be child actors. I don’t want to see a twenty-something playing 14-year-old Violet Baudelaire.
My other hope for the television series is to see it expand beyond Snicket’s final Unfortunate book. The book series was left open-ended and I would love to see new adventures of the Baudelaires and developments as they continue to unravel the mystery concerning their family history.
Now I want to hear from you! Are you excited about the upcoming television adaptation and who would you like to see in the cast?