A Delightful “Series of Unfortunate Events”

The final cold weeks of January are starting to look up: The first season of Netflix’s adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events was released today. Fans of the books may have been skeptical, given the lackluster movie adaptation from several years back, but fear not: Critics are already raving about the show’s faithfulness to the source material, as well as Neil Patrick Harris’s turn as the dastardly (though patently ridiculous) Count Olaf. It helps that the (real) author of the beloved books, Daniel Handler, worked closely on the show as both writer and producer—the humor, tone, and sophistication of the novels were all retained for the show. And with a second season already scheduled, this may just be Netflix’s next biggest must-watch show.  

After bingeing the first season, though, what’s to tide you over until the next one? The original books, of course. Though they’re technically written for children, Handler’s series is anything but patronizing, and his writing expects the most from readers of all ages. Previous fans of the series will be glad to learn that the books hold up just as well as they remember them, and new readers are bound to be enamored with the black humor, suspenseful plots, and creative escapades of the Baudelaire orphans. There are a few terrific audiobook versions, as well (the office favorites are those narrated by Tim Curry—a creative match made in heaven). So never fear: there’s plenty of Olaf, Violet, Klaus, and little Sunny to keep you company this year.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning

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