A Fortunate Adaptation for A Series of Unfortunate Events


Avi Hathorne, Reporter

Though still not as widely-known as popular series such as Harry Potter, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is a witty, unconventional thirteen-book experience with which I and many of my friends were raised. The novels are characterized by dark humor and a sarcastic, self-referential narrative that appeals to readers who do not mind a departure from more lighthearted forms of storytelling.

To many fans, the 2004 film adaptation was simply “good enough” for a series that otherwise received little multimedia attention. Critical reviews of the movie were positive enough (6.8/10 from IMDb and 72% from Rotten Tomatoes), but it failed to capture the brooding tone and absurd humor quite as well as Netflix’s recent television adaptation of the series. With two episodes devoted to each novel, the show is able to stay truer to the plot than the movie, which attempted to cover three entire books in under two hours. Perhaps due to the author’s closer involvement in the Netflix series, it is more consistent with the tone of the original text, succeeding in inspiring the nostalgia that fans who grew up with the series crave. It has been seventeen years since the first book was published, but A Series of Unfortunate Events finally has a worthy adaptation.