A Series of Unfortunate Events, the classic series of children’s books, written by Daniel Handler (under the pseudonym “Lemony Snicket), is finally making it’s way back onto our TV screens. After Jim Carrey’s box office outing with the series received mixed reviews it was regarded as unlikely that the protagonist Baudelaire children would be making a return to the silver screen. Now, thirteen years later, hopes are high once more as the Baudelaires have made their cinematic return. This time not on the silver screen, but as a Netflix original series.
Series of Unfortunate Events
A Series of Unfortunate Events follows the lives of the orphaned Baudelaire children, who are plagued with misadventure. The children are constantly fighting for survival as they attempt to outwit and escape the clutches of their evil Uncle Olaf, who wishes to usurp the large inheritance their recently deceased parents have left behind.
As someone who read the books as a child when they first came out, I remember being fully engrossed in the series. The dark humor that Lemony Snicket uses to address the “unfortunate events” that continuously befall the children perfectly offsets the otherwise awful occurrences happening throughout the books. The books were unlike anything I had ever read.
Recently, in light of the upcoming shows premiere, I decided to revisit the books as an adult. I’m surprised by how well they hold up, considering they were marketed towards kids. I was pleasantly surprised at how self referential the books themselves are, something that I appreciated as a kid, but was likely unable to put into words. The idea that the pseudonymous author of a book could also be recurring character in the narrative itself was mind-blowing to me as a child. This sort of reality-blurring ‘meta storytelling’ is likely what led me to enjoy films like Adaptation and Phillip K. Dicks novel VALIS as an adult. The maturity and self-awareness that the books exhibit is remarkable, and is reason enough alone for anyone to revisit them later in life.

Season 1 of the Netflix show, which premiered on January 13th, covers content from books 1 through 4. Two episodes will be devoted to each book. I admit that I’m definitely one of those “read the book before seeing the movie” types. I understand that not everyone is going to feel the same way, but in this case I would highly recommend picking up the first few books before binging on the show. There is a high chance, being that the books are so self-aware, that much of the humor in the show will play off of many of the tropes found within the books. This of course, will mean that the humor and wit will have the highest impact on someone who has read the books before hand.
As your favorite local bookstore we typically have copies of Series of Unfortunate Events in stock, but we do expect them to sell out now that you’ve read this amazing article. Don’t wait to maximize your enjoyment of the TV series. Come on in today and grab a copy of book one The Bad Beginning, before they are all snatched up! Now, wouldn’t that be an unfortunate event? (Sorry, I had to.)