In recent years we’ve been bombarded with the continuous release of top quality TV series; Game of Thrones, Black Mirror, Stranger Things. In this era of great TV, it’s hard to find something that isn’t just immediately forgotten. This month saw the release of the second season of Netflix’s ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’; a funny, gothic series that is essentially a children’s show with adult themes weaved into the storyline.
An adaptation of Daniel Handler’s (or Lemony Snicket to you) children’s books, this simultaneously silly and serious drama offers an extraordinarily talented cast, including Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf himself, as well as an interesting, moderately complicated plot, and a beautifully gothic, cartoonish set.
Season two picks up where season one left off; with Violet, Klaus and Sunny waiting in a grim looking boarding school, having been dropped off there by dim Mr Poe after the death of their most recent guardian. Where the first season may have been slow paced and slightly repetitive for some (Quick recap: the orphans are left with a nice guardian, who’s murdered by Count Olaf in disguise, who’s disguise is then foiled, they are then taken to a new guardian, the cycle begins anew), series two is where the plot thickens and the excitement begins.
The Baudelaires meet a different group of orphans at boarding school – the Quagmire triplets, who have lost their parents and their brother, unfortunately making them twins. And thus the mysterious subplot of ‘VFD’ begins, a mysterious organisation that both the Baudelaire and the Quagmire parents were a part of, as well as Count Olaf and seemingly every one of the orphans’ past guardians.
With this new addition to the plot, as well as breaking away from the old repetition of season one, this season is infinitely more binge-worthy, and the performances of Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Warburton, as well as the 3 main characters played by Malina Weissman, Louis Hynes and Presley Smith (Violet, Klaus and Sunny, respectfully) cannot be faulted. This series is funny, tragic, mysterious, childish and horrific all at the same time, which makes it stand out from anything else on Netflix or TV right now.
The quirky TV show is definitely worth a watch, for both fans of the original book series and those who have never read it. It’s something truly different to anything out there right now, and for that reason alone I’d definitely recommend it.