In 2014, Netflix announced that they had begun developing a TV series based on the books. Due to the cancelled sequels of the film, Daniel Handler was happy with the announcement and had intentions to join production. It was also going to allegedly follow a more dark direction like the original books, other than the film, which was considered to be too humorous. Unlike the film, the TV series will adapt all 13 books instead of the first 3.
The first season premiered on January 13, 2017.
The second season premiered on March 30, 2018.
|“||Look away. This show will wreck your evening, your whole life, and your day. Every single episode is nothing but dismay. There's nothing but horror and inconvenience on the way. Ask any stable person, "Should I watch?" and they will say: Look away.||”|
— Look Away, the main theme
After the loss of their parents in a mysterious fire, the three Baudelaire children face trials and tribulations attempting to uncover dark family secrets.
In episodes 1 and 2, "The Bad Beginning", Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are placed in the care of actor Count Olaf, their alleged family relative and guardian, by their family banker Mr. Poe. He forces them to accomplish many difficult and unreasonable chores. Olaf concocts a diabolical plan to steal their fortune by making Violet and Klaus partake in his play, which his troupe of actors are involved in. Olaf's plot is revealed, but he escapes. The Baudelaires are sent to their next guardian.
In episodes 3 and 4, "The Reptile Room", the children go to live with another relative, Uncle Monty, who is revealed to have been their actual chosen guardian. He is kind and the Baudelaires enjoy their time with him. Unfortunately, Count Olaf reappears, disguised as Uncle Monty's new assistant, Stephano. He murders Uncle Monty, and tries to take the Baudelaires to Peru, but is stopped by the Baudelaires, who uncover proof of the murder. Olaf disappears, and the children go to live with their next closest relative.
In episodes 5 and 6, "The Wide Window", the Baudelaires meet their aunt Josephine, their new guardian, who is afraid of everything. Count Olaf is disguised as Captain Sham, a sailor with a wooden leg. He forces Aunt Josephine to write a note placing Violet, Klaus, and Sunny in his care. Sham murders Aunt Josephine, but Sunny bites through his leg, proving his true identity to Mr. Poe. The Baudelaires, tired of Mr. Poe's failed attempts at finding them a suitable home, hitch a ride in a delivery truck to a local lumber mill.
In episodes 7 and 8, "The Miserable Mill", the children are forced to work at the Lucky Smells Lumbermill. Olaf is disguised as Shirley, a receptionist working for the local optometrist, Georgina Orwell. Orwell hypnotizes Klaus, causing him to be responsible for an accident that injures one of the workers. The mill owner, Sir, threatens to put the children in Shirley's care if they cause one more accident. Klaus is hypnotized into nearly killing Sir's partner Charles with a sawing machine, but Violet manages to break his trance. Olaf escapes again and Mr. Poe locates them with the help of his wife, Eleanora. Mr. Poe enrolls the children in a boarding school known as Prufrock Preparatory School.
In episodes 7 and 8, "The Hostile Hospital", the children take refugee in a half-built hospital while trying to research V.F.D. After Violet is caught, Klaus and Sunny must act to prevent Violet from undergoing unnecessary surgery.
- Main article: List of ASOUE television stories
The first season, for the most part, received critical acclaim, despite a few mixed to negative reviews.[source needed] Some were underwhelmed by the destruction of Josephine Anwhistle's house, feeling it was not as epic compared to the film.[source needed]
The second season had similar reviews. Some viewers enjoyed season two more because starting from The Vile Village, the series breaks away from much of the formulaic tradition of the first six installments. Lucy Punch has also been complimented for her role as Esmé Squalor.[source needed]
The TV series has received its own fanbase - many of which are comprised of those who are already fans of the books and/or the film.
Those already familiar with the series have compared it to the books, as well as the film adaptation. Some have praised the TV series for being closer to the books than the film. However, starting with season two, the series begins to expand itself more and change more things compared to the books.
Differences compared to books
The TV series is an adaptation of the books. While the TV series is faithful to the main plot and the general ideas, there are some differences in the details. For example, in both the TV series and books, Sunny climbs up an elevator shaft; in the TV series, she uses the railings; in the books, she uses her teeth. Because of this, the TV series does not necessarily replace the books, and is almost like an "alternate reality" of the books. Someone who watches the TV series will get the basic gist of the books, although there are a lot of aspects of the books that were changed or were not carried over to the TV series.
Here are some general noticeable differences between them, without going into too much detail (for more specific details, they are listed on each individual episode article):
- Both the books and TV series feature absurdist comedy, although there is much more comedy in the TV series, while the books have a more serious nature. The Baudelaires cry at least once in each book on average, conveying they are upset and depressed, while they have more of a panicked and inconvenienced mood in the TV series.
- The books dive deeper into how the Baudelaires feel, along with their thoughts, concerns and emotions.
- In the books, the Baudelaires fight and argue more due to sibling rivalry. For example, in The Bad Beginning, it is mentioned Klaus did not like Sunny at first. In The Wide Window, Violet and Klaus call each other "stupid" and "unbearable". In The End, it mentions Violet and Klaus once argued over whose turn it was to take out the garbage. In the TV series, they get along very well.
- The books only show the perspective of the Baudelaires. In the TV series, it often shifts perspective to show what other characters are up to, such as what Count Olaf and his group are doing.
- A new character named Jacquelyn is added and given focus. She is Mr. Poe's secretary and a VFD member.
- Olivia Caliban and Jacques Snicket appear a bit earlier and are given more focus. Larry the Waiter, who briefly appeared during the book The Wide Window, is given more focus.
- The books claim Violet hates pink, but Violet sometimes dons pink clothing in the TV series.
- The TV series depicts more racial diversity, which Daniel Handler advocated for. For example, in the books, Josephine is noted to have "pale" skin, while she is portrayed by a dark-skinned woman in the TV series.
- The TV series makes it far more clearer that Sir and Charles are gay partners.
- The TV series occasionally removes the more nonsensical aspects of the books that would not transfer well to the medium. For example, Sunny does not have a swordfight and she does not climb up an elevator shaft with her teeth. Instead of someone mistaking a bag of flour for Sunny, a doll on wheels is used.
- The TV show occasionally adds information which explains the books. For example, if someone only reads the book version of The Miserable Mill, the workers seem oddly complacent with being paid in gum and coupons. The TV series reveals Georgina Orwell has hypnotized them to accept it.
- VeryFlammableDandelions.com – from crate in the first teaser trailer, lead to a concept art image of Olaf's house.
- VisceralFantabulousDebut.com – from newspaper article title in second teaser, lead to a concept art image of Uncle Monty's reptile room.
- VitalFanDisclosure.com – from a Facebook message with the first official trailer, lead to a concept art image of Aunt Josephine's house.
- ValorousFarmsDairy.com – from the backdrop of holiday video released on Facebook, lead to four grim holiday greetings.
- VariousFrequentDisasters.com – from statement made by Lemony Snicket in "The Facts" trailer, lead to page with nine Count Olaf gifs.
- VeryFalseDocuments.com – from a Facebook message with the theme song, led to a special message.
- VastlyFrighteningDecision.com – within a miserable message from Netflix, led to renewal letter.
- VerseFluctuationDeclaration.com – from a New Year's Facebook message, initially page stated season 2 release date before changing to a new message.
- The rest of the sites had 404 messages.
- The viewer should be aware that there is a benefit to watching in HD. Throughout the series, there are many close-ups of newspaper articles and the like which briefly appears for a few seconds. If the viewer pauses, they can find some hilarious tidbits such as backstory that would be missed. For example, a Daily Punctilio article reads "POLICE SEARCH FOR MISSING MOUSTACHE."
- In July 2015, a YouTube channel using the username "Eleanora Poe" released a single video titled "An Unfortunate Teaser". The video was made to look as a teaser trailer for the Netflix series. The official Netflix channel commented on it: "Nope, this isn't an official Netflix teaser, but we won't call Count Olaf - THIS IS MOST MARVELOUS." It also disclaimed the video to multiple news outlets. Despite this, some fans believe the video was made by Netflix given its high quality, as well as the Lachrymose Leech being essentially identical to what would appear in the show.
- Official Twitter account
- Official Instagram account
- Official Instagram account (additional)
- Official Facebook page
- ↑ http://asoue.proboards.com/thread/34746/secret-website-netflix-show
- ↑ https://www.reddit.com/r/ASOUE/comments/5hplmv/complete_list_of_vfd_sites/
- ↑ http://aceofgeeks.net/netflixs-secret-website-series-unfortunate-events/
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20161015034256/http://veryflammabledandelions.com/
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20161106124925/http://www.visceralfantabulousdebut.com:80/
- ↑ https://www.facebook.com/UnfortunateEventsNetflix/videos/1876243142595635/
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20161120095902/http://vitalfandisclosure.com:80/
- ↑ https://www.facebook.com/UnfortunateEventsNetflix/videos/1894526990767250/
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20161222231417/http://www.valorousfarmsdairy.com/
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20170109204939/http://variousfrequentdisasters.com/
- ↑ https://www.facebook.com/UnfortunateEventsNetflix/videos/1904959039724045/
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20170122190615/http://veryfalsedocuments.com:80/
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20170313221608/http://www.vastlyfrighteningdecision.com/
- ↑ https://www.facebook.com/UnfortunateEventsNetflix/videos/2074296886123592/
- ↑ https://twitter.com/asouetv/status/947861810601971712
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20180103052014/https://versefluctuationdeclaration.com/
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20161018190009/http://villageoffowldevotees.com:80/
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xer4VCa5-tg
- ↑ http://variety.com/2015/digital/news/lemony-snicket-series-of-unfortunate-events-trailer-netlflix-fake-1201534251/
- ↑ http://www.ew.com/article/2015/07/06/a-series-of-unfortunate-events-netflix-teaser/