I hope you’ll forgive the momentary lapse in my #brand, but here are a few thoughts on the first season of the Netflix adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events.
It’s difficult for me to tell just how much of my love for the show is tied to my admittedly up and down appreciation for the books (which in turn is due in no small part to their more outré elements; currently I love them). In some ways, the show acts like a perfect distillation of why I love the books with few of the parts that I dislike. The format of having every book in two parts allows the stories to breathe while cutting most of the fat, every actor does a marvelous job (Harris is of course essential and acquits himself well), and there are two elements that are absolutely key: Warburton as Snicket and the consistent foregrounding of VFD.
These two constitute the greatest break with the books and exemplify the strange dance the show has with the books, playing with them and freely mixing different aspects with gleeful abandon. It feels almost braver in a way, and if it missteps occasionally it always makes up for any downsides in spades.