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Season 2 Discussion

Discuss every episode of season 2 here! If you haven't watched an episode, prepare to be spoiled. 

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Watched The Austere Academy part one:

Liked how they managed to quickly explain how Sunny is now a toddler. Also I wasn't sure if they were going to put Count Olaf in a turban on not. I mean he is a villain so it makes sense that they did.

Also it appears based on the credits that:

Spoiler

The librarian is Madame Lulu from tha Carnivorous Carnival.

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I made it through Episode 1.  I thought it was really slow, at least for me.   I hope it picks up.

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16 hours ago, Kel Varnsen said:

Watched The Austere Academy part one:

Liked how they managed to quickly explain how Sunny is now a toddler. Also I wasn't sure if they were going to put Count Olaf in a turban on not. I mean he is a villain so it makes sense that they did.

Also it appears based on the credits that:

  Reveal hidden contents

The librarian is Madame Lulu from tha Carnivorous Carnival.

 

Yes I thought that they might avoid the turban disguise as well. But it seems they've made him look cartoonish and nutty enough so as to not be accused of anything. (I've only watched part 1 so far)

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22 hours ago, break21 said:

I made it through Episode 1.  I thought it was really slow, at least for me.   I hope it picks up.

I don't think The Austere Academy has enough plot for two episodes. I can see why they didn't want to build all those different sets for just one hour long episode though.

I'm not wild about them sprinkling other members of V.F.D who are on the kids' side into the episode. It just makes those characters look well-meaning and incompetent, which is already covered as a function by most of the Baudelaires' guardians.

ETA: Just watched The Ersatz Elevator. Again there's slightly too much filler (didn't care for Gunther's song at the end of episode one). Lucy Punch is really good as Esme. She comes across a more plausible and complicated character than she did in the book. The resolution of this story isn't great though (in either the book or the episode). It doesn't make heaps of sense for Olaf to put the Quagmires in the auction and Jerome giving up the Baudelaires that easily seems abrupt.

Edited by Beatriceblake.
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Lucy Punch is great. Definitely the highlight of the season for me.

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14 hours ago, Beatriceblake said:

I'm not wild about them sprinkling other members of V.F.D who are on the kids' side into the episode. It just makes those characters look well-meaning and incompetent, which is already covered as a function by most of the Baudelaires' guardians.

The resolution of this story isn't great though (in either the book or the episode). It doesn't make heaps of sense for Olaf to put the Quagmires in the auction and Jerome giving up the Baudelaires that easily seems abrupt.

I am liking the VFD stuff, spreading it out over more episodes probably evens things out better. Otherwise the last 5 stories would need to be super long for all the info that gets dropped.

The ending with the escape isn't that great. And the show didn’t really give Jerome any kind of development to show why he wasn't a brave person. Giving him a scene or two would have been better than an NPH musical number.

Spoiler

 

The book was a lot better at showing the he hated conflict, didn’t have much of a backbone and would go along with whatever Esme said. They didn't really show any of that.

Although I am also glad they didn't bother with Violet's stupid melt the bars on the cage with fire place tongs heated up in the oven plan. That was probably the dumbest thing in any of the books for me.

 

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Having one thread makes it hard to discuss because I've only watched "The Austere Academy" (the first two episodes) so I can't really read other people's reactions.  The quality is very consistent with Season 1.  They did a great job re-creating the school.  Carmelita Spats was more entertaining than I thought she would be.  I didn't find Coach Genghis funny, so his bit dragged on for too long.  I was very disappointed they didn't explain that Klaus and Violet were studying using the Quagmires' notebooks.  A few of the jokes were a bit repetitive, like the secretary on the phone under her desk.  The casting with the Quagmires was really good.  I liked seeing a little bit of Jacques Snicket in this one.

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20 hours ago, Beatriceblake said:

I don't think The Austere Academy has enough plot for two episodes. I can see why they didn't want to build all those different sets for just one hour long episode though.

I'm not wild about them sprinkling other members of V.F.D who are on the kids' side into the episode. It just makes those characters look well-meaning and incompetent, which is already covered as a function by most of the Baudelaires' guardians.

ETA: Just watched The Ersatz Elevator. Again there's slightly too much filler (didn't care for Gunther's song at the end of episode one). Lucy Punch is really good as Esme. She comes across a more plausible and complicated character than she did in the book. The resolution of this story isn't great though (in either the book or the episode). It doesn't make heaps of sense for Olaf to put the Quagmires in the auction and Jerome giving up the Baudelaires that easily seems abrupt.

I agree with this. The addition of VFD characters makes them just appear very incompetent, even borderline pathetic. In the books you get the sense that the Baudelaire's are all alone in their battle but these characters make it just seem like a huge bumbling mess.

Only way I would like it is if it's actually meant to be a criticism of VFD in a way. That they are too concerned with their secrecy and codes instead of bucking up and actually doing something. 

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2 hours ago, Camera One said:

Having one thread makes it hard to discuss because I've only watched "The Austere Academy" (the first two episodes) so I can't really read other people's reactions.  The quality is very consistent with Season 1.  They did a great job re-creating the school.  Carmelita Spats was more entertaining than I thought she would be.  I didn't find Coach Genghis funny, so his bit dragged on for too long.  I was very disappointed they didn't explain that Klaus and Violet were studying using the Quagmires' notebooks.  A few of the jokes were a bit repetitive, like the secretary on the phone under her desk.  The casting with the Quagmires was really good.  I liked seeing a little bit of Jacques Snicket in this one.

I think one thread per full story would be cool.

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12 hours ago, knaankos said:

I agree with this. The addition of VFD characters makes them just appear very incompetent, even borderline pathetic. In the books you get the sense that the Baudelaire's are all alone in their battle but these characters make it just seem like a huge bumbling mess.

Only way I would like it is if it's actually meant to be a criticism of VFD in a way. That they are too concerned with their secrecy and codes instead of bucking up and actually doing something. 

I actually like the addition of VFD and I would argue that even in the books they were pretty incompetent. 

Spoiler

Uncle Monty and Aunt Josephine were both ex-VFD who knew Count Olaf, but neither recognized him even when he showed up at their houses apparently wearing VFD issued disguises. Jacques Snicket walked right into a trap that lead to his death. Madame Lulu was either an accomplice of Count Olaf or a complete idiot which also lead to her death.  Kit Snicket left the children to handle things at the Hotel Denouement and even the Baudeliere parents apparently didn't bother putting any kind of fire alarms or suppression systems in their home, even though they had an enemy who liked to set fires. Now I get it, the whole point of the books is that the kids could only rely on themselves and adults are generally stupid, but I don't think the show is that much different, it is just showing things rather than telling about them after the fact. It is also spreading things out more to fill out the episodes.

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How come we're not getting individual episode threads? Can we make them ourselves? Last season generated enough discussion for each episode to get a thread, I thought. I've read the books so I'm not overly worried about spoilers but this series includes some new information/characters so I'm kinda bummed I have to skim by the responses to eps I haven't watched yet. I also don't want to wait until the end of the season to discuss cuz I like to get into the minutiae of things.

Austere Academy Part 1 thoughts:

I think they did a good job of casting the Quagmires. As in the books, the Baudelaires finally getting some friends helps to shake up the dynamic a little bit and not make things so hopeless.

Carmelita is also adequately insufferable.

The lil baby/now toddler who plays Sunny is still the most adorable munchkin. I liked their jokes about how they've been sitting there so long that Sunny doesn't even look like a baby anymore.

On 3/30/2018 at 10:23 AM, Kel Varnsen said:

Also I wasn't sure if they were going to put Count Olaf in a turban on not. I mean he is a villain so it makes sense that they did.

Also it appears based on the credits that:

  Reveal hidden contents

The librarian is Madame Lulu from tha Carnivorous Carnival.

Yeah I realized that the turban bit hasn't aged well, but I'm expecting Lemony to make an aside next episode about how only truly villainous people appropriate other cultures.

Regarding your spoiler tag:

Spoiler

Yes I was very confused! I remembered reading that Sara Rue had been cast as Madame Lulu/Olivia but then when promo pics started coming out of her working at the Prufrock Prep library I figured I'd gotten that mixed up. So are the Baudelaires not going to recognize her when they get to Caligari Carnival? Aw man and her betrayal is gonna sting so much harder now because I like her in librarian mode!

Also where is Friday at this juncture???

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I'm trying to let my eyes skim quickly so I don't read any spoilers by mistake... not easy.  I've read the books before, but I still prefer to be surprised about how the various books are adapted and I like to read opinions after I watch.  I am curious what other people think though, so I'll just reply to comments I happen to see which applies to the episodes I've watched.

This post is about episodes up to The Ersatz Elevator (Episode 3-4), which I just watched.

I liked this one more than the previous one, but I also liked this book more.  Again, the quality is quite consistent, especially visually.  The hot air balloon was fun, but it seemed short-sighted that they would not have a way to get back up (which was not a problem the way they went down the elevator shaft in the book).  The "In" items and Café Salmonella were as amusing as it was in the book.  I loved the musical numbers in Season 1, but I was a bit let down by Gunther's song in this one.  When I read the book, I thought it was unbelievable that Esme would turn out to be a villain, but I think it worked out alright in this adaptation for some reason.  I don't remember if there were any differences in how Esme's reveal went in the book.  The only change that bothered me was right at the beginning.  I thought there were way too many candles when they first arrived at 667 Dark Street.  It didn't seem dark at all.  The other thing was I thought Gunther arrived too early in this episode.  Count Olaf needs to be used in moderation.

1 hour ago, helenamonster said:

The lil baby/now toddler who plays Sunny is still the most adorable munchkin. I liked their jokes about how they've been sitting there so long that Sunny doesn't even look like a baby anymore.

Sunny was definitely the one who was obviously older.  I didn't really notice with Violet.  Klaus definitely looked older too but not by much.

On 3/31/2018 at 2:34 AM, Beatriceblake said:

I don't think The Austere Academy has enough plot for two episodes. I can see why they didn't want to build all those different sets for just one hour long episode though.

 

Some of the books are definitely skimpy on plot, but I do like that they have two hours per book, since they are able to be more faithful to the books when they have more time than necessary.  I thought in the books, the Baudelaires had to suffer through the violin concerts in addition to running.

On 3/31/2018 at 2:34 AM, Beatriceblake said:

ETA: Just watched The Ersatz Elevator. Again there's slightly too much filler (didn't care for Gunther's song at the end of episode one). Lucy Punch is really good as Esme. She comes across a more plausible and complicated character than she did in the book. The resolution of this story isn't great though (in either the book or the episode). It doesn't make heaps of sense for Olaf to put the Quagmires in the auction and Jerome giving up the Baudelaires that easily seems abrupt.

 

I just read this and my feelings were very similar to yours.  The resolution of a lot of these books were never very satisfying to me.  This one I was okay with since Jerome not having the courage to help get the children back was another example of grown-ups letting them down.  I must say that when I read the books,

Spoiler

I was getting really tired of this by this point in the series, and the "The Ersatz Elevator" was probably the last book I fully enjoyed before I got a bit fed up with the constant dead ends.

22 hours ago, knaankos said:

I agree with this. The addition of VFD characters makes them just appear very incompetent, even borderline pathetic. In the books you get the sense that the Baudelaire's are all alone in their battle but these characters make it just seem like a huge bumbling mess.

I have mixed feelings about that as well.  In all four episodes so far, some of the scenes with the adults were the weaker ones or dragged on too long.  They do seem very incompetent and pretty much laughable.  On the one hand, I suppose they could have been there in the background and the kids weren't aware of it.  Then again, in the books (also said above):

Spoiler

I never did consider the VFD to be competent, since Count Olaf was always getting the upper-hand.

Edited by Camera One.
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I haven't read the books in several years, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the source material a little darker than this adaptation? Even though characters have been killed already, the villains strike me as more goofy than genuinely menacing. I also think there's too much Count Olaf and too many musical numbers. 

It's always a treat to see the very talented Sara Rue on television, but the series could have done without the additional VFD characters. The pacing is too slow, and the series is starting to feel bloated. 

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Official Post

We are not going to be doing individual episode threads because there just isn't enough traffic to warrant it. 

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Watched  The Vile Village:

Liked that they gave it sort of a western feel, it made it a lot of fun. And Patrick Warburton did an awesome job showing the grief over his brother's death. I also liked Esme constantly reminding Olaf how she didn't really need the orphan's fortunes becuse she was already rich.

Couple of book things:

Spoiler

Liked a few of the changes they made, since I hated the way they broke out of the jail in the book. Also liked that they drove out of town since just walking was kind of silly and the image of Sunny driving was hilarious. With mentions of the sugar bowl I wonder if the show will ever answer what was actually in it.

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2 hours ago, ThatsDarling said:

I haven't read the books in several years, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the source material a little darker than this adaptation? Even though characters have been killed already, the villains strike me as more goofy than genuinely menacing. I also think there's too much Count Olaf and too many musical numbers. 

I think they've been relatively faithful, but the incompetent VFD adults who are played for laughs dilute the sadder/darker aspects.  I agree there has been a bit too much Count Olaf, at least so far this season (I've watched up to Episode 4).  Cutting down on and delaying slightly the arrivals of Coach Genghis and Gunther would have been preferable (I don't remember Olaf showing up that fast in the episodes last season).  Count Olaf was always slightly comical in the books, but yeah, I do think they play the humor card a bit more.  In Season 1, I still thought it was dark, perhaps because I was comparing this show with the ultra-goofy Jim Carrey version.  

Edited by Camera One.
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I have to remember not to binge this show next season. It doesn't lend itself to it. After a while I just get extremely frustrated with how stupid even the supposedly smart people on this show are.

Also tip for future fortune telling librarians: If you can throw three kids over a pit, you can jump that pit. So next time jump after them and help them escape instead of staying on the plank and getting eaten by lions.

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Spoils abound. 

I just finished. I’m bummed, in the sense that I wish we had more episodes and that I wish it was a tad less depressing. I forgotten how dark this story really was, and how much I hated the adults. 

I love the inclusion of the VFD adults. You can really see how the schism happened. They focused way too much on being secretive and less on the fires they’re trying to put out. The inclusion of the adults show how big the VFD was but how they almost abandoned all the children in the books for the sake of being secretive. They move too slow, are spread too thin.  I also wish they would show more of Lemony getting to the scene late, instead of just being our narrator.

The lighting the fire scene was heartbreaking. Olaf really was twisted, knowing it was Baudelaires and still making them light the fire.

I havent read the book in forever, so I was bummed about Jacques Snicket, and loved all of the Olivia scenes. Those extra scenes are definitely building towards the ending of the story.

I loved spoting a VFD in the background, the clouds/sunset at the end of Vile Village made a VFD. Also, spotted the original Series of Unfortunate Event books in the floating library from the Vile Village too. I want to rewatch looking just for VFD’s in the background.

Is it wrong that I want this series to go beyond the books when its done? I really want to see (book spoilers too)

Spoiler

Adult Violet, Klaus, and Sunny create their own VFD, find the Quagmire Triplets and create their own successful secret organization putting out fires.  

 

Do you think they’ll show the audience the Baudelaires parents? We havent actually seen them at all right?

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3 hours ago, Camera One said:

I think they've been relatively faithful, but the incompetent VFD adults who are played for laughs dilute the sadder/darker aspects.  I agree there has been a bit too much Count Olaf, at least so far this season (I've watched up to Episode 4).  Cutting down on and delaying slightly the arrivals of Coach Genghis and Gunther would have been preferable (I don't remember Olaf showing up that fast in the episodes last season).  Count Olaf was always slightly comical in the books, but yeah, I do think they play the humor card a bit more.  In Season 1, I still thought it was dark, perhaps because I was comparing this show with the ultra-goofy Jim Carrey version.  

 

Agreed on Olaf showing up too soon in a lot of the stories. Also some of them have shown too much of what the troupe was up to in advance which kills suspense.

I just watched The Hostile Hospital. I really liked this one. The Baudelaires feel in serious danger here in a way that's been lacking from some of the stories. Olaf's scene with the surgical tools with Violet and then the scene where she is drugged are genuinely creepy. That scene where Klaus is stood helplessly with the saw while the crowd chant at him to cut Violet's head off is also pretty nightmarish. I don't like many of the changes from the books but I think it was better to have Olaf and Esme not be fooled by Klaus's disguise. I'm also glad they didn't try and have Sunny disguise herself as a doctor.

Quote

I have to remember not to binge this show next season. It doesn't lend itself to it. After a while I just get extremely frustrated with how stupid even the supposedly smart people on this show are.

I've been watching one story a day. The plots are too similar and more than two episodes takes too much time to get through.

Edited by Beatriceblake.
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21 hours ago, Camera One said:

I thought in the books, the Baudelaires had to suffer through the violin concerts in addition to running.

They went to the violin concerts at first, but then when Olaf/Coach Genghis started making them run, they missed the concerts and were subsequently punished (I think they owed Nero 20+ bags of candy by the end of it). However, they would have also been punished for not doing their laps, so it was a lose-lose situation (as it always is with these kids!).

10 hours ago, ThatsDarling said:

I haven't read the books in several years, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the source material a little darker than this adaptation? Even though characters have been killed already, the villains strike me as more goofy than genuinely menacing. I also think there's too much Count Olaf and too many musical numbers. 

It's always a treat to see the very talented Sara Rue on television, but the series could have done without the additional VFD characters. The pacing is too slow, and the series is starting to feel bloated. 

The books definitely started out goofy and then got progressively darker, but always kept some of their more ridiculous elements. I'm only one episode into this season so far so I can't speak to how the show handles it, but the first step towards darker is the end of Austere Academy, then again at the end of Vile Village, and The End is pretty bleak from start to finish.

Regarding Sara Rue's character, not sure how far you are into the show but

Spoiler

technically she's not an additional VFD character, though her role has been expanded. She's Olivia Caliban, aka Madame Lulu from Carnivorous Carnival.

Also I realized in my last post I thought Friday from The End was her daughter when they are aunt and niece.

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20 minutes ago, helenamonster said:

They went to the violin concerts at first, but then when Olaf/Coach Genghis started making them run, they missed the concerts and were subsequently punished (I think they owed Nero 20+ bags of candy by the end of it). However, they would have also been punished for not doing their laps, so it was a lose-lose situation (as it always is with these kids!).

The books definitely started out goofy and then got progressively darker, but always kept some of their more ridiculous elements. I'm only one episode into this season so far so I can't speak to how the show handles it, but the first step towards darker is the end of Austere Academy, then again at the end of Vile Village, and The End is pretty bleak from start to finish.

Regarding Sara Rue's character, not sure how far you are into the show but

  Reveal hidden contents

technically she's not an additional VFD character, though her role has been expanded. She's Olivia Caliban, aka Madame Lulu from Carnivorous Carnival.

Also I realized in my last post I thought Friday from The End was her daughter when they are aunt and niece.

 

The 1st book was actually a bit dark but yes 2-6 were more goofy with a touch of seriousness. 7-10 got fairly dark and serious. Count Olaf was strangely goofy in the Grim Grotto which I think was a subconscious product of the Jim Carrey movie coming out around that same time. But yes 13 was bleak all the way through which in my opinion was a masterstroke way to end the series. I do hope the show mimics the tone of the books as best as they can. 

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Okay, no more skimming.  I accidentally read something I didn't want to read.  My fault for looking, but I think I'm going to look for a better organized forum to post in until I've finished everything.  

I watched A Vile Village (episode 5+6) tonight.  

I found this book frustrating to read because I was angry how Jacques died.  I was glad they introduced him earlier in the series, but somehow, the sadness of the event didn't come through in this episode.  Maybe it's because of how goofy and useless Jacques was in the last few episodes which made his entrance and exit less dramatic and emotional than in the book.  I'm also finding Count Olaf and now Esme increasingly annoying.  They are being over-exposed.  I would actually prefer to see a little more of his troop if we have to see so much of the villains.  When adults like Jacqueline and Larry are outright useless and don't affect the outcome, they begin to feel like filler.

On the positive side, visually, this episode was once again very much how I imagined the village with the crows.  The statue was appropriately hideous. 

They seem to be highlighting Violet's inventing abilities way more than Klaus' reading/knowledge.  I preferred the contraption in the book since it was ridiculous that the bread would be tough enough to use as a battering ram.  It's weird but suddenly, the actor who plays Klaus suddenly looked a lot older in this one (don't know why I didn't notice much difference in the last few) and the line delivery was a bit stilted (maybe for that reason)?  He seemed a lot more sarcastic and angry all the time. 

It was nice to see the Quagmires safe and sound in the balloon.  

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On 4/2/2018 at 10:26 PM, knaankos said:

 

The 1st book was actually a bit dark but yes 2-6 were more goofy with a touch of seriousness. 7-10 got fairly dark and serious. Count Olaf was strangely goofy in the Grim Grotto which I think was a subconscious product of the Jim Carrey movie coming out around that same time. But yes 13 was bleak all the way through which in my opinion was a masterstroke way to end the series. I do hope the show mimics the tone of the books as best as they can. 

Right, wasn't Grim Grotto where he and Esme developed that random evil laugh? It was so tonally off for that book (which had at least three moments I found deeply upsetting) and really annoying, it completely got in the way of Handler's otherwise engaging prose. I never considered it was due to Jim Carrey being cast in the film around the same time--interesting point!

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I felt like heeding the warning in the intro at times this season; it does remind me so much of experiencing an abusive childhood, where you're powerless and trapped while things just keep happening and happening.  It's revolting and made me more then a little bit upset when they were in the crows' town and people kept so casually letting Olaf get away, and the scenes with him being captured were played like a joke. I hate that that bastard is allowed to keep terrorizing everyone.

 

Watching episode 10... 

Spoiler

I wondered, why didn't the Baudelaire's go to Madam Lulu's tent sometime during that night which they spent fixing the roller coaster car and warn her that Esme had asked them to push her into the pit and that the other 'freaks' agreed?  They were right outside, it would have taken only a second, and maybe then they all could have hatched a plan...like, why not steal Count Olaf's car and get out of there asap?  It's so sad what happened to her.  And then I really thought they had shoved the book into their jacket (holding it up with their hidden 'free hands' but no, it was left out to burn.   Fuck it was all so bleak. 

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I like Sara Rue but I wish Olivia had just appeared in The Carnivorous Carnival and not the earlier episodes. In the book the Baudelaires can't trust her which makes the scene with the lions more suspenseful. I'm also sad they didn't do the deja vu joke from the book which I freaking loved the first time I read it. More positively, the scene where Olaf makes them light the fire is genuinely creepy.

Quote
Spoiler

I wondered, why didn't the Baudelaire's go to Madam Lulu's tent sometime during that night which they spent fixing the roller coaster car and warn her that Esme had asked them to push her into the pit and that the other 'freaks' agreed?  They were right outside, it would have taken only a second, and maybe then they all could have hatched a plan...like, why not steal Count Olaf's car and get out of there asap?  It's so sad what happened to her.  And then I really thought they had shoved the book into their jacket (holding it up with their hidden 'free hands' but no, it was left out to burn.   Fuck it was all so bleak. 

 

The thing about not warning Olivia feels like it could have been fixed with a couple of lines.

Edited by Beatriceblake.
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Having just one thread, its hard to talk about the first few episodes with being spoiled. So I just skipped down here to say that the locations still look amazing, and I loved how they explained Sunny obviously being a toddler now. And Sunny dressed as an executive assistant (complete with glasses and pears!) was adorable. 

And the theme song is still super catchy. "Look away look awaaaaaay..."

Edited by tennisgurl.
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On 4/2/2018 at 4:06 PM, Miles said:

I have to remember not to binge this show next season. It doesn't lend itself to it. After a while I just get extremely frustrated with how stupid even the supposedly smart people on this show are.

Reminds me of the line from Spaceballs about how evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

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Austere Academy Part 2:

There were a lot of good throwaway lines this episode...Olaf calling Nero Caligula, Nero's reaction when Mr. Poe was coughing on the candy, and Nero saying "I need to rosin my bow" and then Olaf's "Not in front of the children!" He tried to marry one of those kids but you know, whatever!

I'm definitely digging this sassy suave badass hero man interpretation of Jacques Snicket. It's not what I would have expected at all (from his much briefer appearance in the books he seemed much meeker, almost timid) but it's so much fun! And Lemony wishing he could have a deep conversation with his brother again...who's cutting onions in here?

I know they still use CGI for a lot of the more complicated Sunny bits, but I'm glad they kept the same baby and let her grow older so that she could do a little more (instead of replacing her with a younger baby to keep with the timeline in the books). She's got some really great reaction shots and it appears (hopefully, for the sake of the crew and rest of the cast) that she takes direction easily. I mean they had her picking up stuff, running behind Violet and Klaus...I just find myself constantly mesmerized by her.

Why did I laugh so hard at Carmelita sniffing that damn cake? And then when she popped back up with the powdered sugar on her nose and that little shiver like she was snorting lines of cocaine...this series has never had a clue who its demographic is supposed to be and for that I applaud it.

Obviously I'm going to watch the rest of the episodes to find out, but I'm really curious to know how Olivia (Sara Rue) goes from being completely in the dark

Spoiler

to having, quite literally, all the information by Carnivorous Carnival? Also, in this episode she couldn't stand to watch the Baudelaires being tested and seems to really care for them, so how does she go from that to betraying them to Olaf? I am so perplexed!

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Hostile Hospital

I liked most of this one.  Though again, I think they brought Count Olaf on too early.  He didn't need to be in the convenience store at the beginning.  Things are  too tilted in this favor later on, tricking Klaus by using an anagram, seeing through his disguise immediately, etc.  This episode had more moments with his troop, though, which was a good thing.  I still find them very funny, especially the two white-faced ladies.  Esme was actually truly scary for the first time in the Records room.  Still, a little less Olaf and Esme would have been better overall.

I liked Hal but I thought it was a huge stretch that he would bring them soup in the unused wing.  I liked seeing Jacques again via filmstrip.  

The Volunteer Fighting Disease was awesome... I loved their songs and the whole "we don't read the news" bit was as amusing as in the book.  They should have had bigger and more heart-shaped balloons, though.  

I like seeing Mr. Poe, but his presence makes it much more unlikely that they would rather climb into the trunk of Count Olaf's car.  

I was very pleasantly surprised that unlike in the book

Spoiler

Count Olaf's car was full and complete at the end.

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I just watched the final episode, The Carnivorous Carnival.

As usual, the visuals were what impressed me the most.  I loved that they used the cover art for inspiration because the series really fit how I imagined these various locations.  

I was curious how their "freak" costume would look and I think they did a good job with that. 

In the books, one character I really felt stuck out like a sore thumb was Esme.  I just could not visualize her roughing it up or that she was a megavillain as bad as Olaf.  The transition between "The Ersatz Elevator" and "The Vile Village" was too abrupt.  However, I actually did buy her in this television series.  It's a rare case where TV/movies makes a character in the book better.  

I too wondered why the Baudelaires didn't warn Olivia about Esme's plan to get someone to push Madame Lulu in.  

I have mixed feelings about the Librarian turning out to be Madame Lulu.  In many ways, this was the big "twist" from Season 2 for the book readers (the twist in Season 1 were the parents who turned out to be the Quagmire parents).  If I hadn't accidentally read about it here, it would have been a surprise for me.  I did really like the actress and the portrayal, and she was probably the most persistently caring adults out of all the VFD members shown.  She was the only one who actually got to know the Baudelaires and went out on a limb for them.  However, knowing her sad ending just makes it more painful to see her more, so I don't think it will hold up as well on rewatch.  

I thought it was great how they showed that flashback with the VFD headquarters with cameos from all those past characters.  I also like how they brought so many characters back for the carnival show at the end of this episode.

On 4/3/2018 at 11:21 PM, Glade said:

I felt like heeding the warning in the intro at times this season; it does remind me so much of experiencing an abusive childhood, where you're powerless and trapped while things just keep happening and happening. 

On 4/2/2018 at 1:06 PM, Miles said:

I have to remember not to binge this show next season. It doesn't lend itself to it. After a while I just get extremely frustrated with how stupid even the supposedly smart people on this show are.

Book spoilers:

Spoiler

That's why by this point in the series, I was close to being sick of the books.  The teases about VFD were dragged out and every book because a predictable repetitive cycle whereby the children seems to have some hope, and then the good adults are useless and stupid while Count Olaf wins again.  Wash, rinse, repeat.  While I really enjoyed the cleverness of the books (especially the first half of them), the repetition is why I don't consider this book series to be a children's classic.  It was ultimately an exercise in frustration, right to the bitter end.  I disliked all the books after this one, so I'm curious whether this television series might get me to appreciate them more. 

However, I am super happy that they're going to adapting all the books, with 2 hours per book, because so few book series get this type of relatively-faithful treatment.  I never would have imagined in a million years we would get anything beyond a movie or two once every decade featuring the first few books.  I wish they would do something similar (limited length television series rather than feature-length movies) for the Oz series, or the Narnia series.  Now that CGI has progressed as far as it has, it allows these magical worlds to come to life in a way that was difficult to do before.

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I know they still use CGI for a lot of the more complicated Sunny bits, but I'm glad they kept the same baby and let her grow older so that she could do a little more (instead of replacing her with a younger baby to keep with the timeline in the books). She's got some really great reaction shots and it appears (hopefully, for the sake of the crew and rest of the cast) that she takes direction easily. I mean they had her picking up stuff, running behind Violet and Klaus...I just find myself constantly mesmerized by her.

OMG, I'm so happy that I'm not the only one who is in Sunny's thrall! She's by far my favorite part of this show. My mom watches with me, and she has to put up with me constantly spouting, "Cutie!" and "Did you see what she just did?" I was besides myself when...

Spoiler

...Violet and Klaus put on those suits in "The Ersatz Elevator." Right away, I was like "THE BABY IS GOING TO WEAR A SUIT!" And she did. My great joy in heaven, she did.

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I avoided this thread until I finished the season but wrote down my observations after each episode so I could remember them.  Apologies for the length (and repeated squeeing over Sunny.)

 

Austere Academy 1

  • “I feel like we’ve been sitting here so long Sunny has started to look less like a baby and more like a toddler.”  Ha!
  • Carmelita is a little perkier than I’d pictured (she looks so gruff in the illustrations of the book,) but the actress is good, and she’s suitably horrible.
  • The “Remember You Will Diet” poster in the cafeteria killed me.
  • I really liked Violet’s shark mobile for scaring away the crabs in the Orphan Shack.
  • Oh my god, I’m so glad they kept Presley Smith.  She’s unbelievably adorable, and she’s able to do some great facial expressions/gestures now.
  • How much do I love that Prufrock Prep’s mascot is a dead horse?  “What can’t be beat?” I love it so much.

Austere Academy 2

  • I always like Count Olaf being dumb.  “We will infiltrate, if that is in fact the word I mean!”
  • “Takes one to know one... cake-sniffer.”  Oh man, Nathan Fillion as Jacques Snicket! 
    Spoiler

    Although I have to ask where’s the unibrow?  Is he going to be in disguise in The Vile Village?

      Really enjoying him.
  • Count Olaf says such unbelievably horrific things to the Baudelaires that are just ludicrously funny.  I think the best/worst one was, “Our parents taught us to survive!” “It’s like they say: those that can’t do, teach.”
  • The little romantic notes they’re giving Violet-Duncan and Klaus-Isadora are annoying me -
    Spoiler

    not the right characters, people!  Save it for Quigley and Fiona next season!

     

Ersatz Elevator 1

  • Wow, Tony Hale and Lucy Punch are PERFECT as the Squalors!  I knew Punch was going to kill it as Esme, but Hale really nails that balance you need with Jerome between warm/caring and well-meaning schmuck.  I continue to be impressed with how spot-on the casting is on this show. 667 Dark Avenue looks great, too.
  • Spoiler

    Missing sugar bowl!

     

  • Esme repeatedly calling the Abraham the driver “limousine” cracked me up.  She’s so terrible.
  • Okay, NPH is a great performer, and stalling Count Olaf by getting him to sing a number he’ll inevitably get way too into is admittedly realistic for him, but I didn’t really need the song here.  Eh.
  • Another good invention visual, with the parachute going down the ersatz elevator shaft.

Ersatz Elevator 2

  • Did Count Olaf call Esme a thesbian?  Ha!
  • The whole middle section of the episode was basically just me squeeing over Presley Smith - way too adorable, and I can’t imagine a better Sunny!  I loved her sneaking in and out of the penthouse.
  • “It’s illegal to auction off children!”  “...Not everywhere.” Lucy Punch is so great in this.
  • Oh my god, I loved Count Olaf’s line about the hook-handed man’s “alternative fingers.”
  • Lol, Esme just married Jerome for his underground tunnel.
  • “By George!”  “Heavens to Betsy!”  “That’s not my name, either.”  Abraham is my favorite driver since the Moby Dick-obsessed cabbie from “The Widow Window.”

Vile Village 1

  • The shot of the crows flying from the village to the tree really was beautiful.
  • I don’t think I’m familiar with Ithamar Enriquez, but he’s doing a nice job as Hector.  So many of the Baudelaires’ “kind adults” make me think of that line from Into the Woods:  “You’re so nice. You’re not good, you’re not bad - you’re just nice.” They all mean well, but hardly any of them do a damn thing to really help.
  • “...Dante never said that.”  I love it!
  • Sunny looked so darling in that cowboy hat.
  • I loved Nathan Fillion in that Count Olaf hair - ha!  That explains the lack of unibrow earlier, since it was a deliberate frame job.

Vile Village 2

  • I like the running gag of Esme being suggestive and Count Olaf not getting the hint.  Sorry, Esme - he’s only got eyes for fortunes!
  • I laughed so hard at Count Olaf struggling to get the bread and water into the cell, especially at the end when he just petulantly dropped the tray on the floor.
  • Louis Hynes did a great job with Klaus’s realization that it was his birthday.  Those poor kids.
  • Lemony Snicket waxing poetic about the beauty (or lack thereof) of large clouds of dust is such a good bit.
  • “Parts of the plan were unplanned - that’s the plan!”  Love.
  • OMG, Sunny in a firefighter’s hat and driving a firetruck!  What was she using to reach the pedals? Were those boots stuffed with towels or something?

Hostile Hospital 1

  • LOL, Count Olaf shouting, “Follow that van!” and then realizing he was in the driver’s seat.
  • I love the signage in Heimlich Hospital.  “Library of Records.” “Other Places.” Hee!
  • David Alan Grier was a great choice for Hal.  His multi-lens glasses are awesome.
  • The references to Hal’s idiosyncratic filing system are the best.  I especially liked him filing the Baudelaires under “M” for “my friends.”
  • I cracked up at Count Olaf referring to himself as “Dr. Whatever I Told You Before” - dumb Olaf is so much fun.
  • The sugar bowl references excited me at first, but at this point in the season, I think there are too many.  It wasn’t that extensive in the book, was it?

Hostile Hospital 2

  • Klaus as Dr. Faustus was great, and I laughed at the visual of Sunny hiding under his coat.
  • Loved Count Olaf telling the volunteers to hold their applause, then, “Well, you could applaud a little.”
  • Seriously, how is Presley Smith so good?  How does that even happen? Her facial expressions are wonderful.
  • Mr. Poe asking the volunteer, “What cough?” killed me.
  • Spoiler

    They didn’t leave the henchperson of indeterminate gender for dead!  Good - I like them.

     

Carnivorous Carnival 1

  • Fun to see characters from season 1 in the flashback scene.  Aasif Mandvi was so good as Uncle Monty.
  • It’s nice that all the books were out when this series started, so they can throw in bits like
    Spoiler

    early references to Fiona and Captain Widdershins.

     

  • Violet and Klaus’s disguises looked pretty good.  I think Sunny looked a bit too much like herself.
  • OMG, Kevin is one of my favorite minor characters from the books - woe to that poor ambidextrous freak.  SO funny! Robbie Amell is doing a good job.
  • The freak show song worked better for me than the one from "The Ersatz Elevator."  A better in-show excuse for it, and it was a good way to cover the freak show. Side note:  was that NPH’s husband as the audience member with the mustache?
  • I laughed at the Caligari Cabinet.
  • I loved Lemony Snicket’s line that the story couldn’t have been told until now “out of respect for the survivors and due to copyright law.”  Hee!

Carnivorous Carnival 2

  • I giggled at Sunny saying, “Merde” - she’s the best.
  • Good shot of the two axes splitting wood at the same time, with the implication that Kevin had chopped it all with both hands.
  • I loved Lemony Snicket’s narration when the Baudelaires were testing out the roller coaster, about how few truly happy moments they had:  “This wasn’t one of them. But it was close.”
  • Lemony Snicket leaving the stone for Olivia was a nice moment.
  • It’s amazing how gentle Count Olaf was as he helped Violet and Klaus light that fire, and yet so twisted that, all the while, he knew it was really them.  NPH is so great in this show.
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Ersatz Elevator Part 1:

Since Jacques and Olivia never interact in the books I never thought of "shipping" them (and I'm not a shipper in general) but god damn it this show now has me wanting it and I know how things end for both of them and I find this teasing insulting.

Lucy Punch and Tony Hale are perfect as Esme and Jerome. Perfect.

I wish they'd done the scene of Jerome and the children sliding down the staircase. Maybe in part 2?

Ugh, all that salmon. I actually have that salmon pitcher! Except it's blue and when you pour water out of it, it glugs like a fish.

All three kids looked great in the pinstripe suits. In the books Esme didn't bother to get them the right sizes so they don't fit, but that detail seemed unnecessary here when they look so fly.

Aw, the Hook Handed Man was so excited about how well Herring Houdini was doing. "We're booked through February!"

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I'm fascinated with this series, but I agree with the poster above who noted it doesn't lend itself to binge-watching. It's so frustrating how these kids never get a win. I knew they weren't going to make it onto that balloon with the Quagmires. The grown-ups are all so dumb everywhere they go, even the "good" ones. Grrr. 

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Ersatz Elevator Part 2:

"Bananas aren't in." "We'll see about that." Is this show even pretending to be children's programming anymore?

Sunny, the love of my life, got so much to do this episode. Why is her just toddling across a room so fascinating?

I tend to remember Jerome fondly from the books but I always, always forget what a big dumb coward he is at the end. These kids desperately need a safe place to stay, a loving guardian, and someone with the means to help them find their friends, and he refuses because he's scared. Two other children are in grave danger and he can't put on his big boy pants long enough to do something about it. So you know what, fuck you Jerome. The adults in this series are split into two categories: sadistically evil or well-meaning but incompetent, and sometimes it's really hard to decide which is worse.

Lucy Punch is riveting as Esme. I'm so excited to see more of her as the series progresses.

I thought the actors who played Violet and Klaus did a great job with their sadness when they realize they're back at their old house.

There were a lot of great throwaway lines in this episode. I'll have to go back and watch again to catch them all.

I kept thinking as the season went on I'd have a better idea of how Olivia goes from where she is now to the role that she plays in the books, and I'm actually getting more confused. I'm enjoying Sara Rue, though, and she and Nathan Fillion have great chemistry.

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22 hours ago, helenamonster said:

Sunny, the love of my life, got so much to do this episode. Why is her just toddling across a room so fascinating?

LOL. If someone put together a reel consisting of all Sunny, I would watch it. For such a bleak series, she sure brings the happy.

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On 4/6/2018 at 2:30 AM, Camera One said:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Count Olaf's car was full and complete at the end.

Spoiler

 

I was kind of disappointed about that.  Not that I like people dying, but I remember reading the book and thinking that The Hostile Hospital really was the book where shit starts getting serious (on both sides). The children no longer have guardians and are generally on their own. They scam Hal and start feeling bad about the things they have to do to survive. They have to sleep outside too. And with the Count's Troupe Henchpeople start dying.  That's kind of why I didn't care for Mr. Poe showing up in the operating room.

I also wonder if they changed the Snicket file to a film to give Nathan Fillion more screen time?


 

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Vile Village Part 1:

I laughed so hard at Klaus randomly yelling out "MURDER!"

I love how all of the adult actors really lean into the absurdity of this series. You've got some pretty high profile actors here, but they never seem self-conscious or like they're holding back. Olaf, of course, has to be a giant ham, but someone like Jacques could have been more understated if they wanted him to be. But Nathan Fillion makes him this sort of cheesy action hero in the vein of Indiana Jones and it works. Lucy Punch is also really fun. In the books I pictured Esme as being older, closer to Olaf's age, but the casting is so perfect that it doesn't bother me.

The Elder on the left had some of the best lines this episode. "I recommend the steel-cut oatmeal!"

I knew/know what's coming with Jacques and I'm still so devastated. Possibly even moreso than in the books. In the books we don't really get a chance to know him all that well before he bites it, but here we have. *sniff* You fought the good fight, Snicket!

Like Jerome before him, Hector is an equally insufferable coward. Kind? Yes. Loving to the children? Yes. But honestly does any of that matter when what they really need is an adult that can help them with their very adult problems? I did always like the commentary Snicket/Handler was making with Hector regarding adults and responsibilities--Hector doesn't just want to fly away from his problems, he wants to fly away and never come back. His invention doesn't even offer an option to land. And yet three children understand that just dropping everything and floating away isn't the right thing to do.

Nice foreshadowing in the carving Olaf was looking at in the bar. He's been with Dr. Orwell, Aunt Josephine, and

Spoiler

Kit. Which is still the yuckiest yucky yuck that ever yucked.

The most compelling part of this season, for me, is still Olivia's story, since it's so different from the books. I have a very bad feeling

Spoiler

that she's been faking her naivete this whole time and is either the real Madame Lulu/Olivia who's been using her new connection to Jacques to pass along info about the Baudelaire orphans to Olaf, or she's going to take out the real Madame Lulu and assume her place at Caligari Carnival. Either way as time goes on I'm more and more suspicious that she's not the innocent know-nothing she's been pretending to be.

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Watched the Carnivorous Carnival part 1. It might be my favourite episode, I always loved the big information dumps in the books. The look of the carnival was awesome and Esme was even more hilarious than usual. The fact that she managed to change outfits in the car some time between leaving the hospital and getting to the carnival made me laugh. 

Also liked that Kevin was not only freakishly ambidextrous but they also made him attractive. That was a funny visual bit. And I liked the "One of Us" shout to the 1932 movie Freaks. One of the weirdest movies I have ever seen. I also was impressed by the kids acting when they saw Olivia. The look on Violet's face was perfect. Now book stuff:

Spoiler

 

So in the flashback the guy talking to Uncle Monty was the Man with the Beard but no hair right? Otherwise seems like a weirdly distinctive hair style to give some random extra. And I liked the line in the flashback about how Beatrice climbed mount fraught with salad forks, since Violet does the same thing with Quigley in the Slippery Slope. Like others have said the reference to the Hook Handed Man's sister and step dad was cool, but I think my favourite reference was to the town of Stain'd by the Sea in the film about VFD. My daughter and I just started reading the first All the Wrong Questions book last week.

I liked that Madame Lulu was someone the kids knew. It gave them a bit of hope. Although if they keep with the book ending it is going to make it even more tragic.

 

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Vile Village Part 2:

Sunny driving the firetruck was exactly what I needed after a very long day. 

I wish they had had Lemony do the "mob mentality" monologue from the book...that one was always one of my favorites.

*sniff* So long, Quagmires, we hardly knew ye. I did always like the frustrating element of knowing that they're safe and taken care of, while also knowing that making a home in a hot air balloon that can never come down is no way to live, and that they'd most likely never see the Baudelaires again.

I love how progressively frustrated Violet and Klaus get with the adults around them, especially Mr. Poe. That's been building really nicely, even all the way since the series premiere.

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Hostile Hospital Part 1:

This is my favorite episode of the season so far. A lot of the other episodes have felt very meandering and lacked tension, but this was awesome. The perfect blend of absurd and genuinely terrifying. The scene where they scare Babs and the last scene of Esme chasing the kids through the Library of Records were excellently staged and acted. I loved the reference to The Shining with the White Faced Women and Violet running towards the exit as the file cabinets fell down behind her.

I also loved how the big obstacle that keeps getting in Olaf's and the Baudelaires' way? Paperwork.

The Baudelaires stealing the keys from Hal is a huge turning point for the morality of the books, and I thought it played very well here. They know what they're doing is wrong and they feel bad about it, but there is a bigger picture and they can't just ignore that in favor of politeness.

I say it every episode but Lucy Punch is really wonderful in this series. At this point Olaf going after the Baudelaires is just sort of what she does, but her hatred for them is deeply personal

Spoiler

since she believes it was their mother that stole the sugar bowl from her

and it's nice to get some of that juice back now that Olaf is kind of just going through the motions.

So excited to watch Part 2. I feel like Hostile Hospital was one of my least favorite books in the series. It has a lot of good points, as it's the first book where the stakes have switched with the Baudelaires being the ones on the run and not Count Olaf so that change is nice, but otherwise I could kind of take it or leave it, especially when it's stuck between Vile Village, which I thought was one of the funniest of the books, and Carnivorous Carnival, which was always a personal favorite due to its setting and the storyline with

Spoiler

Olivia.

And yet these episodes are shaking up to be my favorites of this season, sort of like how Miserable Mill was my absolute least favorite of the books and those episodes were my favorites of season one.

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*Sigh* Such sadness in this series, and it really is super frustrating that the kids never get a real win for very long, but...I guess I cant say I wasn't warned. 

I really liked this season, and I wish it had individual episode threads so I could talk about each episode more individually, but as a whole story, it was just what I wanted it to be. A weird, surreal dark little slice of comedic sadness. Really, the show has actually managed to make the show sadder than the books even were, because you get to know the supporting characters more, so when they inevitably die tragically, its even more heartbreaking. 

I really love the casting in this show, everyone knocks it out of the park. All the adults are playing it so wacky, but also play it straight, weirdly enough. Everyone is just committed to this weirdo world the show has created. Every set looks unique, while also looking like it all fits together. A lot of great visuals this season. I especially loved the shot of all the crows (MURDER!) all flying to the tree, the shots of the records room in the hospital, and all the scenes at the carnival. That set looked awesome, it was like a bizarre American Horror Story set. 

I appreciate that each books will apparently be getting two episodes, basically each one getting a two hour movie. So much better than trying to compress the whole story into a mini series of a traditional film format. Because its not really the story thats memorable about the books, its the style and how it plays with genre conventions, and the show hits that sweet spot with its highly stylized sets and costumes, and, of course, lemony Snicket there to tell us how everything will continue sucking. 

This season also was more emotional to me, weirdly enough. I actually teared up while Lemony was talking about his brothers death as he narrates about it, then when Klaus realized it was his birthday. Poor poor orphans. I also felt rather emotional when they showed the flashback to the VFD in their prime, and we saw a bunch of the now deceased characters (Monty, Josephine, Gustov, Jacques) having fun and hanging out. Then when the kids saw it, and they both got sad when they saw Uncle Monty talking on the tapes. "I miss him too." I think of all their guardians, he was definitely the one they bonded with the most, and he was probably the closest thing they had to a nice, but also competent, adult yet. 

I think my favorite Snicket rant was the one about job interviews. "At worst, you are left wandering a vast abyss alone and in misery. At best, you are left wandering a vast abyss alone and in miser, and with a salary". or something.

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Finished The Carnivorous Carnival tonight. Overall I really enjoyed this season and this last episode was a great way to finish it. The literal clifffhanger was really great; when my daugher and I were reading the books and we finished this one and then saw the episode list for season 2 we thought ending like that would be really cool. Esme's jealousy over Lulu was really funny, although I am not sure what the point of Mr Poe being at the Carnival was.

As for the book:

Spoiler


I think I liked this ending better. Olaf actually cutting the plank so Olivia falls in the pit worked way better than her falling in because of all the commotion. And I liked the idea that Madame Lulu was just a cover used by VFD agents including Kit, who then shows up in the cab. There is a bit in the Penultimate Peril where the kids are outside the hotel they see a guy in a cab just sitting there. I assumed the guy was Lemony, and I wonder if the show will make it be him, and I wonder if it will be Jacques'/Kit's cab.

Again we didn't lose a henchman, which I am wondering why, if there is some big plan for them all at some point.

And I really liked how they made a point of saying in part 1 that Violet's hair ribbon was the hospital bracelet and in this episode it was a string. In the books it bugged me that in the Hostile Hospital she gives her ribbon to Hal and then in future books she still has one with no explanation as to where it came from.

 

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2 hours ago, Kel Varnsen said:

I am not sure what the point of Mr Poe being at the Carnival was.

I'm not sure the point of having him at the Vile Village, the Hospital and the Carnival.  I know he's supposed to be dumb but thinking Jacques was Count Olaf even though he has seen Count Olaf before out of disguise?  With the hospital and the carnival, it makes one wonder why the Baudelaires don't consider getting his attention (especially the decision to go into Olaf's trunk... getting arrested would be preferable to getting killed by Olaf).  In the books, it made sense since by then they were pretty much all alone.  

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9 hours ago, Camera One said:

I'm not sure the point of having him at the Vile Village, the Hospital and the Carnival.  I know he's supposed to be dumb but thinking Jacques was Count Olaf even though he has seen Count Olaf before out of disguise?  With the hospital and the carnival, it makes one wonder why the Baudelaires don't consider getting his attention (especially the decision to go into Olaf's trunk... getting arrested would be preferable to getting killed by Olaf).  In the books, it made sense since by then they were pretty much all alone.  

 

Don't forget that at this point the Baudelaires are hoping the survivor is one of their parents and they think the survivor might be hiding in the Mortmain Mountains where Olaf is going.

That said though, I didn't like Mr Poe being inserted into all these scenes/stories he wasn't in previously. It smacks of them wanting to give the actor some work rather than coming from any story reason. I think I would have preferred it if they'd just shown him fruitlessly searching for the Baudelaires from time to time.

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Hostile Hospital Part 2:

This part was a perfect compliment to the first and definitely my favorite pair of episodes so far this season.

Y'all, I audibly gasped when they showed the sugar bowl in the supply closet. I think because in the books

Spoiler

we never get to see it, but we hear about it so much that we're so desperate to see it and find out what's inside (it basically serves as the MacGuffin for the last few books). I knew it wouldn't burn up in the hospital because it at least has to get to the Hotel Denouement, but who has it?

I'm both surprised and not surprised that

Spoiler

the Henchperson of Indeterminate Gender didn't die like in the books, though I do like that they referenced it by having them just barely make it out.

Olaf's troupe in general has played a much bigger part in this show than in the books, and they're great for comedic cutaways, so I can understand why they'd want to keep them all around as long as possible.

I also liked that they let Babs survive. We never really meet her in the books (she's just a voice behind an intercom) but I was getting attached to her, and the ways in which people get dispatched on this show are always deeply unsettling (I think in the books Olaf makes an allusion to throwing her off the roof).

Olaf menacing Violet with all the surgical tools was genuinely frightening which this series needs. He's not just a buffoon, he's a seriously dangerous and deranged person. He wants to murder these kids and that shouldn't get lost in his other shenanigans.

Alrighty, let's get to the carnival!

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Carnivorous Carnival Part 1:

If I hadn't already known from the books that Olivia and Madame Lulu were the same person, I might have actually been fooled by the disguise. Wonderful job with costuming and makeup, and Sara Rue did amazing with the voice. I mean the whole "gypsy" caricature is quite tasteless nowadays (parts of it weren't even Romani, that nose chain is worn by Hindi women at their weddings) but it didn't feel like the show was being tasteless, more that Olivia was being tasteless/was using the resources available to her to put together a costume Olaf would by, and that sort of getup is still what people associate with the Romani.

Originally I had predicted that Olivia was evil all along (and, hey, there's still one more episode so I might be right!) but I guess they're just straight up changing the story? In the books, Olivia is the person who told Olaf where the Baudelaires would be going each time they got a new guardian, but in the show they are meeting for the first time. And in the books they were undeniably always the same person...Madame Lulu was the disguise Olivia Caliban donned to hide herself from Olaf. Here, it's not so much that Olivia is Madame Lulu, it's that she took the place of the former Madame Lulu...and, like, what happened to her?

The "rivalry" between Olivia and Esme over Olaf was also well done...obviously Olivia isn't actually attracted to Olaf because yuck! But Esme is an envious twit and it was delightful to watch them spar.

The Carnivorous Carnival was always one of my favorite books in the series but I've learned recently that it's actually quite divisive due to is portrayal of the freaks. I never understood that, and I hope this episode cleared up any misconceptions that people had about it. Snicket/Handler always portrayed the Freak Show as cruel. There is nothing particularly freakish about Hugo, Colette, or Kevin, and even if there was, that's no reason to put them in a show and mock them. That always came across crystal clear to me in the books and I hope it does for people here too.

It was awesome to see a bunch of the VFD members together and partying before the

Spoiler

schism. I hope they'll actually get into what caused the schism, as they never really do in the books. The story about the masked ball and Beatrice dressed up as a butterfly always just seemed like a throwaway--it never occurred to me that whatever happened there could be the cause of the schism.

"If she's really a psychic, why doesn't she just get her own tv show?" "Trust me, I tried that for nine years." Hah!

We also got some good foreshadowing with the Hook Handed Man regarding

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Fiona and Captain Widdershins.

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(I realize I'm triple-posting which is bad forum etiquette but when you only watch one ep at a time...)

Carnivorous Carnival Part 2:

Y'all. I actually sobbed at this episode. It was so, so upsetting.

In the books, we don't meet Olivia until Carnivorous Carnival. We find out she's the one that's been telling Olaf where the kids are each time they move. She's a weak-willed sycophant who promises to run away with the Baudelaires but then tells Olaf who they are, takes away the fanbelt before they can fix the roller coaster, and is fully prepared to throw Violet and Klaus into the pit until chaos erupts and she falls in instead. At that point it's like good fucking riddance, let's find the next adult that's going to disappoint these children.

But in this adaptation she got a serious morality upgrade, and we got to know her really well over the course of the season (and I liked the detail of Madame Lulu being an alias assumed by whomever is working in the fortune teller's tent), so then knowing her death was coming and watching it happen was deeply unsettling. And they played that scream twice! I will say Sara Rue did a fantastic job this season. She turned Olivia from one of my most loathed characters into one of my favorites.

Upsetting moment number two: Violet and Klaus falling back down the mountain with Sunny in Olaf's clutches. It was effective in the books and it's effective here.

And three: Hugo, Colette, and Kevin being super eager to push Olivia into the pit so they can join Olaf's troupe. Look, I know y'all have been through some tough shit but vicious murder is not the answer. Being ridiculed is not an excuse for being a terrible person.

The heckler in the audience and his two kids were played by NPH's real-life husband and kids, how cool!

Mrs. Bass becoming a bank robber for the thrills was always a delightfully random detail that I'm glad has carried over to this adaptation.

So the woman showing up at the carnival at the end (and who used the Madame Lulu alias prior to Olivia, and also knows the whereabouts of the sugar bowl) is none other than the supreme badass of this entire series:

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Kit Snicket.

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