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A Series Of Unfortunate Events

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An apparent trailer comes out and quickly is denied as fake.

 

EW: Someone made a cool trailer for Netflix's 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' -- but it wasn't Netflix

Variety: Fake Trailer for Netflix’s ‘Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events’ Lights Up YouTube

 

Here's where this gets tricky.  One person at CNET who analyzes it a bit believes the trailer is actually REAL and the denial is guerrilla marketing--in the same way that author Daniel Handler always denied being the same person as Lemony Snicket. Also, there are a bunch of other really good arguments in this piece (including the account name of the apparent uploader).

 

CNET: That 'Series of Unfortunate Events' trailer is real, and here's why

 

Besides, the quality of it is too good for a fake.

 

Here's the video in question:

 

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I thought the trailer was real. It's pretty high quality for someone to do on their own, and the attention to detail is incredible. I hope it's real, because that gives me hope for this series. Though the fact that Daniel Handler is actually involved helps a lot with my anticipation as well.

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Honestly the more I think on it, the more I'm 100% sure it's real.

Putting aside the really good arguments about the brand having a history of of snarky denial, the uploader name being Eleanora Poe, the use of music in the promo already associated with the licensed audiobooks, the wording of the Netflix denial "This was not released from Netflix" (which would be true if Daniel Handler or the book publishers HarperCollins did the actual upload), there's the mere fact that the effects in that trailer look fairly expensive/time consuming. And not stolen from anywhere else. Just the Netflix logo alone at the end looks like a ton of work.

So of COURSE it's real. Fans have faked very sophisticated things in the past, but there are always tipoffs (reused material, effects fails you can see through--not to mention there's really no MOTIVE for someone to make a fake for this because I'd argue that before this virtually nobody knew this project even existed).

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So of COURSE it's real. Fans have faked very sophisticated things in the past, but there are always tipoffs (reused material, effects fails you can see through--not to mention there's really no MOTIVE for someone to make a fake for this because I'd argue that before this virtually nobody knew this project even existed).

 

Exactly. There was a fake promo poster going around Tumblr a few weeks back. It had hundreds of thousands of notes and people were freaking out thinking it was real. It actually is pretty cool...

 

a-new-series-of-unfortunate-events-to-hi

 

...until you realize that Violet's name was misspelled. Like, really?

 

But yeah, if a fan had made that trailer, there would be VFD eyes everywhere. Literally on every surface, I guarantee it.

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I'm shocked there was even a fake poster at this early point.

 

That said, a fake poster takes photo editing software that cost $0 and 60 minutes of effort (maybe 10-12 hours for something truly awe inspiring). A 35 second hi-res video, with sophisticated camera movement, absolutely photo-realistic CGI combined with some clearly real props (and a hand), seamless audio, a jillion details or so back in the soft-focus areas, etc. takes mucho money and weeks of effort with studio quality equipment.

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I would be so disappointed if this trailer wasn't the real deal. I love this morose series and it would take some real guts to end it like it does.

That trailer is incredible. It's exactly what I imagined the series to be like. But we all know Adults Lie, which why I love that Netflix is denying the trailer, yet it's still up on the Internet.

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http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/neil-patrick-harris-star-netflixs-855209

NPH is in talks to play Count Olaf. I'm trying to figure out how I feel about this. I'm hoping they are going to do a more menacing and less comedic version of Olaf (a.k.a. the opposite of anything Jim Carrey did in that horrid movie). I think NPH could pull off the menace. The make-up will just have to be excellent because I do not want to be attracted to Olaf in any way, shape, or form.

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I don't know how I feel about this either. I think it depends on which version of NPH they're looking for. Because if they're looking for the HIMYM, awards show-hosting NPH, they've completely missed the mark. But if NPH plans on channeling his Gone Girl performance, it could actually be pretty spectacular. Actually, if he channels his and Rosamund Pike's Gone Girl performances then it'll be perfect.

 

But the makeup/wardrobe better be on point. On his own, he's way too pretty to be Olaf.

 

Honestly, Olaf is a really difficult role to cast and I'm not sure I'd be sold on anybody until I actually saw their performance. It has to be somebody who can amuse you and terrify you at the same time, and the only actor that comes to mind who's managed to do that for me, in multiple roles, is Joe Pantoliano, but his physicality is all wrong for Olaf. Actually again, with the right makeup and wardrobe, he could probably pull it off. Oh well. I guess we'll see. I just want this series to get the adaptation it deserves.

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I've never read the books, or seen the movie and know next to nothing about it but that trailer makes me want to know everything!

 

Don't bother with the movie (a lot of it isn't canon) but I'd highly recommend the books. They're super short, easy and fast to get through, and are just great, great reads. Awesome narrative voice with the perfect mix of humor and pathos, three-dimensional characters, and really interesting themes. It was my favorite series after Harry Potter growing up, but I enjoy them even more now as an adult. Actually, now that I'm older I'm stunned that they were marketed to children. There's a loft of dark, complex stuff in there.

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Don't bother with the movie (a lot of it isn't canon) but I'd highly recommend the books. They're super short, easy and fast to get through, and are just great, great reads. Awesome narrative voice with the perfect mix of humor and pathos, three-dimensional characters, and really interesting themes. It was my favorite series after Harry Potter growing up, but I enjoy them even more now as an adult. Actually, now that I'm older I'm stunned that they were marketed to children. There's a loft of dark, complex stuff in there.

Yeah, I see lots of not happy campers about the movie so I'll probably give it a pass. I downloaded the first 3 books onto my kindle yesterday so I might give them a go.

The funny thing is I used to work in a children's book store and saw the books all the time but never got around to reading them.

 

I kind of like things that are marketed at kids but also have undertones that entertain adults too so hopefully I enjoy them.

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Its coming out on a Friday the 13th?!? How morose, a word which here means sullen, ill-tempered but yet incredibly exciting and secretive all at the same time!

Loved that they kept in the same idea in their trailer that Snicket does with his books. "Don't read/don't watch" I absolutely love it, especially with Neil Patrick Harris crowing in the background. I wonder how many books are going to be in a season? You would think they would have to do a couple books per season to keep the actors looking young for their parts...

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Patrick Warburton as Snicket?

Never would have cast that. But... it's genius.

The rest of the cast seems like great ideas too. NPH? Joan Cusack? Excellent!

Of course a lot falls on those kids.

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20 hours ago, SnoGirl said:

I wonder how many books are going to be in a season? You would think they would have to do a couple books per season to keep the actors looking young for their parts...

I have a feeling we're going to getting a different Sunny each season. The timeline in the books (not counting the epilogue in The End) is less than a year, with Violet and Klaus each only having one birthday and Sunny not having one at all.

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Holy crap, I didn't realize Alfre Woodard was playing Aunt Josephine!

I also recognize the actress playing Dr. Orwell but I can't place her.

This looks like it's going to be really great and true to the books, I'm really excited.

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1 hour ago, helenamonster said:

I also recognize the actress playing Dr. Orwell but I can't place her.

Catherine O'Hara, which is notable as she played Justice Strauss in the movie.

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Is this show going to be a one-shot series? Does anyone know how many books they plan on covering?

I love the flashes of the "eye" in the trailer. I loved the reveal of it in the books, so I can't wait to see the latter part of the series.

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On 11/18/2016 at 3:27 PM, ApathyMonger said:

Catherine O'Hara, which is notable as she played Justice Strauss in the movie.

Oh wow I am really dumb for not seeing that. But in my defense she looks reaaalllyyyy young as Dr. Orwell.

On 11/18/2016 at 5:54 PM, SnoGirl said:

Is this show going to be a one-shot series? Does anyone know how many books they plan on covering?

The first season is going to be the first four books: eight episodes, with two episodes per book.

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2 hours ago, helenamonster said:

The first season is going to be the first four books: eight episodes, with two episodes per book.

Though Wikipedia lists actors playing

Spoiler

the Quagmire Triplets, so they're probably mixing it up a bit.

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On 11/17/2016 at 3:40 PM, ApathyMonger said:

Begone mediocre movie, this already seems approximately 1023x better than you!

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I may need one of those "how long I lasted" clocks from the recaps, because I'm 28 minutes into the first episode and wavering.

I can't quite put my finger on why, but I responded very negatively to Neil Patrick as Count Olaf. I'd say he's too much of a caricature except that's the point of the stories so maybe my expectations are out of whack.

There's no earthly reason for me to dislike Patrick Warburton's portrayal of Lemony, but I still do.

The kid actors are good and the visual design is well done.

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Just finished this first episode.  I never read the books, and although I saw and vaguely recall mildly enjoying the film a few years back, I don't recall anything about it.  That said, I really enjoyed the look and feel of this- that whole whimsical, surreal, fairy-tale lens of a Tim Burton in his prime- and the dialogue as well as NPH's scenery chewing (this show must have been his dream role).  On execution, at least through one episode, it's beautifully done.

However, I'm legitimately worried I should take the show's meta- warnings seriously.  I just wonder if this turns into a bleak and relentless retelling of one pitiless misfortune after another and at the end you're left exhausted without any catharsis.  I've seen and can recall too many impossibly horrible real life stories in the news about children who suffer incomprehensible levels of neglect and abuse, and even with the broad surreal elements I found myself feeling at moments a little emotionally raw during this first episode.

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Oof... I almost rage quit during this one, if they had somehow made the Violet marriage stick; I legitimately thought they would do that, and have the ensuing episodes being them treated in squalor while he spent all their fortune.  On the one hand, plus for making the obvious outcome be unexpected, but on the negative side this show had better have some rays of light or I'll give up.  That it's sort of off-kilter and the adults are all idiots who don't listen is fine, since that fits these kinds of young adult stories, but there's only so far they can push that before I can't take how absurdly obtuse all the "well-meaning" adults are and how the kids never seem to just blurt out specific details to save themselves- for example, why did Klaus not just show his bruise to Mr. Poe, or explain it to Justice Strauss when they were alone in her library for several minutes.  

I get that it's called "A Series of Unfortunate Events" and the 4th-wall breaking narration repeatedly warns of this, but generally when used it's assumed to be a somewhat tongue-in-cheek way of heightening the melodrama.  There's nothing redeeming about just gutpunching the audience over and over like the third season of "Lost"; that's the behavior of a teenage internet troll or Damon Lindelof.  I can tolerate if the season is basically "absurdist abuse horror story of the week" so long as they keeping getting out of it without any real damage, and if they have some times when Olaf fails miserably and the kids see some genuine (if temporary) joy.

I suspect I'll be disappointed, though... I was intrigued by the trailers but could end up more frustrated by this show than were all those people who hated "The OA".

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I really like the kids. They are resilient and smart and pretty good actors. Count Olaf is very mean. I like the way the show looks and feels, but it is a bit dark.

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As someone who grew up with the books and is a huge, huge fan, I really enjoyed this first episode (I'm trying to pace myself on the whole series; I've been waiting years for a worthy adaptation and I want to savor it). The tone was spot on, that perfect mix of whimsy and heartbreaking reality.

I was mostly unsure about Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf but he won me over in the first episode. He's equal parts stupid, manipulative, self-absorbed, and sadistic. It's really hard note to strike but I think he's nailing it so far.

I also adore Joan Cusack and like how they've expanded insight into Justice Strauss's character.

At first I was a little annoyed with the dialogue they gave the Baudelaires since absolutely no kids talk like that, but then I remembered how relentlessly well-spoken and polite they are in the books. It just took some getting used to, since it's been a while since I've read the original series.

I'd also forgotten that Mr. Poe's wife (Eleanora?) ran The Daily Punctilio. I like that they're starting to include that part of the story so early; I forget which book it originally became a plot point. Seven or eight, maybe?

Do we have a thread yet to talk about comparisons between the books and this series so that we don't spoil people in these threads who haven't read the books? If not, I want to start one because I have a couple of things I want to talk about but can't mention here for spoiler reasons.

9 hours ago, hincandenza said:

However, I'm legitimately worried I should take the show's meta- warnings seriously.  I just wonder if this turns into a bleak and relentless retelling of one pitiless misfortune after another and at the end you're left exhausted without any catharsis.  I've seen and can recall too many impossibly horrible real life stories in the news about children who suffer incomprehensible levels of neglect and abuse, and even with the broad surreal elements I found myself feeling at moments a little emotionally raw during this first episode.

Without getting into spoilers...in some ways, yes, take the warnings seriously. Some of the shit that happens to these kids over the course of the thirteen books is disturbingly bleak. Some of it is ridiculous in the way that only this series can pull off, but some of it is all too real. I originally read these books as a kid (I think The End came out when I was 11 or 12) and while certain parts made me sad and frustrated, I mostly enjoyed them because of all the different locations the children traveled to and the adventures they got to go on (the writing style was also a huge draw for my weird little self). But my mom tried to read them and absolutely hated them because she couldn't stand reading about so many awful things happening to young children, and I definitely find the series more disturbing as an adult.

That being said, catharsis is subjective. Despite all the misfortune, the books have a lot of interesting things to say about the duality of good and evil, moral relativism, and coming of age in a cruel and mostly indifferent world, among other things. If that sort of thing interests you, the series is definitely worth sticking out. But if it's not, then you probably won't enjoy it. The time the children spend living at Count Olaf's seems downright quaint to the things they encounter in the later books.

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I've always felt this series called for an animated adaptation, preferably in the style of the animated sequences in the first film. Excited to see more of this, though.  

Lemony(grid)720b.jpg

Edited by ThatsDarling
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I thoroughly appreciate that twist. They really had me going. I'm seriously enjoying this series, thus far. I'm loving how dumb the adults are in conjunction to how brilliant the kids are. 

I think, other than The End, this was my least favourite book, but i liked the episode. 

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Ok, what?! So the parents aren't the kids parents, they are some other kids parents. But they were in the picture right? Great twist, but I was really hoping the parents were alive.

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My older son (age eleven) is a dedicated reader of the series, so I said we'd watch it together. This requires getting him out of bed while his little brother's sleeping (they share a room) because it's too scary for a six year old (well, for my six year old, anyway).

We watched Episode One tonight, and it earned my kid's seal of approval. I enjoyed it, too. I love the Tim Burton/Wes Anderson mashup feel of the design and NPH works just fine for me as Olaf and seems to be having a ball. So happy to see Joan Cusack, too--and pleasantly surprised with Patrick Warburton's decidedly un-Puddy-like telling of the story. The kids are good; the baby's adorable.

We're watching one episode per night while we're home (will take a break while visiting their grandparents for a couple of days). I'm looking forward to the hangout time with my growing-up-too-fast boy . . . he's rather Klaus-like, what with being a very intelligent bookworm who wears glasses. :-)

Edited by spaceghostess
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I loved the books so I was looking forward to seeing this but I was also a little afraid that it wouldn't be as good as the books. I thought it would be a great project for Tim Burton à la Edward Scissorhands with the dark and dismal sets contrasted with the bright colorful cheery sets. The shot going from Justice Stauss's house to Count Olaf's house captured it perfectly. The look and the tone were perfect.

It's been a long time since I read the books but within a few minutes, I remembered that the overarching theme of the book series is that almost all adults suck.

While I agree that NPH is totally over the top, that's definitely Count Olaf to a tee. Loved the song about how awesome he is. Hee, and I loved the guy in the theatrical troupe who didn't want to go because Sunny said they were having chocolate pudding for dessert. I'm with him!

ETA: I forgot to mention how much I enjoyed the details, like the other stories on the front page of the newspaper about tow trucks becoming extinct and "Mysterious toots or ghost train? Train tooting sounds were taken out last year."

Obviously Count Olaf is a villain if he says things things like "I have chose" and "the delicious meal that you promised myself and my troupe."

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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It's kind of amazing how much they have NPH looking like the illustrations of Count Olaf.  That hair!  I'm still settling into having him in the role, but overall, I think he's hitting that balance between utterly ridiculous and genuinely menacing, which is a tough needle to thread.

Patrick Warburton, on the other hand, is pitch-perfect as Lemony Snicket.  They've done a really nice job of incorporating him into the proceedings, ever-present without feeling intrusive.  The Easter eggs in his bits are great.

After the movie, I remember being disappointed with how they handled Sunny's dialogue - while her subtitled one-liners were funny, they were too pithy and obvious to feel in character for a thoughtful baby like Sunny (the ones I remember most clearly are "bite me" and "she's the MAYOR of crazy town.")  I thought maybe it was just too hard to translate to a filmed medium, since longer, more erudite subtitles might be considered too cumbersome.  So, I'm pleasantly surprised here to see how they're handling her so far.  Not as verbose as she is in the books, maybe, but most of her lines seem in sync with her maturity.  Also, while the fact that her baby talk is clearly dubbed takes a little getting used to, I figure it's in anticipation of the later books (fingers crossed, because I'm loving the series so far!), where Sunny's dialogue is one of my favorite running bits.

Overall, I'm just so happy with how they've brought everything to life.  Violet and Klaus are perfect, the production design is amazing, and I'm excited to see more (trying to pace myself, which, for me, is one episode a day.)

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To binge or not to binge? Oh what a question!

I read the first book a long time ago, so I am not totally sure how this will hold up compared to the book for more dedicated readers, but I loved this! It was exactly the weird retro world I pictured when I read the book, and the actors all seem perfectly cast. NPH was kind of a "really?" kind of casting choice when I heard about it, but I thought he was great here. And Violet and Klaus are just what I used to picture them being like. 

You have to have a rather dark sense of humor to like these books (in my experience), so I assume it will be the same with the show. Some people wont like all the unfortunate events and the never ending stream of crappy adults, while other people will enjoy the atmosphere and the adventures and the dark sense of humor. I have always seen these as a sort of post modern version of Victorian literature where clever orphans are constantly treated like crap by awful adults , except taking to the next level, to the point of being darkly comedic at times. At least its honest and upfront about what a downer of a story it is. 

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I read the first book when I was in fifth grade and have been in love with the series ever since. I remember being so incredibly disappointed with the Jim Carrey movie. This first episode was everything I wanted from that movie. The story is so melodramatic and over the top. The three kids are fantastic. I love NPH's portrayal of Count Olaf. I'm just so excited about this show.

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I loved the ongoing rant about "literally" vs. "figuratively." 

I loved Mr. Poe clapping when Count Olaf said there was no need to continue the performance. 

This is such a dark story, but I love how over the top it is. So far, it's such a true adaptation of the books.

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I loved the song at the end. Who were the children on the other side of the bench? They had the other side of the spyglass.

Can't wait for the second season!! Fingers crossed

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37 minutes ago, Arynm said:

Who were the children on the other side of the bench? They had the other side of the spyglass.

Spoiler

they are the Quagmire Triplets! Isadora, Quigley and Duncan, I think? (anyway there were only two on the bench and I don't know why.) They were sent to the same school after their parents died in a fire. Also, their worked in the same organization the Baudelaire parents did (I think. i mean probably they have the spyglass its been a decade since ive read the books.) I thought their introduction was super good, actually, with the parents fake out and everything. 

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The ongoing rant about "literally" vs "figuratively" is my life. So I cheered every time the distinction was made.

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14 hours ago, angora said:

It's kind of amazing how much they have NPH looking like the illustrations of Count Olaf.  That hair!  I'm still settling into having him in the role, but overall, I think he's hitting that balance between utterly ridiculous and genuinely menacing, which is a tough needle to thread.

Speaking of illustrations, the first scene with the kids on the trolley and the firetruck going by took me back to this:

kids-on-trolley.jpg

I might go back and look at all the illustrations from the first four books to see how many they reference. But seriously, the opening scene on the trolley gave me chills as soon as it reminded me of this. God the illustrations are just SO GOOD. I especially like the ones at the end of each book that contain a clue about the next entry in the series.

One thing I noticed: Daniel Handler is on record as saying the Baudelaires are Jewish. There's no reference to them actually practicing Judaism, but a lot of Sunny's vocabulary in later books is Yiddish and there is one tradition the Baudelaires mention that's associated with Jewish culture. So I found it weird that Klaus didn't know what "mitzvah" meant. Unless because the Baudelaires weren't practicing Jews he could only guess from small things he'd picked up. I don't know, I just thought it was interesting.

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Echo the love for the literally vs. figuratively stuff.  That made me so happy.

I appreciated the flashback about how the Baudelaires ended up with Count Olaf, and since Handler wrote both Bad Beginning episodes, I'm totally taking it as canon.  In that scene, I also liked seeing Count Olaf put his costume together by stealing articles of clothing from random pedestrians and later explaining to Mr. Poe what he could infer from each.  "And you can see by my sunglasses... that it's bright out."

I love Klaus for figuring out Count Olaf's plan, but it's still painful to see him immediately confronting Count Olaf about it.  Way back when I read the first book, I shouted "Noooooo!" the second he dropped that Nuptial Law book on the table.

Violet's grappling hook was amazing.  When I saw the skipping-stone retriever in episode 1, I thought that was way beyond Violet's inventing skills in the books, so I was glad to see something that, while more impressive than in the book, was still fairly cobbled together here.  Using the pasta maker to pull her up was inspired, and the combination of the music and Violet repeating the Einstein quote was really lovely.

All of Count Olaf's henchmen are perfect.  The one who looks like neither a man nor a woman hits just the right note, and I love the detail of the crescent-shaped scars on the hook-handed man's face from where he's scratched himself.

Jacquelyn and Gustav were interesting to me, although they were pretty useless at the play.  I know they didn't want to tip their hand unnecessarily, but that was ridiculous. 

Spoiler

So Gustav is Uncle Monty's assistant that Count Olaf replaced?  I'd forgotten his name.  With Jacquelyn, though, all I can think of is a gender-swapped Jacques Snicket, which could get tricky if they get as far as The Vile Village.  Maybe the villagers will think she's Esme Squalor instead?

Also,

Spoiler

sugar bowl!  I loved it.

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I've finished the season, and had mixed feelings; at times the overall bleak tone was too much, but in the moment there were so many wonderful little side jokes, background gags, quotable moments, etc.  One I enjoyed was in the background of the lakeside town was a place called "Memento Morris' Antiques", which was fun little play on memento mori.

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I love all the weird running jokes throughout episodes, like the "literally" vs "figuratively" debate. That just gave me life. 

"What do people most often say when they see me" "Please leave the premises?" 

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Watched the first few episodes with my kids over the weekend and we al really loved it. I really like how the plots are generally simple but still smart and without dumbed down dialog. My kids love Sunny the genius baby, and my 6 year old loves trying to read the subtitles.

My favorite joke so far was that Olaf playing a handsome man was just NPH with most of the make up off.

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