Jump to content
yeswedo

A Series Of Unfortunate Events

Recommended Posts

I have so much work to do tonight, but I couldn't help it and watched the final episode just now.

The End

I was worried/disappointed that they weren't going to have two episodes for this one, and I'm sorry to say my fears were realized.  The first half felt very much like other rush-through adaptations I've watched, coasting through the plot points with minimal impact or satisfaction.  People had said before this series was adapted that they didn't think each book had enough material for one episode, much less two episodes each, but that was actually what made this adaptation so awesome and thorough.  Sadly, this last book got the short shrift and it showed.  They never explained that the sheep were the ones to pull the washed up goods to the opposite side of the island, so it was never explained how Ishmael got all the stuff there but none of his followers knew. 

I wish we saw a bit more of their parents' story on the island, and I was really surprised we never got to see the Quagmire rescue, or Kit and Fiona/Fernald's role in all that.  There was more than enough material to have a second hour.  Ish was well cast and the humor and mystery of that island community and the secret apple tree place could have been fleshed out.

The interesting thing is they rushed through most of the book, but they did slow down quite a bit towards the end, around when Kit had the baby.  That was much appreciated, since it provided quite a nice closure to the series as a whole.  It was nice to see a few happy endings with Quigley reaching the mobile home, and the henchpeople still performing and Fiona/Fernald/Captain reunion.

I didn't buy Olaf and Kit's friendship in the flashback in the previous episode, but I agree that added to Olaf helping to carry Kit to the island at the end.  Though the water level didn't seem like it was rising much so the urgency wasn't obvious.

I still don't like how they try to make us feel sorry for Count Olaf.  At least they didn't name the baby Olafina or something.  I didn't like how Ishmael was the one who started the VFD.  I never got that vibe from him in the book.  The reveal of what was in the sugar bowl was underwhelming as well, and doesn't explain why everyone was so desperate to get it.  I can't say I was too touched by Lemony meeting the Young Beatrice at the end either.

Overall, this series was exceptionally well done.  I wish more books got this type of treatment.  They generally took their time with the stories, they were true to the spirit of the original and the cast and production values were top-notch.  It has actually made me appreciate the books way more, because I started to dislike reading by the end of "The Vile Village" because of the constant lack of payoff and the repetitive formula.  This series made the story very poetic and beautiful and crystallized some of the themes behind the saga.

I guess I'll now try to read some of the supplemental stuff related to this universe.  I only read the books about the Baudelaires, and didn't read the other things Handler has written.

Edited by Camera One

Share this post


Link to post

The End

Whether or not I cried starting with Kit giving birth to the very end with Lemony meeting his niece is NOT IMPORTANT. 

I had mentioned earlier that I thought an adaptation of The Beatrice Letters could be interesting (imagining it to be the two parallel stories of young Lemony falling in love with Beatrice the First and Beatrice the Second looking for him years later), and, well...they did it here! 

I don't mind that this was all one episode, but I do agree with those who thought it could have been a little longer. It felt like we barely got to know the islanders at all before they were leaving. I wrote one of my first essays in college on this book and its allegories for religion. There's a lot of interesting symbolism to mine, though I can respect that they had to do away with that to fit in the new plot point of Ish being the founder of VFD.

One connection I would have loved them to still make was that Friday (that little girl was adorable! too bad they cut down the part and she couldn't get more screen time) and her mom are related to Olivia, but maybe that's because this adaptation's version of Olivia makes me go all heart eyes emoji.

I'll always find something slightly tragic in the story of the Quagmire triplets. Of course I'm happy that they're reunited, but their life in the self-sustaining hot air mobile home is not much of a life at all. It would be like if the Baudelaires stayed on the island forever. Sure, they may be safe from the evils of the world, but at what cost?

When I originally read the books, I wasn't thrilled with Olaf's last words, but NPH's delivery here really changed my mind. That stanza really sums up the character, and the way he looked at those kids gave me one last jolt of the heebie jeebies. Even with his dying breath, lying next to the woman he loves, he can't shake his obsession.

All in all, this was a wonderful adaptation and I'll probably return to it again and again over the years (at least while my copies of the books are still at my mom's place). I know I can be nitpicky and pedantic, but this series was put together with effort, love, and care. Amazing costumes and set design and wonderful acting. Special shout out to the three kids at the center of it all--Malina, Louis, and Presley were all fantastic and I hope they all go on to have great careers.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I loved that it ended on a more hopeful note than the books. At least Larry, Jacques, Monty, Kit, and Olivia didn't die for nothing, even if VFD ultimately failed. 

NPH fucking nailed that last scene. I don't think they were trying to make us feel sorry for Olaf; Kit made it very clear that one kind act didn't make up for all the people he hurt/killed. And it's interesting that they left it ambiguous whether he actually killed the Baudelaire parents. He certainly had the motive and means, and he cruelly taunted them about their deaths every chance he got. You'd think he would confess if he was dying and had nothing to gain or lose...so did he do it or not? Guess we'll never know.

It was touching that even after all those years, Lemony was still looking for the kids. All the other living adults like Justice Strauss wrote them off, but he was still looking albeit not with high hopes. The look on his face when he met Beatrice...who's cutting opinions?

I never thought I'd like this show after how cheated I felt with the books, but this was so much fun. I'm now going back to the first season!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
19 hours ago, Camera One said:

I was worried/disappointed that they weren't going to have two episodes for this one, and I'm sorry to say my fears were realized.  The first half felt very much like other rush-through adaptations I've watched, coasting through the plot points with minimal impact or satisfaction.  People had said before this series was adapted that they didn't think each book had enough material for one episode, much less two episodes each, but that was actually what made this adaptation so awesome and thorough.  Sadly, this last book got the short shrift and it showed.  They never explained that the sheep were the ones to pull the washed up goods to the opposite side of the island, so it was never explained how Ishmael got all the stuff there but none of his followers knew. 

 

I think a bit longer would have worked but two episodes would have been too much. In the end it's about the Baudelaires. Spending time learing more about the Ish or the other castaways or the sheep or how Ish keeps his feet in the sand could have ended up feeling like filler and would take away from the focus on the kids.

19 hours ago, helenamonster said:

Special shout out to the three kids at the center of it all--Malina, Louis, and Presley were all fantastic and I hope they all go on to have great careers.

They really were. Their reactions when Kit dies were some really good acting.

Edited by Kel Varnsen
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Kel Varnsen said:

I think a bit longer would have worked but two episodes would have been too much. In the end it's about the Baudelaires. Spending time learing more about the Ish or the other castaways or the sheep or how Ish keeps his feet in the sand could have ended up feeling like filler and would take away from the focus on the kids.

That could have been said about a lot of the previous episodes if one were to argue that each book should only have received one episode instead of two.  In the books, it was still about the Baudelaires living in Ish's community and interacting with the colorful castaways and solving the mystery, much like their adventures in almost all their previous locales.  

Share this post


Link to post

An actual ending! We got some real closure! Someone alert the Daily Punctilio!

What a wonderful adaptation, that clearly put so much work into creating a worthy live action version of this story. You can tell that the people involved in this really loved and understood the source material, and while there were changes made (usually expanding characters or backstory, or making the settings more visually interesting), it stayed true to the basic vibe of the story, but ending on a more hopeful note. The acting, the sets, the costumes, it was all so unique and fun, walking a line between whimsical and Gothic, and it was a treat every episode. I especially credit the actors for generally making the dialogue work. Everyone has a slightly odd way of speaking, and it could easily come off as stilted and unnatural, and I think they played it well. 

I do kind of wish we had gotten a whole episode on the island, like we did with the other book locations, but I can see why they wanted to wrap things up and spend the last episode with the Baudelaires and little Beatrice. The last part was so bittersweet, seeing what happened to some of the supporting characters, and Lemony meeting his niece and hearing about the continuing Baudelaires adventures. At least this means that something good came out of VFD, even if the organization fell apart, and most of its members are probably dead by now. Maybe the younger Baudelaires can start a newer, better version? At least that means that Jacques, Olivia, Monty, Josephine, Kit, Larry, and the others didnt die for nothing. 

NPH seriously sold that last speech by Olaf, which I feel like must have tricky to pull off. It wasn't asking us to exactly feel sorry for him or forgive him (he was unapologetic until the end) and was still driven by his hatred of the Baudelaires, but it was a rather tragic moment, and I could feel some sadness that a person who could have been a decent noble person, even with some poetry in him, went so wrong. 

There is so much symbolism and detail in this show, and so much allegorical imagery (like, is it a coincidence that the day was saved by a serpent bearing an apple?) maybe even more than in the books, its certainly a great show for multiple viewings! Plus, I can listen to every single version of their amazing theme song!

When Lemony met little Beatrice....something in my eye...

Edited by tennisgurl
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, tennisgurl said:

At least that means that Jacques, Olivia, Monty, Jacqueline, Kit, Larry, and the others didnt die for nothing. 

Jacqueline didn't die. She just retired to be the duchess of Winnipeg.

Share this post


Link to post

I thought this interview was interesting:
https://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/2019/01/why-is-netflixs-a-series-of-unfortunate-events-so-superior-to-the-movie-we-ask-barry-sonnenfeld.html

Apparently, Netflix provided no information about their audience and Barry Sonnenfeld said if he had known what the audience wanted (eg. more action, more Mr. Poe, etc.), he would have tried to cater to it.  So in a sense, maybe it was good they had no audience information.

I didn't realize Barry Sonnenfeld was responsible for "Pushing Daisies"... this show's visual and narrative style reminds me very much of that, and it's interesting that really fit the tone of the books.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×