ByEmily Browne, writer at
Twitter: @emrbrowne
Emily Browne

Forget Harry Potter; move over Hunger Games; the fantasy series beloved/loathed by millions is finally getting the remake it so desperately deserves! Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events hits in January, and will be a brand new, totally horrible adaption of the unfortunate book series which ran from 1999 to 2006.

'A Bad Beginning' Image: Brett Helquist / HarperCollins
'A Bad Beginning' Image: Brett Helquist / HarperCollins

This will not be the first time the 13-book series has been adapted. Some of you may remember the lacklustre movie from 2004 which starred Jim Carrey, Jude Law, Meryl Streep and a young Emily Browning. Directed by Brad Silberling, the movie was not terrible — in fact, it's become a bit of a cult favorite — but it lacked a few key elements that left many book fans (myself included) feeling a little disappointed. Remind yourself of the 2004 trailer:

Thanks to Netflix, the popular book series is in for a serious overhaul. A Series Of Unfortunate Events will only have 8 episodes in Season 1, but is already tipped to be the most expensive production for the network to date.

The Terrible Tone


The tone of the book series is so specific that it's quite hard to pin down on film. It's part Tim Burton, and part bizarre child-friendly Shakespearean tragedy. While the books have their comedic, silly moments (mainly in the form of Snicket's deadpan narration and left-field writing style), the 2004 movie was a little too light-hearted and felt out of touch with the core misery and despair the Baudelaire Orphans were subjected to at the hands of Count Olaf. The Netflix series is already on course to correct this, as was revealed by the first teaser released back in October:

Netflix is known for taking a somewhat darker tone with its TV shows — Jessica Jones, Stranger Things, Hemlock Grove, etc — so it won't (and shouldn't) shy away from the more grizzly moments in the series, as Snicket says:

“Look away before this dire tale is even filmed, and avoid the cruel whimsy and whimsical cruelty of what’s to come.”

The Netflix series will be darker and scarier than its movie counterpart, but will also remain family friendly — they're still kids' books, after all.

More terrible ASOUE news:

The Incorporation of All 13 Miserable Books


The 2004 movie only focused on the first three books in the series — 'A Bad Beginning,' 'The Reptile Room' and 'The Wide Window.' While Meryl Streep and Billy Connolly were fantastic as Dr. Montgomery Montgomery and Aunt Josephine respectively, there were so many other brilliant and twisted characters we didn't get to meet; the kind-hearted but useless Charles, the sinister Hook-handed Man (played by Usman Ally in the Netflix series) the Powder-Faced Women, and, of course, the Quagmire children.

It's not their fault — it would be very hard to translate 13 books into a two-hour movie. Neil Patrick Harris revealed on Live with Kelly that each episode will encompass two books each, which will seriously expand the world, introduce fresh characters, and bring more storylines to life.

A (Not So) Happy Ending


One major bugbear I had with the 2004 movie was how it ended. The whole point of ASOUE is that it doesn't really have a happy ending. The 2004 movie (spoilers) ended with the Baudelaire children foiling Count Olaf's plan and sticking him in prison. Even though he escaped, the Orphans were fortunate because they had each other, so it ended on a hopeful note.

That's not what goes down in the books. Without giving anything away, 'The End' is ambiguous, and a little sad. If you're the kind of person that likes your binge-watches to be wrapped up cleanly with no loose ends and a sense of satisfaction, A Series of Unfortunate Events won't be for you.

Count Olaf

Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf. Image: Netflix
Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf. Image: Netflix

Look, I didn't hate Jim Carrey's interpretation of the devious and downright evil Count Olaf, but he wasn't what you would call a truly 'terrifying' individual. He was funny, a bit cooky and sort of ridiculous. Neil Patrick Harris has set out to change that. In the most recent teaser, we meet our new Count Olaf — and he certainly brings a little more depth and unease than Carrey's ever did.

A Series of Unfortunate Events will (un)fortunately be hitting Netflix January 13, 2017 and stars , Patrick Warburton as Lemony Snicket, Malina Weissman as Violet Baudelaire and Louis Hynes as Klaus Baudelaire. With such a rich and depressing source material, this book series is one that deserves to be adapted well, and Netflix might just be mad enough to do it justice.


Do you think Netflix's 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' will be better than the 2004 movie?


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