More than two years after it was first revealed, Netflix’s take on A Series of Unfortunate Events has arrived. The subscription-video adaptation of the best-selling book series by Daniel Handler has premiered its first season, and both the critical response and the outlook for a second go-around are positive.
A Series of Unfortunate Events, written by Handler using his pen name Lemony Snicket, follows the miserable lives of the three Baudelaire orphans. They are passed from protector to protector as they are stalked by the nefarious Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris), who wishes to adopt them in order to claim their family’s fortune for himself. The first season of the Netflix series covers the first four entries, starting with the ominously titled “Bad Beginning.”
Handler wrote most of the episodes in the Netflix adaptation first season, and critics have praised his sly script as well as the show’s strong production design. The Verge has called A Series of Unfortunate Events Netflix’s “first great TV for families,” and the general consensus is that the show far outshines the poorly-received 2004 film based on the same source material.
With A Series of Unfortunate Events looking like it will be a hit, attention has now shifted to its second season, where five more books are likely to be adapted. While Netflix has given no official word on whether it will renew its latest release, Handler has indicated that a fresh batch of episodes is all but assured. “Given how quickly young actors age and change, we’re trying to film everything as quickly as possible,” he said.