The man behind A Series Of Unfortunate Events is asking his fans to choose their own adventure. Lemony Snicket (the pen name of author Daniel Handler) has created a web series called You Choose The Mystery, which asks viewers to select their own path through a satirical film noir story.
You Choose The Mystery is a black-and-white series styled to look like an old film reel from the first half of the 20th century. Over a series of grainy videos, Snicket’s character investigates one mystery film cliche after another. An introductory video sets the tone, and it will be familiar to A Series of Unfortunate Events fans. As with Snicket’s best-selling series, You Choose The Mystery features a satirical, self-aware tone, an unreliable narrator, and at least one long list of seemingly unrelated items.
Snicket launched the series in order to promote All The Wrong Questions, his four-book prequel to A Series Of Unfortunate Events. The third installment, Shouldn’t You Be In School?, was released on the same day as You Choose The Mystery, and it is constantly advertised through pre-roll spots designed to resemble the news reels, studio logos, and old-school advertisements that used to play before movies.
The choose-your-own-adventure format, which is powered through YouTube’s annotations feature, has been done before, but Snicket’s trademark black humor adds a fresh twist. There are 34 videos in all, so get clicking, and don’t be surprised when the series ends on a somber note. This is Lemony Snicket, after all.