As a younger person I did read a few of the books. Actually I read the first 4 – which is what the Netflix’s first season covers so it worked out perfectly! It has been a while though so I don’t have a fantastic recollection of them so I’m going to try to stay away from comparing them too much less I am mistaken.
First thing I noticed about this series was actually how faithful it is to the book – of what I can remember. Each book is split into two-hour long episodes and I’d say it covers the whole thing fantastically. I really liked that the intro to each pair of episodes changes with what they are about. So the first is all about their misery with Count Olaf; the second the terrible events with Uncle Monty; the third about crazy Aunt Josephine and lastly the child labour oddness at the lumber mill.
Quick explanation of the series. It follows the Baudelaire orphans after their parents perish in a fire at their home. They are then sent to live with a man they have never heard of called Count Olaf. The rest of the series revolves around them thwarting Count Olaf’s plans to steal their vast fortune which is being held until Violet, the oldest, comes of age. They bounce around from guardian to guardian with Olaf on their heels the whole time.
I still don’t remember Count Olaf being so silly. It’s kind of why I didn’t like Jim Carey’s rendition of him. I always thought that we was more 85% menace and 15% goofy vs 50/50. I will say I didn’t mind NPH’s take on him and the more I watched the more I got over my preconceived opinions.
I quite enjoyed the child actors and Sunny is damn cute. Louis Hynes’s photo in the intro sequence reminds me a lot of Zachary Quinto when he wears glasses. The only gripe I have with the kids is how distracting it was when they used a CGI Sunny. Sunny is the baby FYI. I’m assuming since it is hard to work with a baby for various reasons they sometimes had to use a body double or a doll. It’s understandable, but they would CGI her head on and it was the only thing I could watch when it was on screen. It was toned/coloured so different then the rest of the screen, kind of glowing and then of course it didn’t move naturally.
The style, colouring and cinematography was really nice during the whole series. It’s generally pretty dark and muted with very dramatic colours popping out when there is a nice place that the orphans don’t get to go to. I feel like sometimes I could really really tell when it was a set or a painted wall, but while I found that distracting I don’t think they tried hard to really hide it. Like it was well done, but I could still tell and by leaving it so it wasn’t super hidden I felt like it was almost a style choice on their part. Does that even make sense?
I am slightly confused about this added plot though. Here I go into trying to remember the books. In the first four at least I don’t remember anything about a secret society or these two other adults that are like super cool top secret spy people. Maybe someone can fill me in on what that is all about and if anything like that happens later in the book. Or you know, I guess I could google it…