I'm sorry to say that the article you are about to read is very unpleasant. You probably prefer not to be down in the dumps. You might also prefer not to watch the upcoming Netflix series, "A Series of Unfortunate Events," in which the Baudelaire siblings – Violet (Malina Weissman), Klaus (Louis Hynes) and Sunny (Presley Smith) – encounter numerous depths of despair once their parents suddenly perish in a suspicious fire. As if things couldn't get unfortunate enough, the Baudelaire's attempts at happiness are continuously foiled by their evil guardian, Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris), who has sworn to get his hands on the Baudelaire fortune – even if that means employing a little deception. ("Deception," which here means to "deceive someone," or, in short, to trick them.)
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Even after the success of the 2004 movie "A Series of Unfortunate Events" with Jim Carey, Netflix has decided to cause more misery and turn the famed book series by Lemony Snicket into an even gloomier television show. As a dedicated fan that has pledged to watch this Netflix series to make sure that every detail is correct, I have sealed my fate. Netflix, on the other hand, has caused mass excitement as they add this miserable story to their web-streaming shows – why lure fans in to something that will cause them unhappiness?
My point: there are many pleasing things to watch, but this series contains none of them. Within Season 1's eight episodes are such awful details as the Baudelaire's first encounters with Count Olaf, slimy snakes and Uncle Monty (Aasif Mandvi), a rickety house and the ever-so nervous Aunt Josephine (Alfre Woodard), and a mysterious lumber mill. As if it couldn't get any worse, a very startling character with many different names – Stephano, Captain Sham and Shirley – seems to pop up anytime the Baudelaire's are put in the care of new guardian. Ironically, all three of these people have a tattoo of an eye on their left ankle and a surly crew involving a Hook-Handed Man (Usman Ally), two white-faced women (Jacqueline and Joyce Robbins) and an unidentifiable henchman (Matty Cardarople) with them at all times. Surely you have better things to do than watch this troubling television show.
It is my sad duty to report this unpleasant, upcoming series for USC Annenberg Media, but there should be nothing stopping you from avoiding the very unfortunate trailer posted below and instead doing something happy and fun – you know, if you like that sort of thing.
With all due respect,
All eight episodes in the first season of "A Series of Unfortunate Events" will be available Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 on Netflix.
Reach staff reporter Adrianne Ramsey here.