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Fortunate return of ‘Unfortunate’ series based on beloved children’s books

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Review

Emily Foster

Staff Writer

“A Series of Unfortunate Events” season two can now be found on Netflix and, fortunately, lives up to the high expectations set by season one.

The first season was widely loved and praised, and luckily for avid fans of the series, the second season does not fall short. It carries on the dark premise and absurd humor the series is known for while incorporating new guest stars and storylines.

The show is based on the beloved but dark children’s novels by Lemony Snicket and does well in staying faithful to them and the aura of Snicket’s writing in its on-screen adaptation.

Though some of the details of the stories may have been changed, the show stays true to the mood, aesthetic and identity of the characters and world created by Snicket.

The writing in the novels is full of sarcasm and self-deprecation, shown through both the dialogue and the narration — a trait that is showcased by the fact that the author spent three pages of one of the novels filling it with nothing but the word “very.”

The show keeps the same clever, subtle tone and humor, escalating some of the scare from the first season but also beginning to hint at hope for the children as they are not only running away from danger but are now running toward a future.

Count Olaf, just as devious as ever, continues to pursue the children while sporting myriad clever disguises, and the Baudelaires must again and again outsmart him and the other adults in order to save themselves and their friends.

The new season starts out with much the same predicaments of the first, but complications are added as it progresses, and the background on the Baudelaires’ parents is revealed, which puts a new and interesting twist to keep viewers engaged throughout season two and wanting more from season three.

The acting from the main characters continues to impress but is also particularly excellent from new guest stars, including my personal favorites, Nathan Fillion and Kitana Turnbull.

Fillion plays Jacques Snicket, the witty and valiant brother of the narrator Lemony Snicket, and Turnbull plays a bright but nasty splotch of pink named Carmelita Spats in the first two gloomy and gray episodes of the new season.

These episodes also provide prime examples for the humor of the show as the children are shipped off to a boarding school whose mascot is a dead horse.

Their chant: “What can’t be beat? A dead horse!”

This is prime Snicket humor if I have ever seen it.

A lot of the sets were exaggerated with eye-catching architecture and set pieces that were juxtaposed with dull colors and backdrops.

The show does a great job of creating a visual interpretation of such an interesting and cynical world.

Not to mention, Neil Patrick Harris once again came through with more brilliant new theme songs, different for every two episodes, while the music throughout the episodes also served to bring the viewer into the mood of the show.

The series continues to play with blending the literal and figurative line in several of its jokes, and viewers should brace themselves for quite the “cliff hanger” at the end of the season.

Production has already started on the third and final season, and hopefully fans won’t have to wait much longer than a year to find out what happens to everyone’s favorite orphans and how their stories end.