Netflix would air Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events", which was given a second chance on the small screen. TV producers were like the big bosses during the studio days, where they were open to the original material. A big-screen version, featuring Jim Carrey as Count Olaf, was released in 2004. Paramount Pictures did come up with a decent remake, as fans of Daniel Handler's books noticed the grim lighting and Gothic structures. It happened that this series deserved a franchise, but moviegoers might not be receptive to the material. It may be a different case in television.
For those who would be unfamiliar with the series, then they could recall their childhood fairy tales. We could be referring to the first edition when the authors weren't keeping their young readers in mind. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire were frolicking in Briny Beach when Mr. Poe, banker and acquaintance of their parents, told them about their house in flames and their parents perished in it. Olaf, their distant kin, claimed to be their guardian. The orphans never expected to be introduced to wickedness at a very young age.
A respected judge once said that criminals were products of a broken home (at an early age), and it would be up to readers to decide if the Baudelaire siblings would fit the description. A librarian with a golden heart believed that trying to be noble would be good enough, yet Violet, Klaus, and Sunny often wondered if they did. If you can't beat them, then join them. It doesn't necessarily mean that the forces of good must resort to treacherous acts. All of these will be illustrated in the series again and again, but Handler's passion for literature and playful use of words would distract readers. There was hardly any doubt that this could be another form of entertainment, which might prompt them to be ashamed of themselves. The author was thinking how readers would react to such situations, the same way that the Baudelaire kids deal with miserable conditions.
Let's take a look:
The End (Book 13). Don't be surprised if Handler put most of his aces in this final book, which could be seen as Robinson Crusoe starring in a Biblical parable. Literature students would have a field day on this one, as they should recall their favorite castaways once more. (Then again, they might have struggled to remember them when they tried to beat the deadline to their assignments.) If the Garden of Eden were a desert island, then drinking coconut juice filled with an opium-like substance could be the greatest virtue. There was an irony behind it, there seemed to be a startling truth about human nature. Readers who were expecting another open ending would be surprised about the change of tone in the final chapter. It may force them to read the book again. Handler won't be pulling a leg.
The Austere Academy (Book 5). The series was supposed to inflict misery on the Baudelaire kids and readers, and this book achieved its purpose. Bad education, child exploitation, bullying, you name it. Handler peppered his narration with goofball humor, which kept the readers on sticking to the pages (until the final page). This was probably the best time to appreciate (or hate) poetry.
The Ersatz Elevator (Book 6). Handler might have recalled "Barefoot in the Park", where the huge stairway played a prominent role. In this book, the Baudelaire kids figured out how the very tall stairway made their existence a little bit worse (or a little bit better at some point). Esmee Squalor was introduced here. She was the wife of Jerome Squalor, one of the guardians of the kids. She may be the most memorable character in the series (after Olaf), whose was so obsessed with fashions trends. It could be outrageous sometimes, it would be horrifying at other times. If not for her, then this book might end up in the bottom of the list.
The Grim Grotto (Book 11). The Baudelaire kinds find themselves in Jules Verne's territory, where they had to retrieve a sugar bowl on the bottom of the sea. The forces of good would prevail if they could get their hands on it first, while Olaf would triumph if he beat the Baudelaire orphans. Herman Melville would be amused by Handler's reference to "Moby Dick", and how the wasabi would play a crucial role in this never-ending battle between good and evil. Sushi lovers may give readers a blank expression, though.
The Hostile Hospital (Book 8). It was no coincidence that the patients (or most of them) were female literary characters, as Handler upped the humor (and wickedness). Some readers may find it hard to believe at the descriptions, but they should remind themselves that this was fiction. If this was real life, then there might not be E. R. to speak of. The author wasn't referring to the popular NBC drama, though.
The Slippery Slope (Book 10). This book would be memorable for many reasons. First love, Esmee Squalor's version of the alphabet song, young love, Violet's inventive skills on full display, pure love, nutty volunteers on the loose. Readers must choose one.
The Miserable Mill (Book 4). Child exploitation in the workplace could be taboo, but the miserable kids witnessed moments of goodness from the least-expected circumstances. This would be the closest to the reality, yet Handler introduced hypnotism on this particular episode. It won't be a fascinating sight, though. The sum could be rather unusual.
The Vile Village (Book 7). Readers would have fun (or got weary) with Handler's repeated attempts to define V. F. D. It would unlock the mystery surrounding the existence of the Baudelaire kids, but it won't happen in this ghastly town. Yet. The author described a setting resembling an Edgar Allan Poe short story, and the orphans were exploited more. The macabre elements would amuse readers, which was unfathomable at the beginning. This would be the case with the other books.
The Wide Window (Book 3). Claustrophobia turned out to be laughing medicine while Handler gave fear of heights a different meaning. The kids met their Aunt Josephine, their story seemed still like the lake below Josephine's humongous home. A violent storm shook the story (and the characters), leaving the kids dazed and confused. Readers wanted a repeat.
The Carnivorous Carnival (Book 9). Why do bad guys have all the spunk? This was answered in this book, where Violet, Klaus, and Sunny first learned about being impostors (and tried to beat Olaf to it). The questions haunting the kids (and readers) would be answered here. Not all of them, as there were four books remaining in the shelf. Don't cry for Madame Lulu, another good-hearted volunteer who fought for the good cause in vain.
The Reptile Room (Book 2). This was the only time where the Baudelaire kids experienced happiness after the unforgettable day at Briny Beach, where Uncle Monty turned out to be as good as their parents. This won't be the destiny of good volunteers, so the orphans were lucky to have a cool uncle (and a friendly viper for a cuddle buddy).
The Penultimate Peril (Book 12). The villains and guardians of the Baudelaire kids met in Hotel Denouement, which would make readers wonder about a few things. Why not the beach? Most villains don't like to have a sun-tanned skin. Why not the park? It rather seemed a lovely place for a meeting. Why not the restaurant? Any food would be better than Indian cuisine. The hotel could be another form of smoke and mirror, and readers must not get distracted by the lettuce leaves all over Esmee Squalor's private parts. Many questions will be answered here, which would give readers a deja vu feeling. Someone up there was smiling at them.
The Bad Beginning (Book 1). As the title would imply, it was a prelude to what the orphans and readers would expect.