Review: Season two of ‘Series of Unfortunate Events’ is delightfully bizarre


Courtesy of Netflix

“Fans of the book series should be happy to know that the show sticks to the peculiar narration style of Lemony Snickett as well as the general plot of the books without copying it directly.”

Anna Stockton, Staff Writer

After the surprising success of season one, the Netflix original “A Series of Unfortunate Events” is back with its second installment to the tragic tale of the Baudelaire children. Charming and strange as ever, season two is a successful continuation of an already compelling story.

The second season of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” is as delightfully bizarre as the first. It makes the audience feel uncomfortable and frustrated with each guardian the cursed children endure. In season two, the kids are introduced to the Quagmires, two former triplets with lives shockingly similar to their own. As the plot unfolds, the mystery of the organization VFD becomes both more clear and more boggled. The twisted and upsetting plot guided by the haunted narration of mysterious figure Lemony Snickett makes for an experience that truly does leave viewers wishing they could swoop in and save the five children from their turmoil.

Fans of the book series should be happy to know that the show sticks to the peculiar narration style of Lemony Snickett as well as the general plot of the books without copying it directly. Those who have read the series will find that they are still very much in the dark on a majority of the plot. Yet, despite this, the show is still true to the Baudelaire children’s character. Violet is inventive, Klaus is brilliant, and Sunny’s teeth are as sharp as ever. This commitment to the kids’ personalities is what makes the show so strong.

One of my favorite things about season two is the introduction of The Quagmires. Quigley and Isadora are just as charming as the three protagonists, and they provide an interesting complement to the Baudelaires. Up until now, the siblings never had other children they could honestly relate to. They didn’t have friends or peers who they could be themselves around. With the two families being introduced in the first episode, there is a noticeable change in the Baudelaire’s disposition. For once, it feels as if the kids are truly happy and have hope for the future. This is a nice break from the consistently dark nature of the story. There’s hope that maybe, just maybe, the Baudelaire children can finally find a peaceful life complimented by the only two people in the world who can truly understand them.

A problem that comes up with the series is its tendency to overuse repetition. While repetition can be a powerful tool to some extent, it becomes a little odd in terms of “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” Every episode has the same frustrating form: The kids are moved, they think they are safe, Count Olaf shows up, no one believes them when they say so, their mentor dies or is unable to help them anymore, repeat. While this is how the books are, and there was a certain kind of charm to that, when adapting to the TV screen, some things need to change. It’s exhausting and can be boring to watch when you can generally predict exactly what’s going to happen.

One way to get around the issue of boredom with “A Series of Unfortunate Events” is to space out your viewing of the episodes. Binging the second season is not advisable because fairly quick into your session, the plots start to blend together, and it almost feels like a chore to click the “play next” button. Instead, try to do two episodes every few days. Watching it over a longer period of time will make it more memorable, more entertaining, and a more fulfilling experience overall.

While not for everyone, season two of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” is an entertaining and cohesive addition to the first, and any fan of the book series should find joy in their viewing experience.

My Rating: B+