Looking Forward: Hope for A Series of Unfortunate Events

As we here at GWW reflected on the Red Sox fantastic 2013 campaign, we realized that October 2014 will mark ten years since our beloved BoSox broke the Curse in the fateful fall of 2004. As a result, we felt old. In an attempt to feel even older, we will from time to time remember other favorites celebrating their tin anniversary in 2014. Remember, the next ten years could be even better, but don’t get your hopes up.


Well, now it’s been more than ten years since the Curse was broken, so I REALLY feel old. Plus, in light of recent Lester-related events, the lowballing Red Sox aren’t my favorite thing on which to reflect. So I figured we should turn to another disappointment from 2004: Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, the film adaptation of the bestselling series of books. The underwhelming film turns 10 next week.

To quickly summarize, the series follows the orphaned Baudelaire children as they try to elude the mysterious man known as Count Olaf and unpack the murky pasts of their parents and associates. I highly recommend the books, which are strange and sarcastic and unique and wonderful and inventive and just read them ok?!

I write this with blatant personal bias, having loved those alliterative books as much as any I have ever read. Eleven of the thirteen novels had come out by the time of the film’s release, with millions of copies sold and millions of children eagerly awaiting onscreen images of Count Olaf and the Baudelaire children. Of course, you can probably imagine one giant issue just by rereading that last sentence: 13. There was never really hope of a thirteen-film franchise, but Snicket’s (Daniel Handler’s) novels each offer rich and entertaining stories, so a film that incorporates three of the books was bound to disappoint.


Oh, how I would have loved to see these two continue.

The film, starring Jim Carrey as Count Olaf, combines The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, and The Wide Window. This efficient packaging makes for an overcrowded and rushed story. Director Brad Silberling succeeded in bringing Snicket’s zany darkness to the screen, and Carrey was essentially perfect for the role, but he could only do so much while trying to make three stories fit into 110 minutes. Emily Browning (Sucker Punch) and Liam Aiken were also wonderful choices as the two eldest Baudelaire children, but once again the characters’ gloomy likability could not fully form as Silberling and his writers tried to navigate a surplus of material.

Annnnnyyyyyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is: there was so much potential for this series to turn into a kooky blockbuster smash, and I’m sad it didn’t happen.


Good news on the horizon!

Netflix has acquired the rights to the books, and a live-action television series is in the works! When I first heard this news, I cast it aside as insignificant. But since then, I’ve thought about it and gone back to the books. I now realize…THIS IS PERFECT.

The Netflixing of the series allows for both the filling out of each of the stories and the opportunity to binge watch what I have already binge read. To summarize, I write this with the heavy heart I had ten years ago but also with the hopeful one of the present. I loved the books more ten years ago, so I would have preferred to see compelling films then, but I won’t be greedy. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have thirteen books to reread.



Images: melodytomusic.files.wordpress.com, themarysue.com

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About Author: Brian McMahon

Brian is an author and co-founder of GoodWillWatching. He likes to write and is deathly afraid of bugs. His Great American Novel, not yet titled or existent, will be shocking the world some time or another. He once stayed up for two days straight because of poor information regarding the arrival of Halley’s Comet, which was not due for approximately 57 years. You can follow him @bm1313 on Twitter, or in real life from a safe distance.