Season Premiere: January 1, 2019
Watch it on Netflix: Netflix has tried their best to discourage you from watching any further, and they’re back again with another warning. Those of a nervous disposition should under no circumstances be tempted to watch, listen, read, or smell the slightest detail regarding the tragic misfortune of the Baudelaire orphans. Daniel Handler’s popular series of books was originally adapted by Brad Silberling (Land of the Lost) into Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, a vehicle for the then-still-popular Jim Carrey’s contortionist antics. The film hastily crammed the first three novels into a feature length runtime that barely scratched the morbidly witty surface of the novels and wrapped the events up in an uncharacteristically satisfying bow. Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black), originally attached to direct the film before creative differences hit a speedbump, returned to the project to produce and occasionally direct alongside a team that included Lemony Snicket himself, codename for secretive children’s author Daniel Handler. Neil Patrick Harris’s pitch perfect casting as Count Olaf became the linchpin for the series and, alongside a cast of guest stars and talented newcomers, the show was a hit in spite of the various warnings to look away. Adapting each book into two hour-long episodes gives the series a lot more time to breathe and the visual style, compelling twists, and performances firing on all cylinders arguably make this one of the most successful and expansive adaptations ever.