Back in 1999, the first two novels in a series of children’s books were released by Daniel Handler under the pen name Lemony Snicket. The series, titled A Series of Unfortunate Events, would eventually span 13 books, plus several more companion books and stories set in the same universe. A film based on the first three books in the series, starring Jim Carrey, Jude Law, and Meryl Streep, was released in 2004.
Surprisingly, despite its stars and the popularity of the source material, the feature film failed to spawn a franchise. Since then, the property has lingered for over a decade, but now the franchise will have a new chance to strike the right chord with audiences, thanks to Netflix. The streaming service has adapted the books into a series, set to premiere January 13, 2017. The new seres sees Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) taking Carrey’s place as Count Olaf and Malina Weissman (Supergirl) as Violet.
And now, a newly released trailer emphasizes some of the dangers the children will face. But in front of it all is Lemony Snicket, the fictional author of the Baudelaire’s story. In the series, Snicket is played by Patrick Warburton (Family Guy), who warns the viewers that the trailer is full of terrible things, such as “disturbed plots”, “villainous frightful deeds”, and an “absurd amount of child endangerment.” Snicket suggests that viewers “look away” rather than watch such things.
This warning from Snicket fits the tone of the original novels well. Each book mentioned the terrible things the children would encounter throughout the story — everything from life or death situations to disgusting food, and the books also offered plenty of gentle encouragement that the readers not subject themselves to such horrors. Even the lights darken once the trailer gets going, as if to emphasize how “unfortunate” the lives of these three children will be once the story gets moving.
The trailer also reveals several elements of the story which suggests the series will hold true to the books, including Sunny’s unusually sharp teeth, Olaf’s tattoo, as well as a grand seafaring adventure. There are also glimpses of some of the characters the children encounter in their search for a home, such as Justice Strauss and their family’s lawyer Mr. Poe, meaning this upcoming series of unfortunate events will be chock full of talent enticing you to do anything but look away.
A Series of Unfortunate Events season 1 will be available in its entirety on Netflix January 13, 2017.