Netflix have befittingly chosen Friday the 13th of January to premiere the first season of its highly anticipated TV adaptation of A Series Of Unfortunate Events. With this date just around the corner, the streaming giant is reaching the apex of its multi-branched marketing campaign to showcase the whimsically gothic, star-filled TV show.
Netflix have been developing A Series Of Unfortunate Events since 2014, with the aid of pseudonymised author Daniel Handler -who has co-written each episode with Emily Fox, in addition to creating the theme song and executive producing. Also executive producing is Barry Sonnenfield (Men in Black, The Addams Family) who is returning to this role from the 2004 Paramount movie adaptation, and has directed several episodes. Season 1’s 8 episodes will cover the first four of Handler’s thirteen Lemony Snicket novels, with future seasons expected to explore each individual book with the same faithful consistency.
A new promo for A Series of Unfortunate Events has now been unveiled (see above), featuring the fourth-wall breaching, sardonic narration of fictional author Snicket (Patrick Warburton), as he presents the ‘facts’ of the story, along with supporting clips to tease viewers appetites.
A Series Of Unfortunate Events follows the unrelenting bad luck of the three Baudelaire orphans, who are passed from one eccentric relation to the next as they navigate various disasters, try to protect their inheritance from their dastardly guardian Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris) and investigate the suspicious circumstances of their parents’ life and death. Netflix have continued their trend of casting unknown child actors to play the older two orphaned children, Violet (Malina Weissman) and Klaus (Louis Hynes), and have secured well-known talents to play the assorted adult members of the Baudelaire family and friends, including Joan Cusack, Catherine O’Hara and Alfre Woodard.
Following the expected marketing trail of teasers and full trailers, this new promo focusses the spotlight on the character of Snicket himself, whose narration within the original novels creates much of the humorously macabre storytelling style that makes A Series of Unfortunate Events uniquely recognizable. Choosing Warburton’s equally recognizable and particular brand of absurd acrimoniousness to this role could be a polarizing choice for some fans, but it certainly adds to the delightfully oddball and theatrical styling we have seen from the Netflix TV adaptation so far.
It will be interesting to see how Snicket’s unusual role of fourth wall ‘aside’ narration will be explored within A Series Of Unfortunate Events. This is a relatively common trope in film and TV, especially in this case where the narrator is unknown to the story’s characters, yet is visibly presenting the action to the audience, creating another layer to the plot. The success of this device can be judged soon enough when the series airs.
A Series Of Unfortunate Events season 1 debuts Friday January 13th on Netflix.