Friday, March 30 brought distress, dread and despair to viewers as the second season of A Series of Unfortunate Events became available to watch on Netflix. Taking a more gothic approach on children’s television the show follows the David Handler (Lemony Snicket) children’s series of the same name.
Life is not simple or pleasant for the Baudelaire children, Violet, (Malina Weissman) Klaus (Louis Hynes) and Sunny (Presley Smith) who the books and Netflix series follow. After losing their parents in a fire they have been shipped from one guardian to another chased by the evil Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris), a vile, fiendish and deceitful villain who will do anything to get the Baudelaires' fortune.
Starting in the Austre Academy where the first season left off, season two follows the Baudelaire orphans in a series of absurd and awful situations. From falling down an empty elevator shaft to dealing with carnivorous cats and vile violin recitals the new season brings a mix of action, drama and humor to the screen.
Season two brings back various familiar dramatic characters from season one including Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris) and Lemony Snicket the Narrator (Patrick Warburton) back to the show in addition to various new cast members and characters as the Baudelaire story progresses. New characters include Fashion Icon Esmere Squalor (Lucy Punch), the Baudelaires' friends and comrades the Quagmire Triplets (Dylan Kingwell and Avi Lake) and Mysterious V.F.D. members Jacques Snicket (Nathan Filion) and Olivia Caliban (Sara Rue).
Despite still including several musical numbers to showcase the talents of Neil Patrick Harris, an actor as sinfully sappy as the character he plays, creators have fixed several problems which fans had from the first season. Adding additional V.F.D content varying from the books as not to stretch the already thin books too far in trying to fit them into a two-hour special. In addition, the CGI used to create more expression in Baby Sunny (Presley Smith) has been altered to give a more natural feel to the baby’s expressions.
The series is not one to be taken lightly, as it does not stray away from hard topics. With talk of such things as murder, greed, arson and corrupt parental figures season two takes a dark turn from other children’s shows. Going even dreadfully darker than the first season, the second season finds the Baudelaires in several new sticky situations which they work together to make their way through.
Often showing parallels to our world, the gruesome gothic show has an important message: never give up. Whether you are three orphans stuck in a series of unfortunate events or a college student going through a rough final, there is always hope. Throughout the series we see Violet, Klaus and Sunny be put in various frightening and dangerous situations which they must use their specific talents to work their way through, however no matter how many dreadful, dreary situations they find themselves in the Baudelaire orphans never lose hope and never give up.
Echo Rating: A