Friday, September 8, 2017

Now Playing: A Series of Unfortunate Events

Perfect Picture Book Friday returns today, so this is the last book/movie review for the year. Join me next week for my picture book review of Blue Sky White Stars.

Welcome to the Bookish Ambition 
Summer Drive-In  

The Circle Drive-In from my childhood. Still open and now with double features on two screens!

Now Playing: 
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Written by Lemony Snicket
Cover by Brett Helquist
HarperCollins, 1999
Ages 8-12, Lexile 1010L

A Series of Unfortunate Events,
Netflix, 2017
A Series of Unfortunate Events, Complete Wreck (#1-13)
HarperCollins, 1999

Misfortune, Misery, Despair, Orphans

Highlights from the book? 
  • The tongue-in-cheek cover copy, backmatter, dedication, etc.
  • Brett Helquist's illustrations
  • Grammar jokes
  • Bizarre humor

Highlights from the series?
  • Count Olaf
  • Music written by Nick Urata
  • Attention to detail
  • Addition of clues and hints to the larger plot

"If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book. In this book, not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in the middle. This is because not very many happy things happened in the lives of the three Baudelaire youngsters. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire were intelligent children, and they were charming, and resourceful, and they had pleasant facial features, but they were extremely unlucky, and most everything that happened to them was rife with misfortune, misery, and despair. I am sorry to tell you this, but that is how the story goes."

Movie Trailer:

A Series of Unfortunate Events is a horrible book series about three orphans who suffer terribly at the hands of a heinous villain and who, though they are exceptionally bright and talented, are surrounded by people who are not, which leads to even more misfortune.

Actually, this is a great book series. The macabre humor is adored by both kids and adults. I absolutely recommend the book series over the Netflix series because much of the humor is dependent on the printed page. However, for fans of the books, I do recommend this well-produced-if-somewhat-unusual TV series. The shows have been re-scripted to include foreshadowing of many of the twists which affect the series arc. The show has an increased cohesiveness, but lacks the more subtle revelations I enjoyed as I read each book sequel. As of yet, there is no scheduled second season. This puts the series at another only goes up top book four!

While the first episode is excruciatingly drawn out, it also adds delightfully ghoulish touches of it's own like a bizarre musical number. The kids are adorable if not perfectly cast, and a few characters throughout the series just aren't as caricatured as in the books, but those are nitpicks. I think audiences of all ages can enjoy the Netflix Original. Watch it and tell us your opinion.

Reminisce with intermission commercials
from Captain Bijou on You Tube.

Visit Our Snackbar!

Instead of the traditional Drive-In fare, I've included a recipe for Puttanesca sauce and 10 ways to prepare roast beef, just in case you are forced to watch this series with an estranged,distant, and demanding relative.

Nostalgic for a drive-in movie?
There are over 5,000 drive-in theaters across the U.S. mapped for you on Cinema Treasures.

Create your own snack trays with dollar store caddies
 thanks to Penny Pincher Jenny

Have you seen any screen adaptations about the Baudelaire's? What's your opinion?
Have you reviewed any Lemony Snicket books? Please leave your link in the comments below. Thanks!

View all the Summer Drive-In reviews for 2017.
Check out the Marvelous Middle Grade Monday review of  A Series of Unfortunate Events, coming September 11, 2017.


  1. Just so darn delicious! I even have The Beatrice Letters:)

    1. I STILL haven't gotten to that one, but I love Snicket's Unauthorized Biography and his All the Wrong Questions series. Thanks.


Thank-you for taking time to share your thoughts!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.