“A Series of Unfortunate Events” Season 2: A Review

Image result for a series of unfortunate events season 2
Source: TV Series Finale.

Greetings!

Just last week, I came around to finishing the second season of Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. As I’d watched the first season last summer and enjoyed it, I was keen on the next season. It was interesting, because I’d heard absolutely nothing about when the second season would begin– I don’t even think it had been promoted, because I found out that it was on from a friend on Facebook, almost a month after it’d premiered. Any case, I was glad to jump on the Netflix bandwagon again, and watch the next few installments in the “unfortunate” tales of the Baudelaire orphans and Count Olaf.

*note* While not guaranteed, I’ll do my best to keep spoilers a minimum. Otherwise, you can go watch the new season and return this post once you’ve finished.

Whereas the first season was more focused on Count Olaf and his antics (really, Neil Patrick Harris stole the show), the second concentrates on the Baudelaires, as they’re taking a more active role, not only as means of survival, but also to uncover secrets kept from them (who is/are the VFD? Is one of the Baudelaire parents still alive?). True, Count Olaf is still ever-present and being wonderfully-devilish, but as viewers we can really see the character development of the Baudelaire orphans as they go from Prufrock Prep to Caligari Carnival (Books 5 to 9 in the eponymous literary series).

Some die-hard fans of the book series have complained that the Netflix series deviates from the original plot, as it adds characters not from the novels and conflates several of them and their story-lines. While I did notice these changes, I didn’t find them bothersome, as I thought that the additional characters enriched the plot and humor (especially Olivia Caliban and Jacquelyn, the secretary). Perhaps it’s because I’d read the series, but I found the show to be more-revealing of the VFD secrets, which isn’t a bad thing, and it certainly adds for more intrigue for the next season to come.

I would say that the episodes for The Ersatz Elevator were my favorites, as I found it the most absurd, but enjoyably comical ones. Tony Hale, who plays Jerome Squalor, was low-key fantastic, and the restaurant scene(s) were a pleasure to watch. Plus, the Squalor’s penthouse looked so posh or, as Esmé would say, “very in” (Lucy Punch does a brilliant job as the socialite-turned-crook). The chemistry was spot-on with each and every one of the characters, and they turned out to be my favorite episodes in the series.

My least-episodes would have to be those from The Vile Village and the second half of The Hostile Hospital. I don’t think enough time was given to the former, as I found the episodes a bit rushed from the Baudelaires arriving in the village to their run-from-the-law in the end. The second half of The Hostile Hospital also felt rushed, and I would’ve preferred the Baudelaire’s disguises to have worked on the adults themselves, as they’d done in the novel.

Overall, though, I found season 2 to be a fun ride, perhaps even more so than season 1. Despite some changes from the novel, I think they worked out for the best, as more creative liberty could be had. The actors and actresses appeared to have a blast playing their roles, and I’m looking forward to season 3 in due course!

Have you watched Season 2 already? If so, let me know what you think of it!

— The Finicky Cynic

Check me out on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/thefinickycynic

2 thoughts on ““A Series of Unfortunate Events” Season 2: A Review

  1. Ciara's palette

    I love this series!! I read all the books and saw the movie. I finished watching the second season awhile ago and it was my favorite of the two. I’m not a huge fan of all the extra stuff added in, but it doesn’t bother me either. If anything I like the characterization in the show and I think it mimicks the books pretty well. The Ersatz Elevator was my favorite too. I wasn’t a fan of the book version of the Vile Village so I don’t care for the episode too much. The Austere Academy wasn’t as great as I hoped it would be or as I remembered it. But I am soooooo excited for the next/last season!! The last few books were my favorite and I can’t wait to see how it’s done. Plus I’m wondering how they’ll incorporate more of VFD!

    1. rebbit7

      Glad to see you enjoy ASOUE, too! It’s a delightful series to lose yourself in. The extra stuff grew on me, and I think it adds more depth to the story. Looking forward to the rest of the series; next year can’t come soon enough!

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