Title: A Series of Unfortunate Events
Release Dates: 2019
Number of Episodes: 7
The third season of Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events adapts the final four books in the series. With the final book, The End, told in in one episode, it also the shortest of the three series at only 7 episodes. This season takes some strange tonal shifts from the earlier season, but that is also true to the books which became darker, sadder, and well … stranger than the earlier books. The Baudelaires find themselves trapped in an increasingly Kafka-esque world, and the quest for the sugar bowl seems to take precedence over their desire to just escape Olaf and get on with their lives. And then The End reveals that an entirely different story is being told about the loss of childhood innocence, mortality, and the impossibility of trying to escape to a quiet, safe place.
It’s been a dozen or more years since I read the books and I found myself constantly uncertain if the show was changing things from the books or if just forgot major details. I believe the direct involvement of Lemony Snicket in the Baudelaire’s story and the flashback to the opera are major enhancements of the books. And Kit revealing what the sugar bowl contains, rather than leaving it a mystery, is a somewhat unsatisfactory twist for something that was essentially a MacGuffin. But it’s most likely that the show is largely faithful to the books and I just plum forgot the details so I got to be surprised by them all over again. Either way, it’s time to reread the book.
As always, the acting is top notch, the gags are funny, and the set designs and costumes are eye-catching! This is a show that should be watched and enjoyed.