A Series Of Unfortunate Events - Season 2

12 May 2018

If you've read my review of the A Series Of Unfortunate Events season 1, you'll know how much of a fan of the programme I am. I read the books religiously when I was younger (my favourite being The Reptile Room) and I was ecstatic when the film came out, so imagine how excited I was about the TV show. I watched the first season and - spoiler - loved it, and couldn't wait for the second to be released! The best thing about this Netflix Original is that it goes live all at once, instead of each episode becoming available week on week, so I was able to consume this whole season within a week!

So, if you aren't completely sure what ASOUE is about, it follows the story of three children whose parents died in a mysterious fire. They are constantly being pursued by Count Olaf, an evil man who wants their fortune, whilst the children try to figure out his connection to their parents' death. It all sounds a bit odd, which it is, but it's honestly brilliant and most certainly isn't for kids. There's a fair amount of scary people involved, murderous plots and scenes that could be distressing, but it's full of dark humour and deadpan jokes, which are right up my street. Something else that particularly grabs me is the breaking of the fourth wall. There are often moments where characters will say something, totally destroying the illusion. For example, one of the opening lines of the season references to the fact that the baby, Sunny, is no longer a baby, even though they're in the same scene that the first season ended with.
Much like the first season, the styling is perfect. There's a great mix of high contrast colouration and this worked with the scripting to bring an element of light and dark. Granted, most of this season was pretty dark, as you can see from the two images I've included so far, but there were moments of vivid colour. It was used less than in the first season and this could be a symbolisation of the final season, which is quickly approaching! Whatever the reason that colouration is used or not used, it looks brilliant and works so well with the story.

That being said, the story began to feel a little bit flat for me. I'm not entirely sure why because ASOUE is known for being a bit of a cat-and-mouse story - the children run away, Count Olaf finds them and wears a disguise to try and trap them, the children escape and repeat - but it began to get a little boring during this season. I realise that there isn't more to be done with it and it's through this style of story that the secrets of VFD and Count Olaf's involvement start to be discovered, but I need a little more. However, things definitely started to pick up towards the end of the season with the introduction of Esme. What a woman! She really was quite the star during this season and I can't wait to see what she gets up to in the third instalment. I also absolutely loved Larry Yourwaiter and Jacques Snicket - both excellent additions to the plot!

I still retain what I said from my first season review - Neil Patrick Harris is a fabulous Count Olaf and Patrick Warburton is brilliant as Lemony Snicket. The pair of them wear their roles so well and they really make the programme for me, particularly Warburton and his deadpan delivery. With the tone of the books in mind, his voice and the way he says the words just work so perfectly! Whereas Harris has totally made Count Olaf his own, especially in this season. If any of you have seen How I Met Your Mother, you'll know that he loves magic and musicals, and somehow, he's managed to get a musical number and a bunch of magic into this season. He's a genius!

While I have read the majority of the books, most of the ones that these episodes were centred around, I struggled to remember, so I can't comment too much on how closely they were followed. However, I loved the Carnivorous Carnival book (I've always had such a fascination for circuses and 'freak shows', particularly through out history) and I know that the two episodes around that one were written very similarly. I knew what was coming up until the very end, which is where the season ends and we're left on a huge cliffhanger. Through reading other reviews, it seems as though the books were followed pretty loosely, much like in the first season, with the introduction of characters and scenes outside of the children's bubble to help move the story along.

While this season was pretty good, I still think that the first one was my favourite, purely because the cat-and-mouse style started to get a little bland after a while. That being said, I'll 100% be watching the third season and finally find out the ending to this whole story! I'd love to get the book collection so that I can read them all again and get all the way through them (I think I got to book 11, then I was deemed 'too old' for the rest). 

Let me know your thoughts below!

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