Review: A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 1 Episode 1 “The Bad Beginning: Part One”

The potent commentary made within this show about the optimism of children versus the duty and incompetency of adults is well reflected by the self-aware dialogue that frequently discusses emotion in a show lacking it. Instead, sympathy and connection is substituted for the show’s quirky tone, which initially is humourous and gratifying but soon becomes jarring and forceful, fragmenting the pace. Unlike Patrick Warburton, the young actors are unsuccessful in making the dialogue necessary or sophisticated. It instead comes across as simply the blunt work of a writer and makes even Warburton’s contributions eventually tediously repetitive. Isolating the audience from the story’s emotion works to reflect the adult’s selfish careless manner, but also makes it difficult to care. The desire to pamper tone, dilutes everything else, which is fine at first, but leaves the viewer wanting something more complex and involving. Yet, the Baz Luhrman/Wes Anderson-esque production design, score and direction are all mesmorising and allow the gothic story to at times flourish, making the story compelling, but often too arcane. 7/10

 

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