Review: A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 1 Episode 2 “The Bad Beginning: Part Two”

It has become clear that the writer’s focus is purely on tone and wit, yet he fails in executing both. The tone is inconsistent and ineffective, with any attempts at black comedy or providing a dark edge to a simple story suffering due to melodrama and camp that is given no restraint, but more unfortunately, no point. Both of these genres and techniques work when they are used in moderation to fulfil a greater purpose or highlight a historical or thematic idea, but this show is unable to deliver any. The wit is also underwhelming with a pool of awfully written and delivered jokes that are repeatedly imposed on the audience for little reason and with less success. While Neil Patrick Harris is superb in capturing the zany, ‘out there’ Count Olaf, he is unable to balance this with menace, meaning that the disturbing deeper connotations of his dialogue is lost beside a scene or two. The bland child actors are also unable to conjure up any inspiration or connection, leading to a slow episode that, while running over an hour, is mostly composed of filler. 5.8/10

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