The long awaited second season of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” was released on March 30 by Netflix. The show follows the story of Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire, who were orphaned after their parents were lost in a fire. Based upon Lemony Snicket’s wildly popular children’s series of the same name, the second season of the show picks up immediately where the first season left off. While “A Series of Unfortunate Events” is considered to be a children’s series, even adults will find this series to be a worthwhile watch.
While much of the second season is very similar to the first, there are some very important differences worth noting. The Baudelaire orphans are far more developed in this season, usually taking initiative instead of accepting their fates. The three children are more concerned with survival than finding happiness with a guardian, adding more dimension to their characters.
The second season also diverts from the first in that the storylines begin to shift mid-season. The otherwise extremely formulaic structure of the show is abruptly changed halfway through the season, varying from the monotony of Season One. The second season also features more plotlines, particularly surrounding the mysterious organization involved with the Baudelaire fire.
One difference I particularly like about the second season is the introduction of capable and competent adults. In the first season, it grew tiresome to watch the Baudelaires encounter nothing but idiotic and ignorant grown-ups. While the second season still relies heavily on this trope, the introduction of Esmé Squalor, Olivia Caliban and Jacques Snicket creates more developed and diverse allies and villains for the Baudelaire children.
The second season of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” follows in the steps of the first season by maintaining the show’s dark tone. The tragic story of the Baudelaire children is set in a depressingly grim world where there are very few moments of happiness. While this may sound dreary, the setting is highly stylized in a way that plays well with the solemn theme.
When I reviewed the first season of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” last year, I stated that the acting was by far the best part of each episode. The second season is no different. Malina Weissman and Louis Hynes, who play Violet and Klaus Baudelaire, put on fantastic performances despite being so young. The child actors are very versatile, switching between deadpan delivery and emotional moments within minutes of each other. Lucy Punch, Nathan Fillion and Sara Rue join the cast of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” for the second season and bring a considerable amount of talent and star power to the show.
Patrick Warburton’s portrayal of Lemony Snicket still stands out as the most memorable performance in the series. His unemotional delivery expertly breaks through the fourth wall, as he often drops hints for events that have yet to come. Warburton’s performance is so precise that he is able to invoke emotions within the viewer without ever getting explicitly emotional.
At the end of the day, “A Series of Unfortunate Events” is a children’s show. There are moments in the second season that are formulaic and silly, but this is to be expected for a show based on children’s novels. It is important to remember this when watching the show, because you will have some trouble enjoying the series if you expect it to be like popular dark dramedies targeted to adults. If you are willing to accept the silliness and simplicity of the show, however, the second season of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” is perfect for adult and childen’s audiences alike.
Lauren Brown is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.