When we last saw the Baudelaire orphans, their situation couldn't be more precarious. Violet (Malina Weissman) and Klaus (Louis Hynes) were separated from their toddler sister, Sunny (Presley Smith). Now they have to trek the Mortmain Mountains to retrieve her from the clutches of Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris). Not only that but dangers lie ahead for the Baudelaires in the Gorgonian Grotto. Later, they hope a secret mission in the Hotel Denouement will set them free.
The third and final season of 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' dropped on Netflix today, just on time for the hangover binge-watching of New Year's Day. It's a whimsical series full of humour - as well as misfortune - and appropriate for all ages. Mind you, if the tone and style of the first two seasons did nothing for you, this season won't convert you as it's much of the same.
Harris continues to be a hoot as the dastardly Olaf while Lucy Punch makes an apt partner-in-crime as his girlfriend, Esme. Patrick Warburton's animated tones still make him an exquisite narrator. There are many returning characters (but we won't say who because spoilers) while the standouts of the new additions include Max Greenfield ('New Girl') and Allison Williams ('Get Out').
Fans will have to push through parts one and two of 'The Slippery Slope' to get to the better content of this season. One gets lost with the various storylines and characters that are introduced when we're just settling back into the show. Aside from following the Baudelaires, Olaf, and his cronies, we also follow what happens to Poe (K. Todd Freeman), new character Kit Snicket (Williams) and Olaf's newly introduced mentors - the Man With a Beard But No Hair (Richard E. Grant) and the Woman With Hair But No Beard (Beth Grant). Still, every inclusion makes sense in the end and better balance is accomplished in later episodes.
At seven episodes, the third season is the series' shortest. Covering books eleven through thirteen of 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' by Lemony Snicket, it makes the right decision to compress the final, fairly scant book into a single episode. As with previous seasons, the mystery of VFD is more padded out than in the books. Almost everything comes full circle with far fewer ambiguities remaining than were in the source material. Significantly, it adapts line-for-line much of the clever, self-aware dialogue that made the books such a treat.
Highly enjoyable and easy to binge through, the only major downside to the show is it can be repetitive. Given the high calibre of shows on Netflix generally, it's not something to write home about. Still, the final two episodes will leave fans of the books and TV series more than satisfied. They provide a fantastic, dramatic and tragic finale which is surprisingly emotional thanks to Harris giving it his all.
'A Series of Unfortunate Events' is on Netflix now.