• Network: Netflix
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 13, 2017
Season #: 3, 2, 1
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 24 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24

Where To Watch

Stream On

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Jan 12, 2017
    100
    This is not just whistling Dixie. Although basically comic, and not without moments of beauty and relief, the series is a dream in which you escape one trap only to fall into another, elude your pursuer only to find him somehow before you, and where hope springs eternal only so it can be eternally snatched away. But you should watch it, anyway, and take your time.
  2. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jan 10, 2017
    100
    Unfortunate Events is not only binge-worthy, it’s binge-demanding.
  3. Reviewed by: Jeff Jensen
    Jan 9, 2017
    91
    The always imperiled, always plucky Baudelaire children are well cast, and everything works to create a resonant saga about heroism in a world made mad and near meaningless by adult mismanagement. [13 Jan 2017, p.56]
  4. Reviewed by: Ben Travers
    Jan 5, 2017
    91
    Just as the blunt-in-message and beautiful-to-behold production design works in the series’ favor by leaning into its allusions, A Series of Unfortunate Events proves as inspirational and endearing as it claims to be forlorn and heartbreaking.
  5. TV Guide Magazine
    Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jan 13, 2017
    90
    Somehow both literate and ludicrous, the fractured fable of the imperiled but resourceful Baudelaire children finds wit amid the weirdly grotesque. [16-29 Jan 2017, p.17]
  6. Reviewed by: Sonia Saraiya
    Jan 6, 2017
    90
    What’s best of all about A Series of Unfortunate Events is how every element of it--from the performances and set pieces to the detailed production design and steady pacing--come together to form a complete, considered vision.
  7. Reviewed by: Bruce Miller
    Jan 17, 2017
    80
    By breaking the books into digestible chunks, it goes down smoothly and, yes, makes you want more.
  8. Reviewed by: Rob Lowman
    Jan 13, 2017
    80
    The eight-part series, based on the popular children’s books by Daniel Handler, is delightfully weird or weirdly delightful, depending. The hourlong show can be both light and unexpectedly dark.
  9. Reviewed by: Geoff Carter
    Jan 12, 2017
    80
    The Netflix show is smartly scripted, boasts some feature film-worthy production design and has a terrific ensemble cast that includes Patrick Warburton as kindly narrator Lemony Snicket and Neil Patrick Harris in prime scenery-chewing form as the villainous Count Olaf.
  10. Reviewed by: Lenika Cruz
    Jan 12, 2017
    80
    The result is a show that’s likely to appeal to both adults and children with its layers of mystery, a weird sense of humor, and hyper-self-awareness--as long as viewers can accept the misery that lies ahead.
  11. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Jan 12, 2017
    80
    It’s made with just the right amounts of mordant humor, light macabre atmosphere, pun-filled dialogue, and amusing performances to charm and engage.
  12. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    Jan 11, 2017
    80
    The whole enterprise is wrapped in a big-budget look and served with a respect for the ability of young minds to perceive offbeat, incongruous humor, the very quality that made the books so successful in the first place.
  13. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jan 10, 2017
    80
    The show proves a good deal of fun, and Harris dives into his over-the-top character with considerable gusto. It's also something that parents ought to be able to watch with their older kids -- enjoying the clever wordplay, like an argument over when to say "literally" versus "figuratively" -- which qualifies as a fairly rare occurrence in the realm of premium cable and streaming.
  14. Reviewed by: Will Ashton
    Jan 5, 2017
    80
    Netflix does Snicket right with their take on A Series of Unfortunate Events. Cheeky, confident and vigorous in its design, and aided by highly enjoyable supporting turns from Joan Cusack, K. Todd Freeman and Aasif Mandvi, it’s a rightly impressive, frequently fun screen adaptation.
  15. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Jan 5, 2017
    80
    The former Doogie Howser knows how to expertly milk a laugh from a mugging glower, a sarcasm-tinged line reading, or an extended bit of physical comedy (there's some especially funny work with O'Hara in this regard). And none of that counteracts the slight twinges of pathos he allows to break through the cartoonish veneer whenever the series tantalizingly references Olaf and the Baudelaires's backstory.
  16. Reviewed by: Aubrey Page
    Jan 5, 2017
    80
    While adult non-fans might find themselves out-quirked and frankly exhausted by the show’s tone, it’s deeply Snicket-y, unapologetically dark, and a fresh yet familiar adaptation that should charm grown fans and childhood bingers alike.
  17. Reviewed by: Tom Long
    Jan 20, 2017
    75
    A Series of Unfortunate Events makes it downright difficult to “Look Away.”
  18. Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    Jan 13, 2017
    75
    Lemony Snicket is dark and funny, campy and whimsical.
  19. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Jan 11, 2017
    75
    A little too Lemony, but genial, well-produced and presumably faithful to the Lemony Snicket vision.
  20. Reviewed by: Erik Adams
    Jan 5, 2017
    75
    It’s easy to forget that A Series Of Unfortunate Events is family entertainment. It treats mature themes like grief, loss, and disappointment with sardonic honesty, but that’s a world-weariness beyond the show’s reading level.
  21. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    Jan 12, 2017
    70
    You’re better off spreading out the Unfortunate Events, the same way you did when you read these stories as a child, or perhaps when you read them now with your own kids.
  22. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jan 12, 2017
    70
    How much you enjoy these Series of Unfortunate Events depends on your appetite for the TV equivalent of consuming bowlsful of meringue--there’s a lot of excessively rich, fluffy, eggy humor here. The show is, over the long haul of near-hour-long episodes, rather too precious and campy for my taste, but I can certainly imagine a large audience for such well-written joking.
  23. Reviewed by: Nick Allen
    Nov 29, 2017
    60
    A Series of Unfortunate Events is a very delicate balancing act that I still don’t think quite works, but I’m happy for the viewers who do like these stories that a full-fledged production is now available for them, a type of fan service of uncommon generosity. It’s just up to your sense of humor as to whether this is an elaborate contraption or just a franchise that denies death.
  24. Reviewed by: Caroline Framke
    Jan 13, 2017
    60
    Book readers will undoubtedly find things to love in the twisting Gothic sets (thank you, Netflix’s generous budget!), its clear affection for the source material, and the generous runtime a movie adaptation could never allow. From the outside looking in, though, unraveling Lemony Snicket’s many strange-for-the-sake-of-it twists and scattershot storytelling feels like more trouble than it’s worth.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 282 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 19 out of 282
  1. Jan 13, 2017
    9
    A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 1 is a really great start to this new series that can appeal to both kids and adults. They did a reallyA Series of Unfortunate Events Season 1 is a really great start to this new series that can appeal to both kids and adults. They did a really good job casting the main characters, especially Olaf and the 3 siblings, they all give great performances. The production design is very well done giving a depressing and dark tone you would expect. There is also good humour and plot twists throughout. I haven't read the books but from what I hear the show stays true to the source material, which is always a plus. If you're a fan of the books or are just interested in mystery/drama shows like me, you should definitely give it a watch. Full Review »
  2. Jan 15, 2017
    10
    This show wont be everyone. I read all these books when I was younger. The show is extremely faithful to the tone. Some people might miss theThis show wont be everyone. I read all these books when I was younger. The show is extremely faithful to the tone. Some people might miss the jokes as they are distracted by the extensive sets and over the top characters. However, for anyone that is a fan of the series this is a home run. Nailed it. Full Review »
  3. Jan 13, 2017
    8
    Finally, there's a Violet who is and who LOOKS the right age. I love Emily Browning, and she is the bravest of her generation in doing nudityFinally, there's a Violet who is and who LOOKS the right age. I love Emily Browning, and she is the bravest of her generation in doing nudity at the youngest age (isn't it, Dakota, Chloe, Panabakers etc etc?), but at 15, she was too old to play a convincingly 11 year old. Malina is 12/13 at time of shooting, which does make a difference. And finally, they did it the way the author intended, a TV series, rather than an abridged movie where 13 stories were condensed into three-ish.
    The Melancholic Alcoholic.
    Full Review »