Parents' Guide to

A Series of Unfortunate Events

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Exceptional, spooky book adaptation is best for tweens.

TV Netflix Drama 2017
A Series of Unfortunate Events Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 67 parent reviews

age 10+

Great!! But know your kid.

Our whole family (kids age 10 and up) really enjoyed this show. Like other reviews have said, it is somewhat "dark" but it is also a melodrama - so even the darkness doesn't seem that bad, because it is very tongue-in-cheek. There are several sexual references, although they are quick and not obvious. The attempt of Count Olaf to marry Violet is in no way pedophilic - it is really just his attempt to gain power over their money. The biggest concern is that there are MANY deaths of adults trying to help the three children and often by very tragic means (e.g., eaten by a lion). None of it is depicted in any detail, but is is frequent. What I LIKED about this show overrides any concerns I had: three siblings who love each other and want the best for each other, and other humans. Violet is a great role model and often saves the day. If your child scares easily or has trouble separating fantasy from reality, you may want to avoid the show. But otherwise, enjoy the ride!!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
5 people found this helpful.
age 9+

Totally Fantastic

Brilliantly imaginative and creative. This series does justice to the terrific book set. Can't recommend highly enough
3 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (67):
Kids say (295):

For a story that begins with a main character's fervent warning to viewers to "look away" lest the frightful show utterly wreck their lives, it leaves you wanting more with each episode's end. The cast is tremendous in virtually every role, culminating in Neil Patrick Harris' delightful performance as dastardly Count Olaf and the trademark deadpan delivery of Patrick Warburton as drop-in narrator Lemony Snicket. Even baby Sunny manages to dominate her scenes despite speaking in babble that only her siblings can understand. And with a supporting cast that includes Catherine O'Hara, Joan Cusack, and Will Arnett, you won't be disappointed in the performances.

This adaptation dedicates two episodes -- for a total of 90-plus minutes -- to each of the 13 books in the written series, so there's no sense of rush as the story's mysteries evolve. With ample time to get to know the characters and the plot, there's much opportunity to develop deep affection for some characters and earnest resentment (always deserved) for others. The macabre tale of unfortunate orphans' bad luck is tempered with humor (Harris excels at this) and sweet personalities, but the fact that the story is built on the idea of adults taking advantage of children makes it a better choice for tweens than younger kids.

TV Details

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