Parent reviews for A Series of Unfortunate Events

Common Sense says

Exceptional, spooky book adaptation is best for tweens.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 31 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 93 reviews
Parent of a 10 year old Written bychildinhisimage March 4, 2017

Way too dark - and creepy references to inappropriate adult/child relationships

This show is very dark. My husband and I watched the first two episodes. In these two episodes alone, there are several references to inappropriate adult/child relationships. For example, in episode 1, one of Olaf's friends/henchmen say, "Aren't you a pretty little girl?" in a very insinuating creepy way to the girl baby, Sonny. It was very creepy and concerning. In episode 2, it becomes apparent that Count Olaf has a secret plan to legally marry Violet, who is only 14 years old. It is clear that he wants to marry her to gain the children's fortune. However, there are a few instances where he calls her "pretty" while referencing the upcoming marriage. It isn't just that he calls her pretty, but there is an implication in the way he says it. Also, at one point, Count Olaf tells the brother "I can touch whatever I want," and then he pointedly puts his hand on Violet's shoulder. Again, there is an implication there. Overall, we found it way too dark and inappropriate for even us to continue watching, let alone our children. Parents, please exercise caution with this show.
Parent of a 16 year old Written byJWilliams303 January 13, 2017

As a fan, I warn you not to watch this show!

If you too are a fan, I hope you got that reference and that I don't actually mean that...It's so great to see the Baudelaires, and even Count Olaf, once again! A Series of Unfortunate Events were books that I loved reading growing up (aside from Harry Potter and the Narnia books). I ended up reading the books again when I heard about Netflix bringing the books to life. I did love the film adaption that came out in 2005, but sadly they never finished the series. Now that they brought it to Netflix and smartly making a couple books for each season, we'll be able to see the whole series played out on screen. From how the first season is, they have each book put into two episodes (8 episodes for this season from the first 4 books). I was hoping since they were making each book into two episodes, they would bring more of the book to life and not cut shortly like the movie did (understandably). To my delight, they are very spot on with the books! Not only did they stick with what the books did, but they also chose a great cast; the Baudelaires, Mr. Poe, Count Olaf, his troop, and even Lemony Snicket, our humble narrator, who is portrayed by Patrick Warburton. It's a little dark humored for some younger kids but nothing too grim. The series is known for its dark humor and its overwhelming tone, and it plays that very well. Even Mr. Snicket warns the audience about the story he tells and what all to watch out for when it comes to the Baudelaires. This is a must see for fans and newcomers alike!

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Adult Written byCori M April 7, 2018

Watch out in season 2

Count Olaf squeezes the breast of a male dressed as a woman, for an obvious amount of time, and the scene focuses on this for the long 8 seconds, while hoping your young child doesn’t notice. This world is full of groping men, why put this in a children’s tv show?!?

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Sexy stuff
Adult Written byRobin S. April 10, 2018

Started out well, second season is disappointing

My kids age 10, 14, and 17 all enjoyed the first season and I was so pleased to find something that was appropriate and entertaining we could watch as a family. When the second season was available, I expected more of the same. So disappointed with the direction they went. Numerous sexual induendos and frequent alcohol use takes this from fun to uncomfortable and no longer a family show.

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Sexy stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 6 and 7 year old Written byKatie R. March 20, 2017

So much fun

I watched this whole series with my 6 and 7 year old. Yes it is kind of dark and deals with heavy issues but my kids are fully aware of what is real and what is not. There are Disney movies with the same content. We loved this. We haven't read the books but in Netflix fashion we watched the whole series in less than two weeks. It's a very intriguing story and you can hardly wait to see what will happen next. It gave my kids a lot to think about, trying to guess what comes next. Plus we bonded watching it together. We cannot wait for the new series.
Parent Written byKristina D. April 5, 2018

Season 2 not good for younger kids!

OK, I have signed up for Common sense media just to write this one review. My kids loved the first season. A little spooky but not really too bad. But season 2! Spoilers- there is talk of burning people at the stake, scary hospitals with rusty medical tools and almost cutting off the head of one of the main characters. The Hostile Hospital episode reminded my husband and I of American Horror Story!! Just know that Season 2 is NOT equivalent to Season 1 as far as age appropriateness!

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Violence & scariness
Parent of a 10 and 12 year old Written byHeath V. April 3, 2018

Dark & Funny, but getting too Adult to be PG

I really enjoyed the first season and was even planning on having my kids (10 & 12) watch it with me until I got to the last 2 episodes when intriduce a gay couple into the show. There are many double entendres in the show that I figured would go over the kids head, but that one I was not comfortable with. Then in season 2 the show got even darker and added more adult humor, added in liberal gender identity comment, and finally in episode 9 cuts to a man doing a portrait of a topless woman (however her hair comes down just enough to cover her nipples). This show should be rated at least TV-14, however I wouldn’t feel comfortable watching it with my kids until they were 16 or older.

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Sexy stuff
Adult Written byY S January 26, 2017

Lots of dark fun

SPOILERS After their parents die in a fire, their apparent murderer, while in disguise and attempting to pass as a relative, remarks on his close friendship with their parents, "...remarkable. Flammable." It moves quickly, and the humor is dark, but unfailingly funny. I admit that as other comments noted, there are sad, disturbing, and bizarre moments, all adding to the weaving of fantastic stories, and every few episodes is a mini story (as it's a series of events). I only have seen one thing I'd put in the category of remotely sexual and it is when arranging a fake marriage the villain touched her shoulder and says 'I'll touch anything I like'. This episode also shows a boy slapped and a small baby held captive (she escapes). This isn't action and explosions. There is quite a bit of death, as the story advances the children from one guardian to another, but it isn't shown nor graphic, the show in general is thoughtful and interesting and funny. In our case, kids who can't sit still for a moment and needs everything shown to him before he grasps it, sits completely still, listening intently for verbal clues and intensely enjoying this show with his parents. And we enjoy sharing it with him. :-)

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Aunt Written byZahra M. April 4, 2018

Extremely dark and subliminal

This show is the epitome of our brainwashing culture with one eyed symbols everywhere, the three 6’s, the black and white duality, hints of secret societies.. total indoctrination..im disgusted by these ignorant positive reviews.
Parent Written byKatherine A. March 30, 2018

Brilliant

It’s a fantastic adaptation but I am just a little concerned about the flag in the vile village episodes very closely resembling the nazi flag.

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Adult Written byUncle_Tai December 18, 2017

Might be too creepy for young kids

An excellent adaptation of the well-loved book series. It's great for the whole family, though some scenes may be distressing for your young children. Specifically, one episode has a scene that shows a corpse with a discolored eye and skin, which may be particularly disturbing to young viewers. Other than that, violence is minimal. A knife is brandished threateningly, and the villain chases the children with it, though no violence ensues. Overall, this is a great show with humor teens and up will appreciate.

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Adult Written byErick S. May 1, 2018

Please don't have your kids to watch this

The whole show is really dark and scary. Many inappropriate touching and hinting inappropriate messages. Season 2. Too many women in inappropriate outfits. As an adult, I am quitting watching the show. Even though I really like the story, but too inappropriate for me. I will never let my kids watch this show.

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Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 2, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, and 16 year old Written byMommaof8 April 28, 2018

Season 2 is NOT kid friendly

Parents, don't get caught in the same predicament we did. We watched season 1 as a family and enjoyed it. When season 2 finally arrived we all eagerly began watching....but whoa! What did Netflix do?? It is so sad to see the same formula over and over and over...get the audience hooked in season 1 then start pushing the boundaries in season 2. Here are some things to be aware of in season 2: episode 3 on Esme Squalor plays a main role. She is married but ditches him to be with Olaf. The sexual tension is played up in any scene the 2 are together. She refers to him as her boyfriend...um, you're married! Her outfits are designed purely for sexual appeal. The drive to murder is much stronger in Season 2. Olaf makes more of a point to discuss with the kids ways he will/would like to kill them. The Vile Village has a murder. Hostile Hospital is horror movie dark. Seriously, did Netflix forget they were making a kids' show? Part 2 is sinister. They repeat over and over the process of cutting off a head and actually set up with grotesque instruments to do so. The Carnivorous Carnival is decent in the part 1. You actually learn some info/clues. But, part 2 is completely unacceptable and is why we will not watch season 3. Olaf gets drunk and falls down when walking "home". Honestly, I'm surprised Netflix didn't slip in more immorality when he is walking home with Esme drunk. In the carnival audience are 2 small children watching the show. There is a lion pit and the audience is there to see someone eaten by a lion. Someone is eaten and the children in the audience sit stunned and say "i think I want to go home now". Parents beware if you are thinking season 2 will be like season 1.

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Violence & scariness
Parent of a 9 and 11 year old Written byheather13 June 1, 2017

Great retelling

My 11-year-old has read all of the books and seen several film variations of the series and said this one is excellent. It varies a bit from the series, however as a parent who hasn't read any of the books I've found it fantastically funny and very interesting. I actually look forward to the next episode. My 8-year-old has found it to be a slight bit harder to watch although she's just recently begun reading the series. As far as redeeming qualities (other than entertainment value) there are plenty of new definitions that are introduced, and we've expanded upon the elements that are discussed in the series (like "dramatic irony"). All in all I've found it to be quite fun and very much in line with the level of violence (which is not exceptionally gory although people die) that one would expect from the books.
Parent of a 10 and 12 year old Written byHendo H. U January 13, 2018

INSANELY cheesy, but good

My kids have started to watch this show and love it. A great, mysterious storyline.

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Adult Written byRobert K. April 7, 2018

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Adult Written bySean K. April 4, 2018

Great Mystery! But really dark

I love this adoption of the original book series, but a thing to keep in mind about this is that this show is really dark, at the beginning of each episode a man says that not many happy things happen is this series, There parents die in a fire, they meet with the wrong Forster parent, people get murdered and kidnapped. It’s very dark. Besides that, Its a fantastic show with Mystery’s to solve secrets to uncover and many more. I recommend this to all my friends

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Parent Written byJonathan G. February 19, 2017

some was fun and some was scary

I got scared of the second movie. I wanted to be an inventor and a detective. But after watching a series of Unfortunate Events I didn't want to be an inventor or a detective very much any more. If anyone in your family is dying to see it then I recommend you they read the story first. Aspen G.
Parent Written byKicklighter June 17, 2018

Definitely entertaining, but look away later...

I watched Season 1 of this series with my mom. It was found on Netflix by a friend on Facebook. This series is entertaining and it teaches us that there is good in life even through the most unfortunate events. I saw the whole 1st season, and I realized it was a mix between lightheartedness and darkness. It was weird, but entertaining. The story involves the mystery of the parents’ house being burned and that the parents were thought to be dead. The main characters are Klaus and Violet. The main antagonist was Count Olaf. There were some funny scenes as the series goes on. There are also some dark scenes, including the baby on a cage, a giant viper, a knife to the neck by Count Olaf as well as a jump-scare in the end of ep3, and scenes with Olaf in disguises to plot revenge on the main characters. The last episodes involved Count Olaf (disguised as a woman) hypnotizing Klaus and enslaving him and others about lumberjacking. A random man’s foot was cut off(though not realistic, no blood), there were skeletons in the closet, and the main man was about to be sawed in half by possessed Klaus. But thankfully Violet said the secret antidote word and Klaus stopped the sawmill before the man’s doomed. Of course the evil woman fell into the furnace after the riot came(and her demise was off-screen, thank goodness). The season 1 finale was definitely the most intense episode of s1, and I was wondering what s2 might be like. So I wanted to check on here, the star rating, and people are saying the 2nd season is much darker than the 1st, with more violence and lots of sexual innuendos, especially dark dating, intense romance, talk about sexual relationships, drinking and body talk and mentioning dresses and touching certain body parts. There is said to be language, which there are said to be a few instances of, and it tells us that this series is not as clean as we hoped. Yet season 3 is said to be even more intense than both s1 & s2. As far as violence for the next seasons(spoilers), it’s said that there is lots of knifes and swords as well as(spoilers) creepy hospital scenes and murder, and while those actions are off-screen, the aftermath’s are visible with semi-realistic corpses. Yet there’s also said to be talk about burning characters, which is disturbing to say the least(I’m talking to you Revenge of the Sith). I could say it’s taking the route Harry Potter went on by becoming more intense as it goes on, and my mom never knew or believed that. I can’t believe Netflix says it’s family oriented and that they're letting kids watch it, and that it’s only rated PG. Season 1 may be PG, but with what I heard with Season 2 reviews, s2 should be rated PG-13 and Season 3 maybe R or NC-17. And I can’t believe our friend didn’t tell us to read the novels. It’s NOWHERE near as dark as Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (where hundreds of billions of people died in flashes by the Starkiller), but for a family series, it’s said to be pretty intense as the next seasons go on. I learned that before the series, we should read the novels 1st and read the reviews here and watch by ourself before thinking whether or not it’s ok to watch. I feel bad for the younger kids who are probably traumatized by the scenes from the next seasons. I feel like this series is trying to be like Harry Potter with the growing intensity and darkness of the seasons and episodes. At least s3 is said to be the last season, so that’s as dark as it’ll ever get. It’s not just a comedy, but a drama, a dramedy, with innuendos and psychological thriller elements. I’m glad I went on here. You might want to look away before doing anything else. P.S. for those who didn’t remember, the baby was voiced by Tara Strong, who did the voice of Timmy Turner from The Fairly OddParents. No wonder the 2004 movie was on Nickelodeon.

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Parent of a 12 year old Written bymama.annabeth July 17, 2018

Great show for 11+

Such an amazing show for tweens! It keeps you on edge, and you feel ‘teamed up’ with the Beudelaires. It is quite funny as well, because the evil actor, Count Olaf (played by the amazing Neil Patrick Harris) dresses up as hilarious characters, that makes the kids laugh! Overall, Netflix did a great job bringing Lemony Snicket’s tale to life. *Warning: there are a few scenes that contain kidnapping and murder. You’ll want to watch alongside your kids, just in case!*

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