10. A Series of Unfortunate Events
The first season of A Series of Unfortunate Events dropped at the beginning of this year and it was absolute perfection.
Fans of the books should all agree that this show absolutely nails the Lemony Snicket vision. It expertly balances campy humor with heavy themes like kidnapping, fraud, and even murder. Every moment is perfectly planned hysteria, jam-packed full of subtle pop culture references and meticulous dialogue.
Neil Patrick Harris was seriously born to play Count Olaf. His over-the-top humor and killer physicality bring Olaf to full, unibrowed glory. I can and will quote him to everyone who will listen. While every actor brings something special to this well-oiled machine, its Harris’ standout performance that makes this Netflix Original infinitely preferable to the 2004 film adaptation. As Olaf himself says, “In all honesty, I prefer long-form television to the movies. It’s so much more convenient to consume entertainment from the comfort of your own home.”
Other incredible performances include that of Patrick Warburton (whose voice is exactly as I read Snicket’s when I was a child), K. Todd Freeman (his Mr. Poe has slight differences from the original novel, all of which are welcome), and Daniel Handler himself (ok, ok, so he only has a brief cameo as a fish head salesman).
ASOUE is smart and fast-paced, so lazy viewers beware. It’s incredibly meta and incredibly fun. Don’t mistake this for a straight drama, as it is commonly mislabeled as such; despite dramatic plotlines, this is a black comedy meant to expand the mind and keep you rolling on the floor with riotous laughter.