Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events originally hit theaters in 2004. At that time, Jim Carrey was in the middle of a breakout career where he starred in movies like Bruce Almighty (2003), Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind (2004), and Fun With Dick And Jane (2005). So it was no surprise when he was cast in A Series Of Unfortunate Events. Now, twelve years later, a series with the same title set to appear on Netflix, but this time with Neil Patrick Harris taking on the role that Carrey played back in 2004, Count Olaf. Today, the trailer for the upcoming series debuted, and now is the best time for you to judge whether or not you’ll be streaming NPH in the same role that Carrey had portrayed so long ago.
Check out NPH in action as the new Count Olaf. While you’re at it, think about how you feel about his performance as the character.
First, let’s tackle the big elephant in the room. Harris’s performance will undoubtedly draw comparisons to Carrey’s from 2004 as it’s being done here. He’s already proven himself to be a versatile actor. From comedy in How I Met Your Mother to some serious drama in Gone Girl, he has the ability to do almost anything. However, based on the clips alone, while he may look the part, Harris doesn’t seem to pull of the dynamics that a character like this requires. In other words, he looks like Count Olaf, acts like Count Olaf, but still sounds like Neil Patrick Harris. Here is an example of Carrey from the 2004 film.
In his performance, Carrey’s delivery is clearly heard and is easy to differentiate from his normal speaking tone. Another great example is Carrey’s portrayal as the character Stefano, which was one of the highlights of the film. However, at this point, it’s all just nitpicking. The rest of the trailer features an incredible cast of actors and actresses from a wide variety of backgrounds and genres. In addition, the look of the trailer is very similar to the 2004 film. For that alone, fans of the film and maybe the books should find comfort in knowing that.
“Based on the internationally best-selling series of books, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events chronicles the turbulent lives of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire after their parents’ untimely death in a fire. A careless oversight initially places the children in the custody of a distant relative named Count Olaf, a mysterious and devious figure who is seeking fortune by way of stealing their inheritance. After his elaborate plans are foiled and his evil intentions are revealed, Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris) employs a variety of outlandish disguises to situate himself in the children’s path, causing mayhem for the Baudelaire’s and their subsequent guardians. As the children manage to evade Count Olaf’s scheming attempts to steal their fortune, they pick up clues along the way about their parents’ past.”
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events makes it’s debut on Netflix in January 13, 2017.