Adaptation in narrative art is a funny process. Sometimes an “adaptation” ends up meaning “forced change,” like the infamous studio-mandated voice-over in Blade Runner. Other times, an adaptation is natural compromise between text source material and filmed media, like the rational inclusion of more women in the Lord of the Rings movies. But the adaptation of the Lemony Snicket books, A Series of Unfortunate Events, into a Netflix series feels more like a flightless animal spontaneously getting wings: an unexpectedly weird and wild event which adds various elements to the books that are both delightful to look at and functional for storytelling mechanics.
While the the books are wonderful pieces of work — and it could sound blasphemous to say this — there are some notable improvements from a plot perspective which the Netflix show has implemented in adapting these books. And because Daniel Hander (Lemony Snicket IRL) wrote most of these teleplays, none of theses improvements feel intrusive or pandering one bit. Here are eight ways the Snicket story of the Baudelaires zips along better in the new show.