A television show featuring the repeated attempted murder of children? Orphans who lose their parents and then their guardians? A grown man trying to take a child bride to steal her family fortune?
I’m tuning in with my 8-year-old son.
The Netflix Original series Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is a wonderfully dark comedy that is surprisingly family-friendly for older kids. While at first glance parents would likely ban this show from their homes what with a diabolical murderer constantly threatening young children at knife point, if you give it a chance you’ll likely find what I found — a deliciously dark, incredibly endearing, seriously fun show that kids 8 and older will definitely like.
First of all, Neil Patrick Harris is awesome as Count Olaf. He’s over the top and ridiculous and goofy and despicable all rolled in to one, and sometimes all of those in the same scene. But as good as the man formerly known as Doogie is, I think the actors who play the Baudelaire orphans are even more impressive.
Violet (Malina Weissman), Klaus (Louis Hynes) and baby Sunny (Presley Smith) are absolutely phenomenal as the orphaned inventors and recipients of often calamitous news. Their dialogue is crisp and my son loves it because in this show, it’s the kids who are brilliant and the adults who are raving idiots. In a kid’s world, adults are so often unable to comprehend or understand, and that translates very well in Lemony Snicket. Throw in Patrick Warburton’s dry delivery as the narrator and you’ve got a truly wonderful and totally macabre bit of television that’s good for parents and kids.
In fact, my wife and I watched it when Will wasn’t even home. When parents watch a show for kids even when the kid isn’t around? Well, to me there’s no higher praise.
So how do I deal with Will and some of the more grown-up themes? We talk about it. He was admittedly horrified by some of it, but he loves the way they talk, how the Baudelaire children invent awesome things, and he cracks up at how “crazy and stupid” the adults are, and wishes they’d just listen to the kids.
The best part about Will getting older is that he’s watching much better TV and films. If you’ve got a kid who is 8+ and likes things a little on the dark side, you’re going to want to give Lemony Snicket a try.
This is a sponsored post. I am part of the Netflix Stream Team and received free products and Netflix for writing this. However, as always, my opinions are 100% my own.