An utterly brilliant adaptation. So brilliant, in fact, that I have very little to say about A Series of Unfortunate Events. I never read the books as a kid so I cannot speak to the faithfulness of the Netflix series, though by all accounts it appears to be scoring highly there as well, but any changes that have been made have worked. The story is tightly woven, well crafted and keeps you interested. The characters are wonderfully well written and acted, wherever they fall on the range between caricature and reality. The locations, set dressing, costumes and general design is impeccable, bringing the world to life in a drearily vibrant way. On top of which, the score, direction, lighting, framing... well, everything is perfect.
There are countless clever nods and ideas, from the ever-changing intro theme (took me a few episodes to notice), to the clever use of narrative interjection and on to the wonderfully heart-wrenching red herring and subsequent come-uppance. The kids are brilliant, Neil Patrick Harris was born to play the Count and the whole supporting cast are perfectly picked. The show is tense, emotional, intriguing and clever, with nearly spot-on pacing. The episodes that naturally flow together leave you wanting more, but in a wonderful turn of pace to most TV series you don't feel the need to binge-watch the entire season at once. Somehow that makes the result so much more impactful and interesting, as it turns each individual adventure into a unique sequence without the overall plot ever losing track of itself or feeling disjointed.
In short, if you're a fan of the book series then you need to watch this adaptation and if you never read them you will still have a wonderful time. I cannot wait for the second season.