Good Wednesday?

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Jesus was meant to have been crucified on the Friday, and then slept it off for a day and then woke up at some point on the Sunday, am I right? Apparently not? What blasphemy is this you say? Well its the blasphemy of the gospel according to Matthew (Chapter 12 verses 38-40)

“38 Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, Teacher, we would see a sign from thee. 39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet: 40 for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

So if we assume that Jesus did actually arise from the tomb on the Sunday,  that would mean that he was in there all day and night Saturday, Friday and Thursday? Which Means that Jesus would have had to have been crucified on the Wednesday. Which also means that, had they existed then, the 12 disciples could have gone to Wetherspoon’s for a Steak Club as the last supper. ?

 

Book Review: A Princess Of Mars

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A little while ago I came up with a list of books that I wanted to read before the time I become ancient (30) first on the list was A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, a prolific American writer most well know as the creator of Tarzan. A princess of Mars is the first novel to feature his second most well known creation John Carter of Mars.

The novel itself is fairly short and is a prime example of the general pulp science fiction that was popularised in early twentieth century America and without giving away the plot does stick rather closely to the formula for pulp, of man from Earth winds up on alien planet, fights and then joins with the natives, rescues a princess and then saves the day. As an early example of the sort of pulp (originally serialised in 1912) that was floating about the market place in those days you can forgive it for seeming a little done to death over 100 years later, because you realise it was one of the first to do it.

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The writing style feels a little disjointed as it is written in the form of memoir, so Edgar Rice Burroughs has written it in the manner of memoir penned by Captain John Carter, who has a tendency to go off on tangents mid explanation, which does spoil the narrative, however I feel this may have been a conscious choice by Burroughs, as it lends a certain verisimilitude to the work, and it shows that only a really great writer would be able to write from the point of view of an amateur, that is to say terrible, writer.

My only main criticism is that whilst the world of Barsoom is a rich and vibrant world the secondary characters ring a little flat, and whilst the protagonist and his circle are explored the villains of the piece such as Tal Hajus and Sarkoja are lacking in any real depth and seem to be there mainly as plot accelerators more than as real characters.

Overall it was an enjoyable distraction I would give it a 3.5 out of 5 and pick up some the other books that make up the Barsoom series to find out the fates of Deja Thoris and John Carter of Mars.

Look out for more reviews coming soon. 

30 Before Thirty (Comics & Graphic Novels)

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I’m going to be thirty in just over 2 years and at this moment in time I’m OK with that (how I feel about it in 10 minuets is up for debate) but one of the things that I realised is that there are a fair few things I still want to accomplish whilst the career and social goals are somewhat out of my control things like films I want to see, albums I want to listen to and books I want to read are very much in my control, especially as I have 25 months to accomplish it. Here is a list of the Comics and Graphic Novels that I would like to have read by the time I’m thirty.

Grant Morrison’s 18 Days

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Camelot 3000

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Miracle Man: A Dream Of Flying

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All Star Superman 

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Preacher: Gone To Texas

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The Crow

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Sandman Preludes and Nocturnes

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Alan Moore’s: Saga of The Swamp Thing

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Marvel 1602

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Saga: Volume 1

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 The Order: Die Mensch Machine

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The Complete Scarlet Traces 

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Button Man

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Ronin 

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Superman: Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow 

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The Infinity Gauntlet 

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Amazing Spider-man: Kravens Last Hunt

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Promethea Book 1 

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Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus 

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Multiversity 

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Son Of Superman 

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Hellblazer: Original Sins 

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The Authority: Relentless 

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Hellboy: Seed Of Destruction 

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Doctor Who: Emperor Of The Daleks

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Death: The High Cost Of Living  

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JSA The Liberty Files 

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Alice In Sunderland 

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Daredevil Yellow

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The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch

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How many of these do you think I’ll get done before July 21st 2019?

30 Before I’m Thirty (Films)

Congratulations Mr Trump (2)

I’m going to be thirty in just over 2 years and at this moment in time I’m OK with that (how I feel about it in 10 minuets is up for debate) but one of the things that I realised is that there are a fair few things I still want to accomplish whilst the career and social goals are somewhat out of my control things like films I want to see, albums I want to listen to and books I want to read are very much in my control, especially as I have 25 months to accomplish it. Here is a list of the films that I would like to have read by the time I’m thirty.

How Green Was My Valley 

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Gentleman’s Agreement

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From Here to Eternity

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Gone With The Wind

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Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

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West Side Story

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Lawrence of Arabia

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Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf

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Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner

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Funny Girl

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Fiddler On The Roof

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All The Presidents Men

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Milk

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Kramer Vs Kramer

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Terms of Endearment 

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The Cider House Rules

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An Education

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The Wolf Of Wall Street

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Guardians of the Galaxy 2

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Moonrise Kingdom

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Saving Private Ryan

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Going In Style 

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Wall Street

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King Ralph

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Planes Trains and Automobiles

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O Brother, Where Art Thou?

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The Monuments Men

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Good Will Hunting

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Good Morning Vietnam 

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This Is Spinal Tap

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How many of these do you think I’ll get done before July 21st 2019?

30 Before I’m Thirty (Books)

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I’m going to be thirty in just over 2 years and at this moment in time I’m OK with that (how I feel about it in 10 minuets is up for debate) but one of the things that I realised is that there are a fair few things I still want to accomplish whilst the career and social goals are somewhat out of my control things like films I want to see, albums I want to listen to and books I want to read are very much in my control, especially as I have 25 months to accomplish it. Here is a list of the books that I would like to have read by the time I’m thirty.

A Princess of Mars- Edgar Rice Burroughs 

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War and Peace- Leo Tolstoy 

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Ulysses- James Joyce 

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The Iliad- Homer

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Journey To The Centre of the Earth- Jules Verne 

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Frank Sinatra Has A Cold- Gay Talese 

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Three Men In A Boat (To Say Nothing Of The Dog)- Jerome K Jerome

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The Time Machine- H.G Wells

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Lolita- Vladimir Nabokov

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Animal Farm- George Orwell

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The Last Of The Mohicans – James Fenimore Cooper

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The Man Who Would Be King- Rudyard Kipling 

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Treasure Island- Robert Louis Stevenson 

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Stardust- Neil Gaiman

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A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court- Mark Twain

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Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years- Sue Townsend 

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The Fight-Norman Mailer 

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The Turn Of The Screw-Henry James

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The Stand- Stephen King

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Notes Of A Dirty Old Man- Charles Bukowski 

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Children Of Hurin- J.R.R Tolkein 

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Idylls Of The King- Alfred Tennyson

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Confessions of an English Opium Eater-Thomas de Quincey

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Little Women- Louisa May Alcott 

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A Little History Of The World- E.H Gombrich 

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The Mysterious Affair At Styles- Agatha Christie 

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Who Censored Roger Rabbit- Gary K Wolf

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Zen And The Art Of Motor Cycle Maintenance-  Robert M. Pirsig

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The Day Of The Triffids- John Wyndham 

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Winds of Winter- George R.R. Martin (Because surely this’ll be finished before the TV series)

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How many of these do you think I’ll get done before July 21st 2019?

 

 

 

 

Nothing

Have you ever really thought about nothing? I don’t mean thinking about no particular thing at any one moment, what  I actually mean is thinking about nothing, that whole concept of nothingness, nothingness as almost a tangible entity, a tangible thought. Nothingness that you can almost fathom the very idea of?

At about 2 AM this morning I was trying to sleep, and I couldn’t, I had a thousand thoughts whirring through my mind, and then it hit me, think of nothing, switch off all thought and just sleep. But of course thinking of nothing gets tricky, because what is nothing? is it the number zero, is it a field of blackness or a screen of white? Is it an empty box? What is nothing? After a small amount of time you realise that you can’t actually comprehend what nothing is. You start to picture it in your head, but its only an absence of things, you picture a scene and then subtract objects from it, but it still isn’t nothing. Even if you picture a scene of pure black, it still isn’t nothingness, it is simply the closest we could imagine, I think if we were to actually experience nothing we would go mad.

After contemplating this for hours, the sun was beginning to rise by the time I finally dropped off, but it was nagging at me, this feeling of not knowing, of now knowing that there was something I would never be able to experience, but being aware enough to know that this, almost reverse existentialism, may often rack my thoughts again in the future, and that there is nothing (for lack of a better term) that I could begin to do to change the outcome of these thoughts.

 

Valentines Day

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I didn’t get a card today, I knew that was coming. It amazes me though how many people don’t actually know the history of Valentines Day.

It goes back to ancient Rome, where the Christianity was a crime. Christianity was a crime in its infancy, because it flew in the face of the Religious multitheism that was Rome. Rome had no problem with different religions, but they tried to fold them into their own, this is why there is a temple to Isis (goddess of health, marriage and wisdom, not the so called Islamic state) located in the roman settlement of Caerleon (just outside Newport). But because the first commandment states “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” the Romans, whose emperor was said to have divine connections , may have had a problem with this.

So because of the legal status of Christianity, Christian marriages couldn’t be performed openly, then along came Valentinus, who performed the marriages in secret as a means to stop the now married men from being sent to war. Upon being discovered and imprisoned many sources claim that whilst imprisoned he heals the blindness of his jailers daughter, whom he falls in love with. Upon the day of his execution  he leaves her a love letter, signed “from your Valentine” .

So there you have the so called history of Valentines Day, but sources for its veracity are mostly folklore and hearsay, and at best could be said to be apocryphal, so hopefully that makes you feel better, but if you’re at home reading this blog on Valentines Day, not much is going to make you feel better.

 

Quotes To Make You Look Smartified

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Quoting from literature is a key way to make yourself appear to be well read. Quotes from poems, plays, novels and various other literary ephemera can spice up your conversation and make you seem well read, so here are a few quotes, from a variety of sources, that all men should familiarise themselves with. They should also learn them by heart, because I can’t tell you the amount of arguments that have arisen from one misplaced word in a Shakespeare quote (ITS ” I KNEW HIM HORATIO” HOW IS THAT SO HARD TO GET”).

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.” Juliet, Act II, scene ii From William Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet.

“Sorrow is knowledge: they who know the most must mourn the deepest o’er the fatal truth,that the Tree of Knowledge is not that of Life.” Act I scene i from Lord Byron’s Manfred.

“England has done one thing; it has invented and established Public Opinion, which is an attempt to organize the ignorance of the community, and to elevate it to the dignity of physical force.” Part II, The Critic As Artist, Oscar Wilde. 

“From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were — I have not seen
As others saw — I could not bring
My passions from a common spring —
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow — I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone —
And all I lov’d — I lov’d alone ” Alone, Edgar Allen Poe.

“I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: — Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.” Ozymandias, Percy Bysshe Shelley.

“The offences that one does a man should be should be such that he fears no revenge for it.” The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli. 

“Every tradition grows ever more venerable — the more remote its origin, the more confused that origin is. The reverence due to it increases from generation to generation. The tradition finally becomes holy and inspires awe.” Human All To0 Human, Friedrich Nietzsche. 

“Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here.” War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy 

” A soundbite never buttered any parsnips” John Major

“Take it from me, there’s nothing more terrible than someone out to do the world a favour.” Sourcery, Terry Pratchett 

Hopefully some of these should enrich your conversational prowess, and make you seem a tad more loquacious and erudite.

 

Coming Out Of The Bat Closet (LGBTQ Themes In Batman)

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HOLY HOMOSEXUAL URGES BATMAN!!!!

Have you ever stopped to think how gay Batman is. There is a lot of subtext if you read between those thought bubbles. Lets look at it in stages.

  1. Batman/ Bruce Wayne’s relationship with women. As both Batman and Bruce Wayne, he seems incapable of maintaining a healthy long term relationship, such short term things seem fraught with tragedy, looking at his relationships with women as Batman such as Catwoman, Wonder Woman, or Talia Al Ghul, they all seem to be some sort of overcompensation. His relationships as Bruce Wayne however are quiet simply as a beard, they go a long way to setting up his persona as Bruce Wayne, millionaire playboy, whose to say heterosexual millionaire playboy isn’t also part of it.
  2. His relationship with Alfred: Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne’s butler and one time legal guardian and full time enabler. Alfred took on the role of father to Bruce Wayne after Bruce’s parents were murdered. Instead of getting little Bruce some serious grief counselling and psychiatric care he let him drop out of school to pursue his career as scourge of the underworld. Their relationship is more complex than just that however. Alfred genuinely does love Bruce like a son, however Bruce’s feelings are somewhat different, he begins to project on Alfred during his teenage years, and because he can’t act on these feeling internalises them and it feeds his depression and anguish, not to mention giving him cause to focus on ending crime on Gotham.
  3. Batman’s relation ship with Robin: Anyone who has ever seen the Adam West/ Burt Ward depictions  of Batman and Robin will have no illusions that they are a gay couple. The whole relationship is odd on the face of it. Now single men can make great parents, (dad’s can do it too etc) but it does seem a little strange that a single man in his 20’s/30’s would adopt a teenage son, it may be cynical of me to think that anything untoward was taking place, but when the man doing the adopting forces the child out on to the streets in a pair of green briefs, alarm bells start to ring, and it isn’t because the joker is robbing a bank if you know what I mean.

Batman is one of those characters that will never be outed in mainstream comics continuity (why else would you have characters such as Midnighter if Batman was out), but there are a lot of themes within the comic books, the TV shows and films that are definitely a bit on the queer side.

TV Review A Series Of Unfortunate Events

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*BEFORE WE BEGIN, WARNING THERE MAY BE POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD*

**SERIOUSLY, THIS IS A TV REVIEW THERE’S BOUND TO BE SPOILERS COMING**

***LAST CHANCE TO TURN BACK IF YOU DON’T WANT TO SEE SOME SERIOUS SPOILERS***

Now before we begin I’m going to hold my hands up and say that I have never actually read any of the thirteen books which comprise Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events, they were really more of the next generations thing, and in fact were some of my late brothers favourites.

The series itself follows the recently bereaved Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus and Sunny, as they go to live with various estranged relatives, whilst trying to stay ahead of the villainous actor and their initial guardian, Count Olaf’s vile machinations towards the orphans and their family inheritance, all while trying to shed some light on the mysteries surrounding the death of their parents.

The series itself comprises of eight 45 minuet long episodes (a godsend when compared with the usual 24 episode series you get with a lot of american TV), which adapts the first four books of the series in a series of 4 two part episodes. A series of Unfortunate events has cast some real veterans of screen including Joan Cusack, Alfre Woodward, Catherine O’ Hara, Cobie Smoulders and Will Arnett all as supporting characters. Although the show itself is stolen by Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf, a true master of disguise and brilliant character actor, he manages to slip into the role of bad actor really well, invoking that old line, that it takes a really good actor to play a really bad actor. The way he goes into any costume and manages to play the convoluted and downright ludicrous is absolutely fantastic and he does make an excellent villain for the piece.

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Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf

Another stand out for the role is Patrick Warburton as Lemony Snicket, serving as narrator throughout the piece, his deadpan style and deep delivery really add to the tragicomical joie de vivre that embodies the show.

The children of the piece played by Malina Weissman, Louis Hynes and Presley Smith are a delight in themselves and really show a depth of character and to the show itself that, unlike most portrayed by child actors, may be safe for children to watch, but not necessarily aimed at children.

Overall the show is quick to begin, doesn’t overload you with details and offers unique and interesting set pieces and costumes, the theatricality can be over the top in parts, but I think its meant to be, and is a definite improvement of the soon forgotten, but never forgiven Jim Carey film version from 2004