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  • Why This Spooky Series May Be Worth Watching With Your 10-Year-Old

    There's a lot to admire in Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire.
    by Jillianne E. Castillo .
Why This Spooky Series May Be Worth Watching With Your 10-Year-Old
PHOTO BY Joseph Lederer courtesy of Netflix
  • “Look away...Every single episode is nothing but dismay!” says the opening lines of Netflix's TV series A Series of Unfortunate Events. We're glad we didn't follow the warning. Though filled with bad circumstances, the clever children who star in the show will keep you glued to the screen.

    SmartParenting.com.ph had been given early access to the second season of A Series of Unfortunate Events before it premiered on Netflix last March 30. The show, based on a series of 13 children's novels of the same name by Lemony Snicket, the pen name of author Daniel Handler (it was also made into a movie starring Jim Carrey), follows the lives of the Baudelaire siblings — Violet (Malina Weissman), Klaus (Louis Hynes), and Sunny (Presley Smith) who lost their parents and their home in a devastating fire that no one can explain how it started. 

    The Baudelaire orphans though are entitled to an enormous inheritance, which the story’s villain, Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris), is determined to get — through whatever means necessary. The second season opens with the Baudelaire orphans being given a tour at their new boarding school. They soon learn that the rather incompetent vice principal has hired a vile new P.E. coach with a funny accent. It’s, of course, none other than Count Olaf in disguise.  

    Like in season one, no one believes the kids when they point out Count Olaf's disguise. And that's when the adventure begins when the kids figure out how to foil  this one-eyebrowed menace's plans as they continue to solve the mystery of their parents' death. 

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    The siblings’ knack for problem-solving seems to know no bounds, and the same goes for their intelligence, fortitude, and charm. The Baudelaire parents may be gone, but their values and teachings live on through their children. And that's why we recommend you watch it with your kids (Netflix says it's for ages 7 and up, but Common Sense Media recommends for ages 10 and up). The series has a lot of teachable moments, and a few episodes in, you might just be be tempted to raise children just like the Baudelaire orphans. 

    1. The siblings know how to work together.
    They rely on each other’s strengths — Violet is a skilled inventor, Klaus is a prolific reader, and Sunny’s teeth can chomp through almost anything — but more importantly, they rely on each other for support too. On more than one occasion the siblings turn to one another for ideas on how to solve a problem or, equally vital, for reassuring and comforting words that home is wherever they’re together. 

    2. They’re extremely capable and resourceful. 
    When you’re orphaned and have a dastardly criminal with foul plans chasing after you, there may be no other choice but to learn how to think smart, fast, and sharp. 

    Several times has Violet looked around a room and, from found items, fashioned makeshift versions of objects like a bungee rope, a hot air balloon, and even a hammer to get an innocent friend out of jail. Klaus is no less useful when getting them out of tight spots (like how his extensive knowledge of the history of knives saves the day) and so are, adorably enough, Sunny’s sharp teeth. 

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    3. They’re curious and know to look in books for answers. 
    “A library is like an island in a vast sea of ignorance,” said Klaus Baudelaire to a lovely librarian. She chirped back, “Particularly if the library is very tall and the surrounding area has been flooded.”

    The Baudelaire siblings’ eyes widen at the sight of books. Piecing together the puzzle of their burned home and an underground secret organization, they know that books can hold the key to figuring out at least a few of the mysteries. As Count Olaf put it, “They're drawn to libraries like a cat to catnip…or a hobo to a dying possum.” 

    4. They’re well-mannered. 
    The Baudelaire orphans may have more than a few reasons to be ill-tempered and cynical, but, rather commendably, they aren’t. In a world bent on bringing them down, they remain well-mannered and respectful to whoever they meet, including to incompetent vice principals who demand applause and bratty schoolmates like Carmelita Spats who like to yell, “Cake-sniffing orphans in the orphan shack!” in their faces. 

    5. They’re hardy.
    No doubt, the Baudelaire siblings have grit. The ability to get up, learn, and continue on from horrendous life events is always admirable. And Violet, Klaus, and Sunny’s lives have, indeed, been rather horrible. We can hardly wait for whatever series of unfortunate events chances upon them next.

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