TV critic Emily Barker reviews the long awaited revival of A Series of Unfortunate Events on NetflixWritten by Emily Barker on 7th February 2017
Puppy Love and the Wise Sensei
Time is ticking on in the Hamptons
Conrad has finally filed for divorce and Victoria has found herself a mysterious lawyer with a taste for blood. Declan’s planning to move in with Charlotte using Victoria’s bribe and “Amanda” is bonding with Jack over memories she doesn’t have. Sammy the dog is not impressed by his master’s new love. Daniel, however, has never been happier. He’s in love with a beautiful woman and he’s just managed to net his first big investor for Grayson Global. The only thorn in his side is Tyler, who is acting more and more out of character, and is still living in the Grayson’s pool house, alone, with Daniel’s mother only next door. It’s time Daniel returned home.
Emily, meanwhile, is taking a refresher course in revenge, with Mr Takeda. He reminds her that the key is to focus on her goal and to remove the obstacles in her way. Tyler and Amanda must be brought under control. Amanda is a ticking time bomb and must be dealt with carefully, but Tyler should be easy. After Emily discovers how Nolan “dealt” with Tyler, she feels betrayed, but the information is useful. She can use their secret relationship to get rid of Tyler with one simple slip of the tongue. But will her plan back fire? And will she lose a friend in the process?
It’s hard not to question the introduction of Mr Takeda. The character is a bit of a cliché- a wise old sensei, training body and mind- but with a twist. His cover as a rich Japanese businessman is believable and he fits right in to the Grayson’s elite society. The character also helps to get the story rolling again, by drawing a path for Emily to follow. However, whether he is a rather obvious, and overly stereotyped plot device who will only be used once, or an actual fully rounded character, is not easy to judge quite yet.
In contrast to Takeda’s slightly dodgy characterisation, it was nice to see teenagers getting a fair representation for once. Whilst Declan is young and in love, he is not stupid, and the writer’s have really done him justice this week. When Jack gives him advice, Declan listens. He really weighs his options and handles his situation with Charlotte in a very adult way. The growth of his character felt real, far from the usual depiction of teenagers as ignorant know-it-alls who only learn the hard way. It’s interesting that the writer’s seem to have chosen the show’s youngest couple to be the happiest and most stable out of them all, for now.
Complex and intriguing, Revenge remains as captivating as ever.