The Wide Window Review

Secret codes, grammatical errors and the truth about waiting an hour after eating before going swimming. What more could you ask for?


Now two guardians down, the Baudelaire’s head to their Aunt Josephine who is terrified of pretty much everything. In order to cope with her overwhelmingly fearful view of the world, Josephine has dedicated her life to grammar. The world wasn’t always so frightening for Josephine, but the death of her husband Ike drastically changed her outlook on life.

Alfre Woodard brings Aunt Josephine to life in this much more fleshed out version of the character. In this version, the children learn about how kickass Josephine was when their parents knew her. She even wrestled a crocodile. Though Woodard’s performance wasn’t as fun to watch as Meryl Streep, who played Josephine in the movie, the storyline was much richer. It was sad to see how broken this woman was and tragic that the moment she regains her former strength is the same moment she’s pushed to her death.


Captain Sham, I mean Count Olaf, killing yet another person makes it even more perplexing that he left the Baudelaire parents alive, but since he doesn’t seem to know they’ve escaped it might be safe to assume he isn’t actually behind their disappearance. Maybe Olaf isn’t the only one after the Baudelaire fortune.

It’s probably always going to be a little frustrating when no one believes the children about Olaf, but admittedly Sham was a much better disguise than Stefano. The performance did occasionally become too reminiscent of Jim Carrey’s film version. It’ll be interesting to see how Neil Patrick Harris does when he finally steps out of familiar territory.


Malina Weissman and Louis Hynes, Violet and Klaus respectively, play their parts really well. When we leave them the siblings have all hitched a ride to Lucky Smells Lumber mill, effectively ditching Poe and his crazy list of potential guardians. This is a decision that comes much later in the book series, a few books after the mill.

Maybe children these days just have less patients for psychotic madmen and people who can’t see through disguises.


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