The Slippery Slope: Part One
- Episode aired Jan 1, 2019
After foiling his many dastardly plans and disguises, the young siblings might finally discover the truth about their parents' mysterious death, while unraveling the layers of a clandestine ... Read allAfter foiling his many dastardly plans and disguises, the young siblings might finally discover the truth about their parents' mysterious death, while unraveling the layers of a clandestine organization, and revealing the secrets of the coveted, missing sugar bowl.After foiling his many dastardly plans and disguises, the young siblings might finally discover the truth about their parents' mysterious death, while unraveling the layers of a clandestine organization, and revealing the secrets of the coveted, missing sugar bowl.
Unfortunately, from personal opinion Season 3 was a dip and the most problematic of the three seasons. Still very much watchable and the great things are many, but the only adaptation that really did show what was great about 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' and up to the level of the best episodes was "The Penultimate Peril". Of the season beginners, of which the most consistent by far being "The Austere Academy", "The Slippery Slope" (both parts but particularly Part 1 for the same reasons to each other) is by quite some way the worst. Also consider it the series at its weakest. Does that mean it's bad? Of course not, my feelings if anything were mixed.
Will begin with the good things as my reviews for the previous episodes started with the not so good things. Do want to give some hope and indicate that things are not too unfortunate and to reiterate that despite any criticisms it's not a terrible episode. The production values do not disappoint, the best of which a sight to behold. Have always loved the meticulous attention to detail and variation of the settings and how they are used, both parts of "The Slippery Slope" is no exception and it does give off a creepiness that could have been in there more in the storytelling. It's beautifully and atmospherically photographed too. The opening credits sequence never gets old, sorry about keeping going on about it. Like you can tell from my individual episode reviews for the likes of 'The Borgias' (another incredible opening titles sequence with that hair-raising main theme), do have a thing for opening credits/title sequences. The music is quirky and haunting, a good fit and balance for the series' tone.
The writing has enough moments of melancholic edge, absurdist quirkiness and dark humour as one expects from 'A Series of Unfortunate Events'. Lemony Snicket's narration is not distracting or overused too much. The story is very, very hit and miss, but shines in the characters of Man with Beard but No Hair and Woman with Hair but No Beard, wonderfully strange, entertaining and creepy characters, and especially having more of Hook-Handed Man (one of the high points of Season 3). The highlight of the whole adaptation of "The Slippery Slope" is his development and his chemistry between him and Sunny, being much more than a series of laughs and actually has depth.
All the performances are fine, with Richard E Grant and Beth Grant bringing gravitas, menace and entertainment value to their roles. And while Neil Patrick Harris and Lucy Punch are both excellent and Patrick Warburton wonderfully deadpan, the best performance comes from Usman Ally who brings more than comic timing and menace to the Hook-Handed Man.
Despite those good things, "The Slippery Slope: Part 1", well actually both parts for precisely the same reasons, has a lot of problems. In a nutshell, for me it was rather dull and bland. Not unwatchably so, just wasn't completely grabbed which is not a good sign for a season opener. One of the main reasons being that the pace is in both parts, but especially in Part 1, rather on the slow side and could have done with a tightening up.
What "The Slippery Slope: Part 1" also could have done with to make it better would have been much more tension, not enough at stake here (but this is true in the source material too, one of the lesser books in the series for me), and much more of the Baudelaires where only Sunny has enough of a personality. And perhaps less on Count Olaf and the theatrical troupe, some entertaining moments and the acting is great but they posed more of a threat in the previous episodes, and the absurdity in the humour is a little overdone in places.
In conclusion, above average but somewhat dull and bland at the same time. 6/10
- Oct 28, 2020