Neil Patrick Harris is too attractive to be Count Olaf
February 8, 2017
Delving into a dictionary of vocabulary words and defining literary terms, the Series of Unfortunate events was educational crack. Kids were hooked on all thirteen of these books and went into a violent thirteen-year remission after the series ended.
Suddenly after the hiatus, the show of the same name aired on January 13th via Netflix. The show received a sigh of relief from all Unfortunate events fans. The actors who played the Baudelaire children were a mirror image of the book characters, the Lemony Snicket narrations brought book nostalgia, and the plot did not sway for a moment.
Now here’s the but, I have a problem with Neil Patrick Harris playing Count Olaf. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Neil Patrick Harris’ acting, he played superbly and gave the role all he had. Witty, melodic, with a hint of deviance, Neil Patrick Harris is the perfect villain (flashback to Dr. Horrible’s musical singalong), just not Count Olaf.
When you picture Count Olaf, you see aging, crusty actor with a face of pure sinister evil. He is boorish and very gross. There is a line from one of the books where he hasn’t showered in three days, so he drowns himself in cologne. That Gross.
That doesn’t fit Neil Patrick Harris. Just to allude back to Doogie Howser and Barney from “How I met your mother,” he’s looks like a handsome guy. No amount of fake unibrows and balding caps can hide those delicate features. There’s nothing wrong with that—if anything, people are jealous—it’s just that he doesn’t really emit the Olaf aura.
It’s not just his devilishly handsome looks, it’s also his voice. Most of us can agree that the Unfortunate events movie tanked, but the one saving grace of that disaster was Jim Carrey’s deep, ridiculously zany voice. Carrey’s performance was transcendent of Count Olaf. It was almost like the author saw Jim Carrey’s performance in The Mask and said “that’s him!”
Of course, none of these factors should hinder anyone’s opinion of NPH’s performance, because he did really well. The show did a great job on retelling the story, it’s just that the Count Olaf in the books did not seem to match Netflix’s Count Olaf.