Welcome to Prufrock Preparatory Academy! Or it would be a genuine and cheerful welcome, if it was being given to anyone else besides the Baudelaire orphans, Violet (Malina Weissman), Klaus (Louis Hynes) and Sunny (Presley Smith).
Then again, why would anyone want to go to a school where the Vice Principle is actually named Nero (Roger Bart) and insists on playing the violin, very badly? The one giving the tour to the flummoxed Baudelaires, Carmelita Spats (Kitana Turnbull), is the cutest girl to ever tap the halls of Prufrock Prep and don’t you ever forget it, cake-sniffer, which of course lets her get away with also being the biggest non-teacher bully in school too.
Mr. Remora (Malcolm Stewart) teaches language arts, though you wouldn’t know it from his real-life anecdotes, and Mrs. Bass (BJ Harrison) teaches math and the metric system, which involves measuring all the random things. The school librarian Olivia Caliban (Sara Rue) does her best to help and educate the students, but is severely hampered with the ‘Library is only open for ten whole minutes each day’ restriction placed upon her by Vice Principle Nero. Larry Your-Waiter (Patrick Breen) has managed to infiltrate Prufrock Prep’s school cafeteria, to try and finally get that damnably important book to the Baudelaire children, which is going about as well as can be expected in Lemony Snicket’s world. And lastly, what about the gym teacher and athletic team we saw in the beginning? Why, that’s the infiltration point made by the dastardly Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris) and his gang of miscreant actors!
This world really does enjoy constantly reminding the Baudelaires that their secretive parents died in a bad fire and they’re now orphans, and the shack they have to live in at Prufrock Prep is a clear example of this. Crabs, fungus, even the warning tapping announcing the coming of Carmelita Spats are no match for the Baudelaire pluck and inventiveness, especially when they have new friends to cheer them on.
The Quagmire children are eerily similar to the Baudelaires, having lost their parents and triplet brother Quigley to death, too. Isadora (Avi Lake) and Duncan (Dylan Kingwell) seem almost tailor-made to be good to Klaus and Violet, respectively, and it turns out Isadora is carrying a telescope very similar to the one Klaus still keeps from the Baudelaire parents. Because, most likely, the Quagmires and the Baudelaire adults knew each-other. It’s a shame they couldn’t prepare for the Prufrock Prep motto, from the Latin, Memento Mori –remember, you will die.
Why would Vice Principle Nero and the laughable rest of the faculty require everyone to attend a mandatory pep rally? To raise school spirit, of course! Well, not really. To beat the school mascot, a dead horse, of course it is what else would it be, and also to introduce the brand new unqualified gym teacher, Coach Genghis! Boy, he looks familiar. That shiny brooch covering a unibrow used to be on the throat of a certain poppy pink cake-sniffer, and those tall lace-up sneakers can easily cover an ankle tattoo, so at least this time a smidge of effort went into costumery and covering.
Mr. Poe (K. Todd Freeman) is as useless as ever, though you will gain super-secret bonus points if you recognize the book he was reading at the beginning, ‘The Pony Party’! His secretary on the other hand, Jacquelyn (Sarah Canning), after getting a call from Larry Your-Waiter stuck in the freezer after getting found-out, decides to call in for him a super special secret Snicket taxi cab, and driver, for rescue.
Come again to Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events season two on Netflix now, and remember, “In a world too often governed by corruption and arrogance, it can be hard to stay true to one’s literary and philosophical principles.”