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Neil Patrick Harris is ineptly villainous in ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ trailer

Count Olaf will soon be terrorizing the Beaudelaire orphans in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, the latest adaptation of Daniel Handler’s beloved book series. This time, Netflix is bringing the books’ beloved characters to the small screen with a cast that features Neil Patrick Harris, Joan Cusack, Patrick Warburton, and more. In preparation for the series’ January debut, the streaming service has unveiled its first full trailer.

After a previous teaser showed us what to expect from the evil Count Olaf (played by Harris), the new preview gives us a better idea of the plight of the Baudelaire orphans — Violet (Malina Weissman), Klaus (Louis Hynes), and Sunny. As you’d expect, they will find themselves dealing with some very, well, unfortunate events. It’s not easy being without parents, but a diabolical guardian makes it all the more awful.

Count Olaf has plenty of tricks up his sleeve in the new series, but he doesn’t appear to bee the most competent villain. The trailer shows the kids managing to thwart him — if just barely — and his many not-so-tricky disguises. He fails pretty miserably in one scene in particular: He tells the Baudelaires that he’ll have their fortune by the time the sand in an hourglass runs out, only to have to amend his statement when it does so more quickly that he expected.

The count is just one of the adults in the series who seems a little ridiculous. Throughout the trailer, the Baudelaires come into contact with a string of people who don’t inspire a lot of confidence in their ability to help. These characters are played by skilled actors, though, including K. Todd Freeman, Alfre Woodard, and Don Johnson.

The series, which is set for eight episodes, is written by Handler himself, who executive produced alongside Barry Sonnenfeld. Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events hits Netflix on January 13.

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