After their parents perish in a fire that destroys their entire home, the Baudelaire orphans are sent to live with Count Olaf, who claims to be their distant relative and a renowned actor.
After the three young Baudelaire siblings are left orphaned by a fire in their mansion, they are carted off to live with their distant relative, Count Olaf. Unfortunately, Olaf is a cruel, scheming man and is only after the inheritance that the Baudelaire orphans are set to receive.
- Both the 2004 movie starring Jim Carey and this series were based on the 13 title children's books 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' by Lemony Snicket. This episode was based on the first half of the first book in the series: 'A Bad Beginning' which is broken into parts 1 and 2. As the opening credits roll, the singer tells the premise of the series. When this episode opens Lemony Snicket (played deadpan by Patrick Warburton - Elaine's on-again-off-again date Puddy on the 'Seinfeld' TV show) goes into detail explaining those events. A fire orphaned the three Baudelaire children who are turned over to Count Olaf (Jim Carey in the movie and Neil Patrick Harris here). The reason why Count Olaf wants to be guardian of them is to get the fortune left to them by their deceased parents. This surreal series tells of the Baudelaire children foiling Count Olaf's evil intentions. When asked about his motives Count Olaf shrugs "You haven't the faintest idea!" in the same manner as Jeremy Irons when questioned in 'Reversal of Fortune': "You have no idea!" Throughout this episode Lemony Snicket appears giving a running narrative of the events. The episode ends with the children still in the clutches of Count Olaf who sees their fortune as his. After all, it is only half of the first book.