Watch: Joan Cusack and Neil Patrick Harris Wear Funny Wigs and Some Bad Stuff Happens in the First Full Trailer for ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’

Reality is a series of unfortunate events, and so alas, the first trailer for Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events actually looks like even more of a cute diversion than all its collective misfortunes already were to begin with. This is, after all, a world where your mean uncle is Doogie Howser with a prosthetic nose, where kids learn to do chores so as not to become spoiled assholes, and where Joan Cusack wears this great judge wig, for…she plays a judge:

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What could be so bad?

Surely, many people who were children in the 90s will come to this trailer looking for something to love or hate, and for those, like me, who skipped A Series of Unfortunate Events and therefore are coming to it looking for nothing in particular, Joan Cusack in an amusing wig seems like a substantial takeaway.

But Neil Patrick Harris — as Count Olaf — also looks to be an enjoyably bumbling villain, and will inevitably be less Jim Carrey-ish than Jim Carrey, so that’s definitely something. As seen above, the trailer depicts some of his many disguises.

We see Aasif Mandvi playing Uncle Monty, the always-excellent Alfre Woodard (most recently seen in another Netflix series — Luke Cage — as Mariah Dillard) playing Aunt Joesphine, Christopher Guest-regular (sadly missing from Mascots) Catherine O’Hara playing Dr. Orwell, K. Todd Freeman ushering the Baudelaire children around at the beginning as the banker Mr. Poe, and Patrick Warburton narrating as Lemony Snicket. 

The series premieres on Netflix on January 13, with an eight-episode first season.

Watch the trailer: