TV Review: Netflix's Lupin, Season 1

A Netflix original series.

Lupin is a 2021 foreign language mystery-thriller show created by George Kay and François Uzan. It is currently streaming exclusively to Netflix. The series stars Omar Sy and Ludivine Sagnier. It is based on the Arsène Lupin books by Maurice Leblanc. Season 2 will be released in mid-2021.


"You saw me, but you didn't really look." -Assane Diop

Chapter 1 / Chapter 2 / Chapter 3 / Chapter 4 / Chapter 5 / Overall Thoughts


Plot


25 years after his father committed suicide, Assane Diop chases down Hubert Pellegrini, the man who framed his father for stealing a valuable necklace and eventually pushed him into suicide. Meanwhile, the police are chasing the man who stole the necklace from the Louvre, and Assane must run from them while trying to get to Pellegrini.


Review


When I'm reviewing a non-sitcom TV show that I'm not reviewing episode by episode, I do mini-reviews of each episode (like I did for The Mandalorian) and then give my final thoughts on the season as a whole.


CHAPTER 1


I think this episode may have been my favorite of the series. It introduced you to this character of Assane Diop that was so cool and clever. The heist that the episode revolves around is basically Ocean's Eleven done right. The plan is complex, but you understand everything. It also isn't cliche. Good, cool heists are hard to pull off, and Lupin does it really well. All the while, the flashbacks are revealing horrifying traumas from Assane's past. Not enough to make you understand everything, but enough to give you an idea of what is going on and why. The way that the heist is actually pulled off is exhilarating. It is directed and acted to near perfection, pulling you straight into the next episode of the series.


SWEET


Fun Factor: 9.5/10

Quality: 8.5/10



CHAPTER 2


The prison part of chapter 2 is really great. The way that Assane pulled everything off was really cool. However, this episode definitely had some more problems than the first episode. Some of the stuff that Assane did definitely required some suspension of disbelief, and that was not really evident in any of the other episodes. The flashbacks were still really cool, and Omar Sy's performance was fabulous. The ending of the episode was super sick, even though it did require some leeway for the realism of the show.


SAVORY


Fun Factor: 9/10

Quality: 7.5/10



CHAPTER 3


Chapter 3 had a more personal story. This episode did great things for Assane's character, showing his darker and more menacing side. It built off of episode 2 in fantastic fashion. Chapter 2 setup up Inspector Dumont as this horrible, awful person that we wanted to see taken down. Chapter 3 had Assane capturing Dumont and berating him for information about his father's suicide. This is a great way to have an interwoven connection between all of the episodes. It made Dumont a more likable character and more like an anti-hero than a villain, but still showed that he wasn't completely redeemed. The cops trying to track down Assane was definitely the weaker part of the episode. I don't really like the cops as a whole. I think they are cliche and kind of stupid, so that was the part I didn't love. Also, Omar Sy gives his best performance in this episode. New levels of emotion are thrown into this character, making him more than just a cool gentleman burglar.


SAVORY


Fun Factor: 8.5/10

Quality: 8.5/10



CHAPTER 4


While the last three episodes developed Assane, this episode does a lot for Pellegrini without giving him much screen time. Since his henchman is chasing down Assane and Fabianne this entire episode, it makes you realize how much of a scumbag he truly is. His actions have a dirty effect on the rest of the events that take place. That scene on the French news network is just awful (in a good way). For a character that is introduced and killed off in the same episode, Fabianne's death is actually pretty sad. This episode cemented Pellegrini as one of the villains I've hated the most. However, for some reasons, I found this episode to be the least entertaining. Still pretty entertaining, but not as much as the rest of the episodes.


SAVORY


Fun Factor: 8/10

Quality: 9/10



CHAPTER 5


The season finale of Lupin has one of the most intense extensive scenes ever. This is the best directed episode of the season. If you are reading this, I assume that you've seen the show, which means that you know what happens. The scene where they take the selfie is so great and really shocking. This also has the best use of the fabulous soundtrack that Lupin has. The ending of the season leaves off on a huge cliffhanger, and I can't wait for the next season. The way that the episode plays out is crafted so well and made so subtly thrilling and intense. The way that Assane escapes the situation at hand is also good, but does again require some suspension of disbelief. I also think that the flashbacks in this episode are strange. They don't seem like they are contributing anything new to the plot, and it isn't always defined when they are happening, which can make for a confusing viewing experience. And, for a character who is so incredibly smart, it makes no sense that Assane would let his son roam about the beaches in a costume that everyone else is wearing alone. Especially when he knows that Pellegrini is after him. That was a really stupid way to set up the final moment.


SAVORY


Fun Factor: 9.5/10

Quality: 8/10


Overall Thoughts/Final Score


Lupin may not be the best show ever, but it's a really fun watch, and Assane Diop is one of the most fun characters in a TV series that I've seen. It's really well acted and directed. Some of the shots and the way that they reveal these twists and turns are done really well. Like I said before, Pellegrini is one of the most disgusting villains of my recent memory. He is absolutely vile and you hate him, which is a really strong emotional response that is hard to illicit from an audience. My only problems lie with the cops and the plot conveniences. The cops are really cliche idiots that are bad at tracking down their fugitive, except for one, who all the other cops think is crazy, but is actually right. That's a really common trope in film and TV. And a lot of things go right for Assane, which does lessen the coolness of his character. But it's an overall pretty fun experience that is definitely worth watching. I'm very excited for part 2.


I will give it a Savory rating. Age range is 11+.


SWEET N' SOUR SCALE

Sweet (Great) Savory (Good) Sour (Bad) Moldy (Terrible)


Created by George Kay and François Uzan


Rated TV-MA for language, moderate violence, disturbing themes and behavior, thematic elements


Episode runtime: 40 minutes


Omar Sy as Assane Diop

Ludivine Sagnier as Claire

Clotilde Hesme as Juliette Pellegrini

Soufiane Guerrab as Youssef Guedira

Hervé Pierre as Hubert Pellegrini

Shirine Boutella as Lieutenant Sogia Belkacem

Antonie Gouy as Benjamin Ferel

Etan Simon as Raoul

Vincet Londez as Capitaine Romain Laugier

Vincent Garanger as Gabriel Dumont

Nicole Garcia as Anne Pellegrini