French TV series ‘Lupin’ has taken over much of the streaming industry for its fantastic adaptation of the original ‘Gentleman Butler’ from the 1905 novels by Maurice Leblanc. The mystery thriller hit Netflix early this year and has stayed at amongst the top of the streaming sites list of TV shows to watch – for some very obvious reasons. Not only is the premise intriguing (a regular thief brings to life the astonishing tricks of a master of disguise), the cinematography a work of art (helping us feel like we’re living along the streets of Paris from our couches) and the casting on point (43-year-old Omar Sy embodies the charming ‘Gentleman Butler’ to a T). But most of all, the ingenious ways in which the mystery unravels is no short of enthralling. However, with the 5th episode (released on the same day the series dropped) ending on a major cliffhanger – boy, do we have questions! Unfortunately for fans of the series, we’ll be left with these questions until the summer, when part 2 (the last 5 episodes) is set to hit the streaming site.
Until then, we’re going to have to fill our time and satiate our love for mysteries some other way. But we’ve got you covered! Now here are five TV shows to watch if you liked Lupin – one of them even has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes!
Killing Eve (IMDb: 8.3/10; Rotten Tomatoes: 89%)
Not French, per se, but Killing Eve’ is a fantastic blend of comedy and thriller. The British TV series is darker, with a more spy drama take but its premise is just as enthralling as ‘Lupin’s’. It follows Eve (a bored MI5 spy), who is tasked with capturing psychopathic assassin Villanelle. It’s a game of cat and mouse – if those chases involved serial killers and a rather nail-biting obsession. While it isn’t as put together as ‘Lupin’ is, it’s definitely got an edge over the French show. Plus, both leading ladies – Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer – have won awards for their performance on the show. Once you start the first episode, there’s no looking back.
The Bureau (IMDb: 8.7/10; Sundance Now: 4.8/5)
Backtracking a little bit, ‘The Bureau’ is an older French spy thriller that’s been popular in the nation for a while now. The show is based on actual stories from former spies and inspired by contemporary events. It centres around the daily lives and missions of agents within France’s Directorate-General for External Security, its principal external security service (think the French version of the CIA). It’s got 5 seasons and consists of 50 episodes – enough to keep you busy for some time until part 2 of ‘Lupin’ is released – packed with instances of realism and exemplar moments of humanity. The reason for its popularity can also be credited to the complexity of the plot and its characters.
Dirty Money (IMDb: 8.1/10; Rotten Tomatoes: 100%)
This is an emotional one, ngl. ‘Dark Money’ will leave you feeling angry as the docuseries it highlights greed and the inhuman way that the systems in the real world can be abused for personal gain. It follows the same socioeconomic critique of ‘Lupin’ while giving different, mind-bending examples from the real world. Consisting of twelve one-hour long episodes, the series will have you gripping your seat in anger. One particular episode titled ‘The Man at the Top’, will hit particularly close to home for Malaysians.
Imposters (IMDb: 7.8/10; Rotten Tomatoes: 92%)
Despite only lasting two seasons, the intense plot featured in ‘Imposters’ is wonderfully complemented by dark humour and comedic relief. Its twists involve fake identities, cons, and brutal betrayals as it follows Maddie, a con artist. The catch is that Maddie (along with two others) happens to specialise in a particular type of con – where their method of operation is to make their targets (male or female) fall in love with Maddie while ingraining themselves into their lives, only to leave with all their money after marriage. Not too comedic and not too serious, the show has its moments of depth and emotion, making leaving while watching almost impossible.
Ozark (IMDb: 8.4/10; Rotten Tomatoes: 81%)
In the same way that ‘Lupin’ explores the extent in which individuals can go to for their loved ones, ‘Ozark’ sees how far a family is willing to go to stay together & stay alive. Spanning three seasons with 10 episodes per season, viewers follow Jason Bateman as financial advisor “Marty” as he deals with the aftermath of a money-laundering scheme gone wrong. The show has even been described as ” a masterfully crafted crime thriller that hits all the right notes and refuses to dial down the tension for even a second”.
*Cover image credits: Netflix / Canal+
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