Omar Sy is here to charm you and Assane Diop is here to rob you blind. Here's why you should get into Netflix's latest great series.

By Rachel Yang and Alamin Yohannes
January 29, 2021 at 09:31 AM EST
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Credit: Emmanuel Guimier /Netflix

Just who is Lupin? That's the question detectives have to answer in this stylish five-episode thriller starring Intouchables' Omar Sy. Lupin, the first French series to feature in Netflix's U.S. Top 10 list, just announced it will release the five-episode Part 2 this summer.

At first, the series seems like an entertaining but straightforward heist story, with Sy's Assane Diop teaming up with petty crooks to steal a necklace from the Louvre. But we find out quickly that Assane is not your average thief — in fact, he's fashioned himself as the 21st century Arsène Lupin, the gentleman cambrioleur depicted in Maurice Leblanc's mystery novels. 

Ingenious and charming, Assane's one step ahead of the rest. His true target is the corrupt and powerful businessman Hubert Pellegrini, who ruined his family's life with a lie about the necklace 25 years ago. Now an adult, with skills and friends as clever as he is behind him, Assane is bent on bringing Pellegrini to justice. 

From Sy's winning performance, to Assane's hair-raising escapes that would put Houdini to shame, to the exploration of race and class in France, Lupin has also proved it's a step ahead of the rest. Prepare to watch — and rewatch — the show so you're all caught up for Part 2.

Here are six reasons to drop into Lupin:

You'll love watching Omar Sy act

Gentlemen burglar Assane will surely charm you, and that's all thanks to Sy's performance. From the touching family moments to the charisma he exudes while executing his schemes, Sy shines as the lead of this crime thriller. The way he blends and transforms into whoever he needs to be — a big spender, an anonymous stranger in the crowd — it's Sy's acting that makes it believable. You'll love watching Assane work, and we can all thank Sy for that.

Credit: Emmanuel Guimier /Netflix

Travel to Paris from the comfort of your home

One of the wonders of watching Lupin is getting to see France all from the comfort of your couch. You'll see Parisian streets, the Louvre, and many other fantastic French locations while you watch Assane spend time with his son or steal a treasured item. Whether it's a quiet conversation in a park or a thrilling chase, the series provides pure escapism. While many of us around the world are stuck indoors, Lupin doubles as an incredible getaway from wherever you stream. We love a show that can do both, and Lupin does just that.

Get into the low-fi heists – disguises and all

Lupin delivers some special with its heists, which are full of disguise and low-fi getaways. Assane uses a detailed getaway or well-thought-out plan to get the loot he has in his sights in a world full of violent showdowns and major gunfights. It's all slight of hand, misdirection, making an escape by bicycle. It's almost as if viewers could pull off these schemes themselves – almost. Then there are all of the disguises Assane puts on. He'll wear whatever he needs to get the job done, including an immaculate suit or the sweater vest of an IT whiz. Half the fun is figuring out how he manages to pull these things off.

It's not afraid to talk about societal issues

Lupin has its moments of flash and glam, but it's also a personal, complex story about the haves and have-nots. Yes, Assane commits crimes for a living — but so do the rich and powerful like Pellegrini on a more massive level, and they do so with impunity and hurt people in the process. One such person caught in the web is Assane's father, a hardworking driver from Senegal, whose arc will tug at your heartstrings in the show.

Watching Lupin will have you rooting for the suave burglar as you reevaluate perceptions on right vs wrong, innocent vs guilty, vengeance vs justice, and other dualities. Understanding where he comes from and the adversity he's had to face, it's more satisfying to watch Assane use peoples' prejudices about him to rob them blind while bearing a smile.

Credit: Emmanuel Guimier /Netflix

There's a whole world of stories to discover after the show

Finishing most shows will leave you with the familiar "What do I do with my life now?" ennui, but after concluding the French series, there's a whole world of Lupin content waiting for you to discover. The gentleman thief was first introduced in 1905 and appeared in 17 novels and 39 novellas by Leblanc. He even crosses paths with one of other our favorite fictional smarties, Sherlock Holmes, in a number of stories. You can find installments on Project Gutenberg for free or on Amazon, and stay in the land of trickery and camouflage a bit longer.

A cliffhanger that will keep you up at night

Speaking of conclusions ... the end of Lupin Part 1 leaves a lot up in the air, and we cannot wait for the second half to find out everything. In episode 5, just when Assane thinks he's out of danger, something arises to threaten his plans — and someone close to him. We have all the questions: Can Assane save the day once more? How is Guedira (Soufiane Guerrab) going to react? Are we going to see the adorable dog J'accuse again? Summer can't come soon enough!

Lupin is now available to watch on Netflix.

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