Furies Season 1 Review – Netflix’s female-led French action series shoots itself in the foot

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: March 1, 2024 (Last updated: last month)
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Furies Season 1 Review
Furies | Image via Netflix


Furies has some solid action and one or two decent turns, but it’s bogged down by a dense mythology and utilitarian storytelling style.

Furies Season 1, not to be confused with the Thai action film Furie or its sequel, also titled Furies and also streaming on Netflix apparently out of spite for database management, is an eight-episode female-led take on John Wick – though admittedly only if John Wick misunderstood the appeal of its storytelling.

Perhaps The Continental would be a better point of comparison for Furies, and not just because it’s French. Either way, it’s another action thriller set in the criminal underworld that imagines organized crime as a dense mythology of eccentric godfathers, complex family dynasties, and arcane rules and regulations, and lots of people get shot in it.

Furies Season 1 review and plot summary

The Fury, in this universe, is the peacekeeper of the Parisian underworld, a figure – always a woman, the latest in a matrilineal dynasty – who keeps the various bosses known as The Olympus in check. When the accountant of the underworld is assassinated, his daughter Lyna, who thus far has kept out of his professional dealings, finds herself thrust into a dangerous conspiracy that is closer to home than she ever realized.

To say much more plot-wise would be giving too much away, since this is the kind of story built on a succession of reveals, some of them pulled from the depths of the script’s a**s, that completely recontextualize the on-screen relationships. A lot is going on, a lot of it rattled off in rapid-fire expositional dialogue that can be tough to keep track of amongst all the shootouts and fistfights.

Yes, don’t panic, there are plenty of fistfights and shootouts, and they’re undeniably a high point of Furies, which favours decently long takes and wide angles for the sake of clarity. Sure, it’s a bit of a stretch that our protagonist goes from uselessly non-violent to virtually unkillable with the help of one self-defense book, but I’m not one to split hairs. And besides, this would be the least of the show’s problems.

The big hiccup is the writing. As I mentioned at the top, Furies exists in a post-John Wick climate where straight-up action can’t exist without a dense and slightly eccentric mythology propping it up. But the reason the Continental and blood feuds and other such bizarre nonsense worked in John Wick is because it unfurled organically in what was already a really good action movie. We learned the rules and regulations, and met the key players, as they became relevant to John himself and his personal revenge story.

Furies doesn’t do this. Instead, it employs artless, utilitarian techniques like explanatory voiceovers and one of those scenes in which a supporting character just reels off bios for all of the villains at once. It’s too much too frequently, and it bogs down the show’s action and character drama considerably.

Across eight episodes you’d think this would be fine, but because of the way the plot is structured – everyone’s lying about basically everything, and the deceptions are revealed one at a time – there’s always something new to explain. And the episodes aren’t especially long in the first place. With what seems like a minimum action quota to meet in each, having everything grind to a halt for a montage, a flashback, a voiceover, or a very clunky conversation in which all of the latest relevant information is dispensed gets remarkably tedious after a while.

And you can tell Furies isn’t as clever as it thinks it is since its efforts to liven things up with unique framing devices or other structural gimmicks just make matters worse. There’s a decent revenge story here with one or two good twists and a handful of very solid action sequences, and there’s a big part of me that wishes this was all there was.

Furies shoots itself in the foot

Alas, Furies shoots itself in the foot by trying to do too much too often rather than lean into its stronger elements only. The storytelling is noticeably inferior to the action but occupies the vast majority of the runtime. After a while, each new development just feels burdensome, like it’s getting in the way of what we tuned in for.

Action fans should probably keep an eye out either way since there’s a satisfyingly kinetic core to Furies, and the cliffhanger ending – yes, of course, there’s one of those – suggests a future to the story in Season 2 that might be a little more interesting with all of the scene-setting out of the way. As things stand, Season 1 is a decent but trying first effort with a reach that slightly exceeds its grasp.

What did you think of Furies Season 1? Comment below.


Netflix, Streaming Service, TV, TV Reviews
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