Ludik Season 1 Review – A disappointingly flawed thriller

Season 1

Episode Guide

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6


One of the most important parts of any show is a likable protagonist. Even shows like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones , notorious for their despicable, morally corrupt players, have people we can get behind. Ludik, however, does not.

Despite a simple and enjoyable revenge thriller plot, this South African thriller crumbles when it comes to the characters, and, in particular, its titular protagonist Daan Ludik. Daan is a pretty horrible person. He’s constantly belittling his son, he doesn’t really respect his wife, he doesn’t respect his daughter’s boyfriend (who happens to be an Olympic gold medalist) and he’s overall pretty remorseless.

Although flashbacks in episode 1 go some way to explain his attitude, the rest of the episodes do nothing to improve his persona. In fact, Daan doesn’t really have much of a character journey beyond “don’t get caught”, making for a rather tepid and forgettable journey.

The story itself centers around Daan’s furniture business, Ludik Furniture and Carpets. Daan’s made a good name for himself in the area, with his trusty driver Charles and a team of experts running a tight ship. The thing is, Daan hides a big secret.

It turns out this operation is just a front for a secret diamond smuggling trade, which operates behind the scenes. Daan’s buyer is Farhad but with great reward comes even greater risk.

When Daan’s brother Swys is kidnapped by Arend Brown, Daan is forced to switch up his business to move some gear around for this shady antagonist. As the season progresses, Swys becomes a more integral part of the plot and the story evolves into more of a revenge thriller.

There are extra players who come into the fold later on to complicate matters, including Nkala who wants revenge for his dead father and demands answers from Arend. We also get the Brigadier investigating Ludik’s enterprise, determined to figure out what our protagonist may be hiding. All of this leads to a bombastic final episode that resolves most of the big plot points but does also leave things wide open after a big discovery at the end. No spoilers here though!

With 6 episodes clocking in at a little under an hour, Ludik has plenty of time to play with but the pacing is really quite poor. It doesn’t help that the sound design is uninspired on the whole, and the characters cliched and very tropey. Swys is your typical recovering/relapsing drug addict, Lil is the generic computer whizz and Daan’s messy family life is typical for a show like this.

But again, all of this could be overlooked if there were good characters to root for. Ludik really struggles with that and it’s something that certainly doesn’t improve as the season goes on. In fact, none of the characters really learn or grow either – at least not Swys and Daan anyway.

Ludik could have been a bombastic action thriller but instead, this one starts off on rocky ground before petering out into mediocrity. The story isn’t too bad but a slow pace and a terribly unlikable protagonist make this far less appealing than it should be. It’s a real shame because there’s definitely potential here.

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  • Verdict - 4.5/10

13 thoughts on “Ludik Season 1 Review – A disappointingly flawed thriller”

  1. I loved this series and I’m a series watcher. Your analysis on the show is all wrong. It’s only flaw in my opinion was the music it was too loud and irritating. Hoping for season two.

  2. The fact that the series kept me hooked and eager to binge watch until the end, proves it is a success. I am a lawyer, use to a realistic world, and I am not easily captured by a movie or series.

  3. I luv it. It’s an exciting movie and it kept me hooked, couldn’t wait to watch the next episode. Arnold Vosloo is a brilliant, world renowned Actor and proved himself again in Ludik. I rate it 9/10. We all might have different opinions, but we don’t have to stand aside to compete with the rest of the world. Give our Actors their well deserved due❤️

  4. There is enough blood and gore, but the story line is flat. Like someone above said the sound in places is inaudible and I had to rely on the English subtitles to know what is said. Unfortunately not among the 50 o/o best I’ve seen

  5. I disagree. The dominee and reference to religious context in the 70’s – 80’s “old SA” is spot on. There’s more here…

  6. I have not watched Afrikaans film/series in a long time and have to say now I know why. Not all Afrikaans people are common and definitely has never seen an Afrikaans dominee like the one portray in this series. Would be nice to get the facts right. I am by the way Afrikaans but not proudly at the moment.

  7. This shows starts slowing but it gains momentum after the first episode. One item that could have been done better is the voice over. If you have to listen to it in English. This review y the the review geek I rate 5/10 for accuracy.

  8. I think you might have expected a Hollywood style action series.

    Ludik is believably flawed,after all what criminals aren’t monsters most of the time?

    The series gives quite a brutally honest look into a certain type of South African…

  9. Hey there, all comments are run through our filters before showing up on the site. We welcome any comments at TheReviewGeek unless they’re deemed to be inflammatory, include swearing, personally attack others or happen to be unconstructive. These are immediately deleted by our system whilst other comments – like the two that have shown up on this post – can sometimes take a while to show up.

    I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and the review above outlines exactly what parts of the show I didn’t like. I’m glad that you liked Ludik and fingers crossed this one gets a second season!

    Thanks again and hopefully this alleviates any concerns you have about our commenting system!

    -Greg W

  10. so you dont allow ANY TYPE of comment or criticism eh? pretty weird from a guy who is paid to critic everything…

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