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TV Review: How Is Netflix's 'The Bonfire Of Destiny' Season 1?

The Bonfire of Destiny Le Bazar de la Charite Camille Lou Alice de Jeansin Audrey Fleurot Adrienne de Lenverpré Julie De Bona Rose Rivière
Image by TF1 and Netflix
In “The Bonfire of Destiny” (“Le Bazar de la Charité”), three women’s destinies are irreversibly changed in the aftermath of a fire that rips through a charity bazaar in Paris. Streaming on Netflix, the show is based on the real-life tragedy that occurred in 1897. Using it as a backdrop (think “Titanic”), Season 1 follows its three leads as they traverse a harrowing series of events.

The trio includes Adrienne (Audrey Fleurot, “Safe”), a wife, and mother desperate to leave her husband for her lover. She is accompanied by the blissfully engaged Alice (Camille Lou), and Rose (Julie De Bona), Alice's happily married maid. The tragic fire that ensues alters their futures forever. In Season 1 on Netflix, “The Bonfire of Destiny” brings the disaster to the screen in all of its wrenching horror.


Following a tough-to-watch opener and a still tough-to-watch second installment, “The Bonfire of Destiny” begins turning into a full-blown (costume) drama. The leads are sympathetic, and their plight is also to varying degrees. Each is faced with their own crisis, which tests their resolve in Season 1. While having three competing narratives proves ambitious, it also pays off.

Related: The Ending of 'The Bonfire of Destiny' and How It Set Up Season 2, Explained

Rose and Alice’s storylines are personally the most captivating and in that order. The most layers lie in Rose’s story, which manages to evolve into various scenarios throughout the eight-episode season. Alice and Adrienne’s runs in a straight line, whereas Rose's has unexpected curves that prove compelling.

One thing holding “The Bonfire of Destiny” back is that it does not even try to hide where it is coming from. A similar issue is found in “Thieves of the Wood.” Instead of showing nuance, it strikes the viewer over the head without any subtlety as to its narrative stance. There is a way to get a message across without turning a potentially resistive heart away, and this approach risks it, in my opinion.

The romances are not exactly the cornerstone of the story. Alice’s is the most prevalent, and it takes the usual route that forbidden/star-crossed love stories do. This one does not enchant in the way that “Far and Away” does. Nor does it prove as toxic as the one found in “Locust” (also streaming on Netflix).

“The Bonfire of Destiny” has strong performances from its central leads and an outstanding child actor in Thomas’s portrayer. The soundtrack is also alluring, and to its credit, the story builds with every episode. There is not an installment that translates into being done to extend the episode count.

Overall, it is a well-done series with opulent sets and pleasant costuming. Season 1 also tells a self-contained story that will keep viewers wary of being kept on cliffhanger’s edge, satisfied. “The Bonfire of Destiny” does not make a second season necessary, even if it leaves the door open for one.

“The Bonfire of Destiny” (“Le Bazar de la Charité”) Season 1 is currently streaming on Netflix.

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