Arnold Schwarzenegger's 'Fubar' is No. 1 on Netflix top 10 list — and critics hate it

(L to R) Cailin Stadnyk as Will’s wife, Arnold Schwarzenegger as Luke Brunner, Patrick Garrow as Will, Monica Barbaro as Emma Brunner in episode 102 of Fubar
(Image credit: Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix)

The new Netflix series Fubar starring Arnold Schwarzenegger may be a hit with Netflix customers, but critics have taken to arms for its Judgement Day. In a situation that feels all too familiar, the latest top Netflix Original show got raked over the coals by reviewers.

Fubar, which debuted last Thursday (May 25), immediately jumped to the top of Netflix's Top 10 Shows in the US list, according to FlixPatrol. And the streaming service tracker shows that Arnie's new series has kept that spot since — and Netflix shows it still has the No. 1 spot at the time of publishing.

The comedic action series' divisive nature is not entirely surprising, as it seems to be the standard these days. But since popularity doesn't equal quality, let's break down everything you need to know about Fubar, which isn't likely to be one of the best Netflix shows.

What is Netflix's Fubar about?

Imagine taken, but with the spy skills on both feet. Not only is Luke (Schwarzenegger) a dad who's also a butt-kicking spy, but his daughter Emma (Monica Barbaro) didn't far fall from the family tree. 

Luke makes this discovery on a mission to save a missing operative, who turns out to be his foul-mouthed daughter. However, Emma refuses to let her father treat her like a child as they continue the mission that she was on when he tracked her down. 

All the while, Luke and Emma don't really get along, as he wants to see her as not-an-adult, and she's clearly grown up. The two eventually, after some team-building time, manage to work together. Yes, it's basically True Lives 2023.

Fubar reviews: What critics and audiences say

(L to R) Monica Barbaro as Emma Brunner, Arnold Schwarzenegger as Luke Brunner in episode 101 of Fubar

(Image credit: Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix)

At the time of publication, Fubar has racked up a 49% Rotten Tomatoes score, which is akin to the teacher writing a big red F on your test. Audiences like it considerably more, with a 71% rating.

All cliché, followed by painful cringe and then rounded out by dumbfounded confusion.

Kelly Lawler, USA Today

Kelly Lawler at USA Today declares Fubar to be an 'embarassment,' and that it's "all cliché, followed by painful cringe and then rounded out by dumbfounded confusion." And she also slaps it with a ChatGPT-esque accusation, saying "There are humans talking, but I don't believe humans wrote the dialogue."

Over at CNN, Brian Lowry observes "there’s a nagging been-there quality to almost every beat of the show" and that "with apologies to its military acronym, [Fubar] feels fouled up in mostly recognizable ways."

Dan Einav of the Financial Times wasn't so harsh on Fubar, writing "This is a fun, fundamentally unserious save-the-world romp with close-shave thrills, nonsensical plots and breezy comic relief. But that’s it and that’s all."

The more-positive notes from the viewers came from folks like Stewart l, who writes "A light drama to watch while you eat. Can't wait to watch season 2." Jose Manuel R notes "The kind of show that lets you know 'critics' don't know fun even if it slaps them in the face. It's nothing deep or groundbreaking, but it's a fun comedy/action show."

Outlook: Should you watch Fubar?

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Luke Brunner in episode 101 of Fubar

(Image credit: Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix)

This one seems pretty simple. If you're looking for an action comedy series to watch while you're doing other things — say folding the laundry — Fubar seems like it's a good pick. 

That said, if you want your TV to be more engaging, and have you leaning in and hanging on every word, Fubar might not be right for you.

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Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.