Netflix is no stranger to ridiculously silly game shows, but in 2020 it launched arguably the most absurd one of them all: Floor is Lava.
Inspired by the children’s game of the same name, players must traverse a room without touching the floor, but this show takes that core concept and cranks it up a notch. Here, contestants must navigate obstacle courses in a room filled with thousands of gallons of bright orange goop, which acts as a stand-in for real molten lava.
The show sounds ridiculous on paper, but it’s even sillier in practice. Watching contestants clamber across oversized armchairs, shimmy along rickety shelves and even swing from chandeliers is sure to elicit a smile from even the most stony-faced of viewers. Of course, the inevitable moment when contestants tumbled into the goopy 'lava' — complete with dramatic screams — is the real highlight of the show.
The first 10 episodes of Floor is Lava dropped in June 2020, which proved to be the perfect timing. After all, back then we all needed a lift as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to sweep the globe. The show proved to be a welcome colorful distraction, and it’s no surprise that it enjoyed strong viewing figures as a result. A second season was commissioned shortly after, and it just premiered on Netflix last week.
So, what’s changed in Floor is Lava season 2? Not a great deal. There are new courses for contestants to tumble through, including a haunted attic and a giant game room, but the core premise remains the same. Don’t take that as a criticism, though; there’s only so much innovation required when the original idea is so brilliant in its pure zaniness.
Netflix appears to know actually what viewers of Floor is Lava want to see, and season two offers exactly that. This latest collection of five episodes only dropped on the streaming service a week ago but it seems to be going down well: the show has rocketed up to number five on the Netflix U.S. most-watched TV shows list — and it could climb higher in the coming days.
Floor is Lava is not Netflix’s only game-show success in 2022. Earlier this year, Bullsh*t: The Game Show was a surprise delight for the streamer. The quiz show is hosted by Howie Mandel and tasks contestants with lagging their way through a series of trivia questions even if they don’t know the answer. It’s an absolute hoot and one of Netflix’s most pleasant surprises so far this year.
Some of the TG team also very much enjoyed Is it Cake?, which reached #1 back in March. Plus, there's Awake: The Million Dollar Game which tasks sleep-deprived contestants with completing tasks that require serious precision. These successes show that outside of the many Netflix cancelations this year, the streaming service can still get plenty of things right.