Netflix is always trying something new with its original shows and movies. The streaming platform is home to a wide variety of content, with heavy hitters like Stranger Things and Squid Game, animation like Castlevania, and movies like Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.
Of course, not everything that Netflix releases is going to be a winner. It looks like that's the case right now for the new action comedy series Obliterated, which comes from the creators of Cobra Kai — one of Netflix's biggest hits.
The first season, comprised of just eight episodes, debuted on Nov. 30 to a not-so-great 47% on Rotten Tomatoes out of a sample size of 17 reviewers. Though audience members have been much more gracious with an 83% score out of over 100 ratings, it doesn't seem that the show is really striking a chord with critics.
With that in mind, is Obliterated worth picking up and watching or not? What's got critics so divided? Here's what you need to know before you invest some time in this seemingly middling new Netflix show.
What is Obliterated about?
Obliterated comes from Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg and Josh Heald, the trio behind Cobra Kai. It's an action series with tidbits of drama and comedy sprinkled in for good measure. It follows an elite strike force working on busting up a deal for a nuclear weapon that could be used to destroy the entirety of Las Vegas.
Helmed by the capable CIA agent Ava (Shelley Hennig), the team consists of brawny-but-not-so-bright Navy SEAL Chad McKnight (Nick Zano), hacker Maya (Kimi Rutledge), sniper Angela (Paola Lázaro), pilot Paul (Eugene Kim), soldier Trunk (Terrence Terrell), and bomb squad member Hagerty (C. Thomas Howell).
Together, this ragtag bunch of ne'er-do-wells must put aside their differences, trauma, and hangups and come together to make things right after bagging a Russian arms dealer (Costa Ronin). And they do. Except the bomb they retrieved is a fake — and the real one is still out there somewhere in Las Vegas, primed and ready to raze Sin City.
After a massive celebration in which they take drugs, have sex, and get drunk, the team has to get together one more time, still hung over and tripping, to take care of the real bomb before it's too late. Unfortunately, they're the only squad who can do what they do. Is Las Vegas doomed? Maybe.
What the critics are saying
Critics from outlets like Variety, IGN, The Hollywood Reporter, Collider, and The Daily Telegraph have all voiced their opinions on Obliterated, with some raking it over the coals and others believing it's worth a watch. Reviewers are somewhat split over whether it's a good addition to the Netflix catalog or if it's a complete miss.
Variety's Aramide Tinubu called it a "baffling, nearly unwatchable hodgepodge of nonsense littered with penises and explosives." On the other hand, The Hollywood Reporter's Dan Fienberg noted that it was "easy to excuse" the show's rambling and "digressive" points.
The Daily Telegraph's Anita Singh snarked that they didn't think it was "possible to cross The Hangover with the combined oeuvre of Steven Seagal." Meanwhile, CNN's Brian Lowry praised the series for being "proudly raunchy."
IGN was far less kind, with critic Kenneth Seward Jr. pronouncing it "a poorly written, serialized action-movie version of The Hangover."
Has Obliterated been renewed for season 2?
Obliterated season 1 only just debuted on Netflix, so there isn't any news about whether a renewal is on its way. Given the show's initial development for TBS on cable — with Netflix and the Cobra Kai creators getting involved later — however, it doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility. There was enough interest to revive it from TBS, so if the numbers are there, it's highly possible that viewers could expect a second season.
Netflix has remained mum on the situation, however, so there's no news to report just yet. It's important to also keep in mind that poor or middling critical reviews don't necessarily mean that a show won't continue. Given the most positive audience reception, at least on Rotten Tomatoes, it's a real possibility that the show could go on -— as long as it makes sense story-wise to do so.
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Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.