Netflix’s new action-comedy series "Obliterated" premiered today to scathing reviews from critics, who have deemed the show "brainless," "inept," and "astonishingly bad." Set in Las Vegas, the series follows a group of hungover military veterans who must band together to stop a terrorist plot after a wild night out.
Reviews Call Series "Atrocious" and "Unfunny"
The show currently holds a dismal 27% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on over 20 reviews. Critics have skewered nearly every aspect of the series, from the acting and directing to the writing and overall concept.
Mark A. Perigard of the Boston Herald pulled no punches in his review:
"Obliterated is so bad, so astonishingly bad in every possible way, it almost veers into an anti-art aesthetic, transforming awfulness into a giddy, sloppy free-for-all the way some movies are so bad-good."
Perigard gave the show a grade of "F," calling it "simply unwatchable." Other critics echoed his disdain. Nikki Novak of FandomWire said:
"I haven’t seen something so atrocious and unfunny since that ‘Space Force’ show. Even that had a few funny moments. This does not…It plays out like it was written by a bunch of drunken frat boys."
Controversial Full-Frontal Scene Draws Ire
One particular scene in the pilot episode featuring full-frontal nudity from star C. Thomas Howell has been garnering a lot of attention. In an interview with Decider, creators Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, and Joshua Heald defended the moment:
"We felt showing C. Thomas completely naked spoke to the bold, raunchy tone we wanted for the show. Everything is bigger and ballsier in Vegas, baby!"
But most critics felt the nudity was just shameless provocation. Perigard called it "desperate," while Novak said "it added nothing." Others like IndieWire‘s Ben Travers opined:
"The full-frontal shot comes so far out of left field it feels like Netflix interference rather than creative choice. Nothing else gets such libertine leeway, making the moment stand out like an abused appendage."
Is This Just a "Hangover" Knock-Off?
In addition to the full-frontal flap, critics have accused the show of essentially ripping off the Hangover franchise. The series has drawn frequent comparisons to the hit comedy films, given its similarly debauched Vegas setting and motley crew of partiers suddenly embroiled in a dangerous plot.
In his review for RogerEbert.com, critic Nick Allen wrote:
"Obliterated wants so desperately to catch that Hangover lightning in a bottle again that it skips past the inspired madcap touches, barreling right to the raunch."
Allen suggests the creators failed to capture the cleverness and heart that made the Hangover films succeed. Other reviews like this one from We Got This Covered echoed the sentiment:
"Obliterated lacks the ingenuity of The Hangover’s comedic setups, as well as the charisma of its ensemble."
What Went Wrong?
So how did a series from the acclaimed creators of YouTube smash Cobra Kai go so horribly awry? In an interview with ScreenRant, the creators blamed unforeseen production issues for the show’s failure to live up to expectations:
"We wrote something wild and crazy that we were really passionate about. But there were challenges − filming delays, location issues, budget problems. At a certain point it just felt doomed, like fate was working against us making the exact show we envisioned."
Other reports note clashes with Netflix executives over the show’s extreme content. An inside source told The Wrap:
"The creators kept pushing the limits of taste and Netflix pushed back hard. It turned into a big game of chicken that left everyone angry and unsatisfied."
The end result, according to critics, is a show that feels watered-down, past its expiration date, and lacking a unified creative vision.
What’s Next for Obliterated?
Though the first season has been declared D.O.A., could Obliterated rise from the ashes for a second season? Early viewership data shows solid numbers, with over 8 million households sampling the series in its first three days − enough to potentially justify a renewal.
Table 1: Obliterated Viewership vs. Other Netflix Originals
|First 3 Days
|First 28 Days
In an interview with TV Guide, the creators remain hopeful:
"Obviously the reviews sting, but we still believe in the raw potential of this series. With some retooling and a new creative direction mandated by Netflix, we think there’s room to course-correct in an eventual Season 2."
But given the sheer vitriol from critics, Netflix would face significant blowback greenlighting more episodes. For now, the fate of Obliterated hangs in the balance as viewers continue streaming the first season. It remains to be seen whether the show can avoid being truly obliterated by dismal word-of-mouth.
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