Wednesday, July 29, 2020

TV Review: The Floor is Lava Season 1

There are some TV show concepts are so silly that they are genius.

That is the case with The Floor is Lava.

The premise is simple.  Teams of three have to get across an obstacle course where the floor is covered in red liquid "lava."  Contestants have to leap from familiar houshold objects like chairs and tables to get to finish line.  If they fall into the "lava" they are out.

The show works for a number of reasons, but most of all it is because it a primal touchstone to childhood.  Who doesn't remember playing "The Floor is Lava" as a kid and the thrill you had as you navigated your house from one safe destination to another.  As a kid you felt like an adventuring parkour genius and your home became a little more magical.  Watching this show awakens that same sense.

It is also nostalgic in that it is reminscent of the great obstacle course shows like Double Dare but with adults.  Ironically, I almost think kids would do better on this show.

The show is oddly compelling.  As a contestant teeters on the edge of a wobbly make-shift bridge, I found myself a bit more on the edge of my seat.  I could easily see myself in that situation and either roll my eyes in judgment or stare in disbelief.  

What's important too is that the show does not take itself seriously at all.  It knows how silly it is and lets you in on the joke.  But since contestants are playing for a significant amount of money, there are actual stakes.  As you watch, you pick your favorite team and then root for them.  You critique the obstacles as too hard or too easy.  You thrill as anyone leaps to the finish line.  And you jump when someone falls down into the "lava" below.

This review is brief, because the show is so simple in its delights that it does not take a lot of words to describe how fun it is.  I was actually sad when it came to an end and I hope to see the next season soon.

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