Obliterated Review

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There is no better feeling than a good laugh. It could be through a solid punchline, witty banter or just some slap-stick comedy; the release of endorphins often results in an overall sense of happiness. And who doesn’t need laughter every now and then, especially when watching Netflix’s overblown but unfunny action dramedy series Obliterated?

Made by Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg and Josh Heald who also did Cobra Kai, Obliterated benefits from a creative team known for their campy humor. And the premise of special forces trying to find out what happened to a nuclear weapon after an all-night bender full of drugs booze and more drugs is ripe for so much comic mischief. Unfortunately though, despite its promise there isn’t much that is funny about most of Obliterated’s reckless debauchery.

The problem arises largely from the many childish gags – not childish in terms of decency but rather because they are commonplace and hold no real surprises. One character declares his sobriety before being interrupted by wild hallucinations; another stops to throw up while running upstairs only to be forced back down moments later for yet another grossly unfunny slips-on-puke gag. Even when the setup looks promising however, the punch-line afterwards lacks substance –if you’ve seen one unconscious person soil themselves with shock on their friend’s faces or some large random animal rummaging through an unattended drug stash then you’ve pretty much seen them all.

The run-of-the-mill action scenes don’t do any good either. The conflict between this group of drunk agents and several crazy terrorists should have made for some interesting encounters but drunkenness was not given enough focus on it. Yes there are lots around botched interrogations and helicopters crashing due to mismanagement. However except for two decent shootouts as well as one disturbing torture scene that follows, this is just about average at best.

Obliterated’s cast of talented performers does their utmost to breathe life into it. Their conversations are not always pleasant, filled with “that’s what she said” style one-liners. And most of the touching moments shared between the leads are typically shattered by ill-timed jokes. But Nick Zano and Shelley Hennig clearly enjoy themselves as Navy SEAL Chad McKnight and CIA Agent Ava Winters, respectively, and their onscreen chemistry brings credibility to McKnight and Winter’s rocky love/hate relationship. Terrence Terrell is excellent as famished SEAL Trunk, whose constant search for food in the midst of his chaotic mission produces perhaps one of the funniest scenes in the entire series; watching Terrell’s exasperation after hearing an empty platitude having discovered a discarded donut container is priceless. Eugene Kim and Paola Lázaro are also likable as the team’s Air Force pilot and Marine sniper; C Thomas Howell’s portrayal of explosive technician Hagerty is equally intriguing sometimes when he becomes unhinged. Unfortunately, this character has been absent for most of these eight installments –yet Howell still manages to bring out a couple more chuckles whenever he appears.

Final Verdict

Obliterated made by Netflix appears like a badly written sequential series of The Hangover, but with more action. If it had better action scenes, the ludicrous happenings following a night of chaotic indulgence would not have mattered too much. However, none of these car chases, brawls or helicopter accidents do not thrill the audience. The actors also try to make it exciting but this does not prevent Obliterated from becoming a dull and a forgettable show at that.

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