Review: 'Floor Is Lava'

Post by: Rick Ellis 03 June, 2022

If there was ever a show that was birthed out of the pandemic, it's Netflix's Floor Is Lava. Inspired by the viral Tik Tok trend of people posting videos of themselves crossing their living room parkour style, season one of Floor Is Lava featured three teams of three contestants attempting to cross a maze-filled room without falling into the orange-colored lava (water). Hosted by Rutledge Wood, the series was goofy and lightweight and fun to watch. Although after a few episodes, the limitations of the format started to become apparent. You can only see people fall into "lava" so many times. Even if the winners do receive $10,000 and a lava lamp.

Floor Is Lava is back for a second season today and it's been pretty drastically reworked since season one. While seriously tweaking a show for season two generally hints at a creative disaster, in this case, all of the changes have made the show much more fun to watch.

One very positive change is the way the show utilizes host Rutledge Wood. While he was a minimal presence in season one (mostly heard in voiceovers), in season two he stands on a second story overlooking the struggling contestants. Well, it appears as if he is doing that, anyway. Most of time, you'd swear he was watching a screen showing the contestants. But he stands there making live comments about the team making its way through the room and once a team is finished, they join him to watch the next team and see if they'll make the cut for the final round. 

The top two teams compete for the $10,000 prize by climbing another new feature, a lava-dispensing giant volcano. The first team to climb the volcano and place a rock inside the top of the volcano wins. Although the biggest challenge for contestants seems to be making their way across the obstacles to reach the volcano.

Another new addition for season two are three exit passes scattered across the room. The team has to collect all three passes to exit the room and it's fairly amusing to watch a contestant waste tons of time retrieving the pass only to fall into the lava immediately afterwards.

It's also worth noting that the challenges have been drastically upgraded in season two. There are a lot more problems to solve and simply jumping from object to object isn't enough to get out out the room. I still wish there were a few more rooms to choose from, but overall season two is a welcome improvement over season two.

If I have one complaint, it's that while season one was ten episodes, season two includes just five episodes. I'm assuming that the back five will be released as a season three later in the year, in much the same way Netflix splits a one season order of an animated series into two or three "chapters."

Still, Floor Is Lava is a whole lot of big, dumb fun and it's the perfect antidote for those days when you need a mental cleanse.

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Last modified on Saturday, 04 June 2022 10:08