Whether you're a fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger or not, most of us grew up watching his movies and know him as an OG action hero. After being on the big screen for decades, FUBAR marks the first time the Hollywood icon has ventured onto the small screen.
In FUBAR, Schwarzenegger plays CIA operative Luke Brunner. Nearing retirement, Luke is called back into the field for one last job. He soon discovers a family secret while on a mission as he finds out his daughter Emma (Monica Barbaro) is another agent. As the father and daughter learn they have been living double lives for years, they realise their relationship as a family has been a lie, and they truly don't know one another at all. Forced to team up as partners, the series follows them as they tackle universal family dynamics set against a backdrop of spies, action and humour.
You may have also heard that CBS recently cancelled their True Lies series, which was based on James Cameron's 1994 action comedy movie starring Schwarzenegger. It felt as if they deliberately tried to ruin the memories of a fun movie, so coming into this new show with Schwarzenegger, FUBAR feels even more like True Lies. But instead of the wife, now it's the daughter who Schwarzenegger's spy character is working with.
Monica Barbaro and Arnold Schwarzenegger. (Photos: Netflix)
The first season of FUBAR consists of eight episodes and each run less than an hour, having one solid story arc that carries all the way through even though there are distractions here and there. However, those expecting action and thrills might be disappointed by this show as it is not a serious spy or even serious action series. The story is meant to be fun, comic relief rather than a realistic spy story, as many scenarios are unlikely to happen in real life. But once you understand the nature of the series and start approaching FUBAR with a less serious eye, the show is fun and somewhat engaging.
Showrunner Nick Santora and his team of writers did a good job balancing humour and spy action. Schwarzenegger and Barbaro play father and daughter well, and their banter is fun to watch and there is progress in a way that allows for personal growth. There's also something endearing about their relationship. The spy team in FUBAR is not a collection of bumbling idiots. Instead, they're actually pretty competent. The writers also make sure all other characters have something about them that makes them likable. And the humour is presented in a way where it bounces off between the characters. Even though the jokes can get absurd and tiresome at times, I found myself connecting with the characters and enjoying their antics and chemistry.
Overall, FUBAR is a lighthearted and entertaining spy/family series. Schwarzenegger and Barbaro have a good dynamic, leading to some heartwarming interactions and funny banter. It's well worth watching if you're looking for a fun time and a series that's able to deliver excitement and action without taking itself too seriously.
- Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Monica Barbaro, Milan Carter
- Created by Nick Santora
- Now streaming on Netflix