Sunday, July 21, 2024

‘FUBAR’ series review: Arnold Schwarzenegger brings his A-game to this teddy-bears’ picnic 

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Luke Brunner in ‘FUBAR’

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Luke Brunner in ‘FUBAR’
| Photo Credit: Netflix

There is a lot of FUBAR that reminds you of True Lies—oh wait that is also a show, a disastrous one at that. In FUBAR (it is a naughty military acronym, go look it up), Luke Brunner (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a skilled international man of mystery, who finds out an earth-shattering family secret on the brink of retirement.

FUBAR season 1 (English)

Creator: Nick Santora

Episodes: 8

Run time: 45 – 59 minutes

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Monica Barbaro, Milan Carter, Gabriel Luna, Fortune Feimster, Travis Van Winkle, Fabiana Udenio, Jay Baruchel, Barbara Eve Harris, Aparna Brielle, Andy Buckley

Storyline: A father and daughter do not know that the other is a CIA operative and have to work together to catch a powerful arms dealer

After successfully completing his final mission in Antwerp, with jokes about him being the fastest 65-year-old, Brunner is looking forward to reconnect with his long neglected family. His family includes divorced wife Tally (Fabiana Udenio), geeky son Oscar (Devon Bostick) and over-achieving daughter, Emma (Monica Barbaro).

Just as Brunner is cutting his retirement cake, there comes news of an operative, Panda, who is in danger and needs to be evacuated from a scary arms dealer’s clutches. Boro, (Gabriel Luna, Tommy from The Last of Us), the arms dealer, and Brunner have a connection. Boro’s father was a bad person, who Brunner killed and feeling responsible for the orphaned Boro, looked out for him as “Uncle Finn”. The CIA’s thinking is that Boro will welcome Uncle Finn to his psycho compound and they will be able to rescue Panda.

When Brunner reaches the compound, he finds out to his dismay, Panda is his daughter, Emma, an equally competent operative. Through the rest of the episodes, the Brunner family tries to resolve its many issues while Boro runs free escaping each time by the skin of his shiny teeth. Emma has to choose between her safe, sweet, kindergarten teacher boyfriend Carter (Jay Baruchel) and hot honey pot operative Aldon (Travis Van Winkle). Tally has to choose between her mostly absent ex-husband Brunner and the adoring Donnie (Andy Buckley).

Oscar has troubles of his own, with the top one being his belief that his father looking at Emma as the son he (Brunner) always wanted. Oscar’s wife, Sandy’s (Stephanie Sy) daughter, Romi (Rachel Lynch) is ill and needs constant care. Brunner as usual tries to buy his way out of the guilt of being absent with conflict diamonds.

There is Tina (Aparna Brielle), an analyst bought in from outside to help the Brunner’s team, who tech support Barry (Milan Carter), has feelings for. Apart from Emma and Boro’s daddy issues, Roo (Fortune Feimster) also has trouble forgetting her dreadful childhood thanks to her father from hell. Dot (Barbara Eve Harris) is the commander of this squabbling bunch with some psych help from Dr. Pfeffer (Scott Thompson).

There is a high-speed chase atop a runaway maglev train, a high-stakes poker game with some poison and yak semen involved, an electric saw and a foot, and a smiling dorky torture expert (Tom Arnold, Gib from True Lies, the movie not the show) and The Teddy Bears Picnic, which Emma snarkily insists was tougher to sing with Brunner at the school talent show than taking down the most fearsome terrorist.

Though Schwarzenegger’s television debut has impeccable credentials from creator Nick Santora (The Sopranos among others) to production company Skydance Television (Reacherfor god’s sake!), FUBAR has more misses rather than hits. Still, it is fun to see Schwarzenegger wiggle his distractingly white eyebrows as he kind of saves us from a streaming coma.

FUBAR is currently streaming on Netflix

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