When ‘FUBAR’ gives Arnold a terrible joke, soon he’ll be back with another

On the veteran action hero’s first scripted TV series, the premise is tired and the comedy stinks.

SHARE When ‘FUBAR’ gives Arnold a terrible joke, soon he’ll be back with another

CIA operative Luke (Arnold Schwarzenegger) learns his daughter, Emma (Monica Barbaro), is also a spy on “FUBAR.”



The alleged humor in the Arnold Schwarzenegger-led Netflix action-comedy series “FUBAR” is so terrible, so corny, so groan-inducing, we actually feel the pain of Arnold and the talented ensemble cast as they deliver one clunker of a line after another.

Consider a scene in which the veteran CIA operative Luke (Schwarzenegger) and Luke’s daughter Emily (Monica Barbaro), who is also a government spy, are told they must undergo therapy with one Dr. Louis Pfeffer (Scott Thompson) and it should be noted we already had a “Dr. Pfeffer” in the “Hamptons” episode of “Seinfeld” nearly 30 years ago, but OK. Because “Dr. Pfeffer” almost sounds like “Dr. Pepper,” Luke and Emily make with the pop jokes, to wit:

Emily: “Together I think we can climb this Mountain, DO you?”



An eight-episode series available now on Netflix.

Dr. Pfeffer: “I see what you’re doing, you’re inserting soda names into the conversation.”

Luke: “I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about. You must be Fanta-sizing”

Emily then gives the doc the finger and says, “Shasta.”

What? What are we even doing here? I found myself hoping the original Terminator would visit this particular timeline just to erase the scripts so everyone could start over again, this time with originality.

The dusty premise of Schwarzenegger’s first scripted TV series has Luke on verge of retirement from the CIA when he learns his daughter Emily is also in the organization. All this time, neither knew what the other did for a living. As Luke’s colleague Barry (Milan Carter) explains to Emily, “The CIA created the Chinese Wall, so you’d never know I or your dad worked for the company. They set it up where we’d never cross paths, which is near impossible since you both work for the same regional office.”

Uh-uh. Got it.

The main storyline in “FUBAR” (as in F- - -ed Up Beyond All Recognition) involves the agency’s efforts to stop the megalomaniacal paramilitary leader Boro (an overacting Gabriel Luna) from gaining control of a “suitcase nuke,” aka “a WMD that can be taken anywhere,” as Luke puts it. And get this: Luke killed Boro’s crime boss dad back in the day, and then Boro grew up to be an even more ruthless and bloodthirsty psychopath, which is basically the same plot we got in “Fast X,” how about that!

As we endure unfunny references to “Lilo & Stitch,” “Starsky & Hutch,” “Ocean’s 8” and “Frozen” and cringe at lines such as, “They’ve got more issues than Sports Illustrated,” the 1980s sitcom-level subplots include Luke installing surveillance equipment in the home of his ex-wife’s boyfriend, which hardly makes Luke a sympathetic character; Luke growling and shooting menacing stares at Emily’s milquetoast boyfriend (Jay Baruchel), who has no idea Emily is in the CIA, and I’d be remiss not to mention the sequence in which Arnold’s old pal Tom Arnold shows up as an apparently insane person who performs an excruciating medical procedure on a kidnap victim who is given no anesthesia.

“FUBAR” is a violent, virtually laugh-free disaster filled with cheap sexual humor, standard-issue action sequences and paper-thin characters. Get to the chopper and flee this one instantly.

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