Netflix’s FLOOR IS LAVA Is Too Risqué for Children
By Arielle Anderson, Contributing Writer
FLOOR IS LAVA is a new Netflix gameshow released in June 2020 and is hosted by Rutledge Wood.
Each episode features teams attempting to navigate tricky obstacle courses without falling into the ‘lava’ below. If they fall, they’re out.
Each team attempts to get as many of their members to the other side in as short a time as possible. The concept comes from the household game of the same name, in which people (usually children) try to hop from furniture piece to furniture piece while pretending that the floor is lava. The format of the series allows for new challenges in each episode and provides variety in the appearance and difficulty of the different ‘lava’ rooms.
The contestants vary in age from older children to adults. Some of the episodes are totally safe and appropriate for families. Other episodes will make viewers cringe over uncomfortable humor.
Contestants frequently fall and are hurt–though never seriously–by tough landings. Because the floor is ‘lava,’ when someone lands in the ‘lava’ they sink underneath, not to be seen again until the post-game interview. There are a lot of jokes about lava ‘deaths.’ The ‘lava’ itself is on the warm side and erupts for effect, but isn’t actually painful to touch.
There are some creepy props such as a wall with framed dead bugs, an alien mummy, a wall of dulled kitchen knives, and a yeti prop.
Unfortunately, there are more sexual innuendos than you would expect on a game show based on a children’s game. There are several references to the dating app Tinder, contestants wear tight clothes, and some quick photos briefly show men in their underwear or shirtless. Other photos show women in workout bras. There is also some mild flirting.
Some of the humor is mean spirited. Trash talk between contestants is common, but it seems to be in good fun for the most part. Yelling and arguing sometimes takes place in the heat of the competition, but it usually doesn’t get too intense. Teasing between teammates is also common, such as a daughter saying that her mom is embarrassing her.
There are frequent uses of OMG and the Lord’s name is also taken in vain. Many of the contestants opt for substitute swear words to avoid actually swearing.
Occasional references to drinking and partying are present. A contestant does drag and pictures of him in drag attire are shown. There is one team that’s a group of pastors and talk about church.
One of the obstacle courses has a pyramid, a sarcophagus, the Easter Island heads, and the Ark of the Covenant. Some contestants mention that they do yoga.
A few jokes touch on hell, bad luck, being cursed, dead spirits, miracles, a flat earth, and fortune cookies ‘coming true.’ All are very minor and clearly jokes.
There is a reference to Moses when a team finds a staff in one of the obstacle courses. There are a diverse mix of people who compete on the show: quite a few pastors, as well as doctors, nurses, siblings, firemen, and friends from a fraternity.
It becomes clear that in order to succeed on the courses, teamwork is a must. The most collaborative teams do the best. Families and friends compete on teams together to bond.
Overall, FLOOR IS LAVA is an interesting take on a popular game. Caution is recommended even for teenagers and adults because of the rude humor.
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