At one point in “Obliterated,” Nick Zano’s character, Chad McKnight, proclaims, “I don’t care how f****d up we are, we’re still the best in the game.” That’s pretty much the whole idea propelling the show: An elite squad from various military backgrounds thwart a plot to blow up Las Vegas before partying the night away, only to be told mid-rager that the bomb they diffused was a decoy and the threat of a nuclear explosion still looms. The crew are then forced to jump back into action, having imbibed a smorgasbord of illegal substances. Showrunner Josh Heald explained the idea to TUDUM thusly: “Even if you’re the so-called best of the best, you’re gonna be way up against it if called back into action with a system full of liquor and drugs.”
Such a premise sounds undeniably silly, but perhaps it’s all designed to make some sort of comment on drinking/party culture, or subtly undermine American jingoism with a satirical take on the US military? Or maybe this is the return of the unabashedly silly yet beloved comedy movies of the early 2000s that just leaned into the absurdity and gave us all a good laugh, à la “Step Brothers.” Well … no, it’s none of those things, and the critics aren’t too impressed.
While “Obliterated” might have simply added to the perennial noxious gas cloud of streaming fare that hangs over our media landscape, it at least has yielded some of the best sentences yet penned by critics this year. Take this gem from The Guardian:
“The pace is so excruciating and the show so repetitive that by the third hour, nothing would seem more heroic than someone detonating the bomb and putting us all out of our misery.”
Things didn’t get much better from there either…