Need some exciting, silly family entertainment? Head to Netflix and queue up Floor Is Lava
When it comes to content that helps us deal with the pandemic and all this extra time we’ve had to spend at home this year, no one is providing like Netflix. From Tiger King to Love Is Blind, the OG of online streaming services has been a true lifesaver and the perfect pairing for the wine we now drink even on weeknights. But what about families with kids? The shows that have gone viral during quarantine haven’t exactly been the most family-friendly offerings — until now, with Netflix’s new hit, Floor Is Lava.
The show is exactly like it sounds. It’s a riff on that game we all played as kids, where we pretended the floor was lava and had to navigate around rooms of the house without touching it, using furniture, toys, clothes — whatever it took to keep a barrier between our bodies and the floor. The Netflix series pits teams of three against one another as they attempt to navigate elaborate sets where the floor is literally lava (and by that we mean it’s water that’s been colored yellow, orange, and red and made to splash and fizz around the contestants).
There are a few things that make this show so much fun to watch. For one, the effects of the lighting and the stunts actually kind of make you think maybe that’s real lava. It looks super menacing, anyway, even though you know it’s not actually anything harmful. This effect is enhanced by the drama whenever a contestant falls — clever editing shows them falling into the liquid, and then cuts before showing them swimming their way back out, so it appears that once a Floor Is Lava teammate falls into the depths, they’re lost forever.
Then there’s the way the sets are created to look like actual rooms in houses. There’s the basement, where contestants have to scale a bug-covered wall, and the bedroom, where one source of safety is a rapidly rotating four-poster bed that makes you dizzy to even watch. The show’s production value is surprisingly high, and it makes it all the more fun to watch — especially for kids who delight in seeing people take a tumble no matter the circumstance.
But where Floor Is Lava really shines is in just how silly it is. Right now, we all need some low-stakes, fun entertainment. Watching mom-and-teenager teams dramatically throw their bodies onto furniture in an attempt to beat out a dodgeball team and a group of youth pastors at what is basically a giant obstacle course? It’s just what the doctor ordered.