The Pitch: Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a tough, grizzled secret agent who hops around the globe, rooting out bad guys and saving the world — while his suburban family is clueless. Yes, that’s the plan True Liebut this ALSO the Netflix plot FUBAR, Arnold’s first time as the lead in a television show (at 75!). Here, he plays 65-year-old (sure) Luke Brunner, whose civilian cover runs a boutique gym equipment store with his ex-wife Tally (Fabiana Udenio) when he’s not trying to punch. of many terrorists in the face.
But his own double life gets a big reality check when, on his latest mission to stop a South American drug lord (Gabriel Luna), he discovers that his estranged twentysomething daughter Emma (Top Gun: Maverickby Monica Barbaro). ALSO on that mission, and it was done HEA CIA agent this whole time too! The shock!
With their individual covers blown, they are finally forced to work together and hash out their professional and personal issues — all while figuring out how to keep their superspy lives a secret. from their loved ones.
Use Arnold’s Star Power: There’s something inherently charming, and yet deeply cynical, about the concept of ol’ Arnie returning to TV for a reprise of the kind of work he did in the ’80s and ’90s. In his post-Governatorial career, Schwarzenegger has been trying hard to get back into the movie-star fold (Terminator: Dark Fate, THE costly series) and stretched his legs as a dramatic actor (Maggie). But most recently, he’s leaned into the kind of cheeky meta-humor characteristic of his own casting. In this part, FUBAR feels not unlike the execrable Taran Killam vehicle Killing Gunther — a milquetoast comedy whose entire premise hinges on viewers saying, “Hey, that’s Arnold! Arnold did! I remember that!”
But the “True Liebut what if the father and daughter BOTH the spy?” The premise holds promise, and to be fair the show’s most effective moments come when Schwarzenegger and Barbaro can delve into it. At its heart, FUBAR a show about a distant father who realizes that his daughter is headed down the same wrong path that he is, and tries to prevent her from making the same mistakes. That stuff is pretty interesting, and the pair have some solid chemistry when they get to sit down and talk about how the lure of their exciting secret lives is pulling them away from the people they love.
To be fair to the former Mr. Universe, he gave it as much as he could in his old age. His Luke Brunner is not a strong superman Commando and predator; The show’s modest budget doesn’t hide the seams between Arnold and his army of stunt doubles that fit so well. But let’s see you dive behind crates while shooting pistols when you hit your golden years!