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Network Netflix
Created or Developed By Nick Santora
Based On N/A
Executive Produced By Nick Santora, David Ellison, Holly Dale, Phil Abraham, Arnold Schwarzenegger
Genre(s) Action, Comedy
Noted Characters
Luke Brunner Arnold Schwarzenegger
Emma Brunner Monica Barbaro
Barry Milan Carter
Roo Fortune Feimster
Aldon Travis Van Winkle
Carter Jay Baruchel
Boro Polonia Gabriel Luna

This content contains pertinent spoilers.


“Fubar” is defined as something seriously damaged or out of order. While the title refers to the core father-daughter relationship and their CIA work in this series, it can also refer to the series as a whole. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in and executive produces this action-comedy show; the only problem is its light on action and comedy.

“Fubar” follows Luke Brunner on his last day in the CIA. His retirement plans include trying to rekindle a romance with his ex-wife and supporting his adult kids, including his daughter Emily (Monica Barbaro). Luke’s family was never aware of what he did for a living, and he’s ready to keep that secret forever. Yet Luke is pulled back for one last mission when he’s informed another CIA agent is in danger with Boro Polonia (Gabriel Luna), a powerful arms dealer in Guyana. Yet when Luke gets to Guyana, he sees that the CIA agent he’s there to rescue is Emily, his own daughter.

fubar 1
Luke Brunner (Arnold Schwarzenegger) doing spy business with his daughter Emily Brunner (Monica Barbaro).

Once Boro suspects Luke and Emily as CIA agents, he orders an attack on them, and in a big shootout, Boro escapes. Luke and Emily are then forced to work together to track Boro down and stop him from using a nuclear weapon. Their dysfunctional relationship bleeds into their work life and mission in slightly humorous but often dangerous ways for the rest of their team.

Each episode centers on Luke, Emily, and the rest of their CIA team, Barry (Milan Carter), Roo (Fortune Feimster), and Aldon (Travis Van Winkle), getting closer to stopping Boro. Within each episode is another subplot that brings the team closer (Barry’s dating life, Aldon and Emily’s flirtation, etc.) or Luke and Emily’s family life becoming more strained.

“Fubar” is a throwback action story that can basically be called The Arnold Schwarzenegger Show. Like many Netflix properties starring well-known actors, this show makes sure to always put Schwarzenegger in a relatively good light. While it’s nice to see him embody the wise elder role with a diverse cast of dramatic and comedic actors, the quips fall flat, the action is forgettable, and the drama in each episode is a repetitive play on Luke and Emily being horrible significant others to their partners. “Fubar” finds its rhythm immediately; unfortunately, it is sluggish with an incoherent CIA plot, recurring fights with no change, and action with no danger. Unfortunately, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to action is underwhelming and doesn’t provide any unique take on action or comedy shows currently streaming.

fubar cast


Our Rating:  Negative (Niche Show)

Who Is This For?

Fans of Arnold Schwarzenegger will be happy to see him back on screen, throwing punches and shooting guns. People who also enjoy CIA or NCIS shows might find “Fubar” entertaining.

Low Points

Flat Comedy and Uninteresting Action

A father discovering his daughter is in the same secret organization as him is a funny premise, but it relies on its execution. “Fubar” skips exploring how the father and daughter ended up in their CIA predicament or any fun past examples of the two hiding their identities. Instead, the story goes straight to them arguing and distrusting each other. The majority of the comedy comes from flat jokes the team makes about each other instead of funny action sequences or attempts to hide their secret CIA lives from their families. The action is also shown in quick cuts of guns shooting or punches thrown, and it often feels thrown in just to check off a box in each episode.

Drawn Out Plot Could Have Made a More Serviceable Movie

In each episode, Emily blames her father for their family falling apart, and Luke insists that Emily end her romantic relationship. While this would have been a significant discussion in one scene, to see it happen seven times is exhausting and diminishes the drama. Each step to finding Boro could have easily been done in a 2-hour movie vs. the 8-hour show we ended up getting. The drama and action plots would have been more effective if done in a shorter amount of time.

fubar 2

On The Fence

Arnold Schwarzenegger as a Wise Older Father Figure

One of the welcome surprises is how Schwarzenegger easily slides back into his role as an action star. At age 75 and two terms as governor later, Schwarzenegger has taken on a few roles, reprising the Terminator and a few comedies poking fun at his persona. Yet here, he plays a gentler, slower, yet wiser version of his glory days.  I’m not sure who made the choice to dye his hair but not his facial hair and most of his action scenes clearly have stunt doubles, but it’s still interesting to see him charm his way through another action story.

What I’d Like to See

“Fubar” ends on a cliffhanger, with bad guys showing up at Luke’s ex-wife’s wedding, and after a deadly shootout, Luke and Emily’s identities are revealed, and their whole family is now in a van fleeing the scene. The show doesn’t wrap up any story it introduced (Luke’s feelings for his ex-wife, Emily potentially torn between Carter and Aldon, etc.) but leaves everything open for a potential second season. If there is a second season, I hope more comedy stems from the action. Take time to develop exciting and humorous action sequences. Like “Peacemaker,” “Barry,” or even “American Born Chinese,” the comedy will come from seeing these characters in outrageous situations together.

Fubar (2023): Season 1 – Review and Summary (with Spoilers)
While the cast is likable and there's comedy potential in its story, Fubar spends more time setting up its incoherent CIA plot than enjoying time with its characters.
Flat Comedy and Uninteresting Action
Drawn Out Plot Could Have Made a More Serviceable Movie
Cliffhanger Ending Doesn't Wrap Up Any Season 1 Plotlines

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