Floor Is Lava
GenreGame show
Created by
  • Megan McGrath
  • Irad Eyal
Directed byBrian Smith
Presented byRutledge Wood
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes20
Production
Executive producers
  • Anthony Carbone
  • Irad Eyal
  • Megan McGrath
  • Brian Smith
Running time25–37 minutes
Production companyHaymaker Media
Original release
NetworkNetflix
ReleaseJune 19, 2020 (2020-06-19) –
September 30, 2022 (2022-09-30)

Floor Is Lava is an American television game show created by Megan McGrath and Irad Eyal, hosted by Rutledge Wood.[1] It premiered on Netflix on June 19, 2020.[2]

Format

The show's premise is based on that of the children's game of the same name. Participants navigate an obstacle course in a room filled with 80,000 US gallons (66,614 gallons, 302,833 litres) of slippery, bright red goop that simulates hot lava. Contestants must clamber on top of and move between objects above the "lava", with the goal of reaching the exit without falling in.[3]

In each episode, three teams of three contestants try to complete the course. The winning team is that with the highest number of surviving members escaping the room or, in the event of a tie, completing the course in the shortest time.[3] In the first season, the lava gradually rises to submerge a step at the foot of the exit that may help participants to escape the room easier, after which the pool of liquid becomes more volatile, making objects above the lava harder to traverse. The second season dropped this aspect, but each contestant now had to collect an "exit pass" before they could escape. In addition, the two most successful teams now competed head-to-head to complete a final course, the Volcano, to determine the winning team. Winners receive US$10,000 and a trophy in the shape of a lava lamp.[3]

Production

The show is shot at a disused IKEA in Burbank, California. Prior to finding the location, multiple Hollywood studios turned down the opportunity to host the show, due to concerns about its messiness.[4] The actual formulation of the lava is a closely guarded secret known to only a few crew members, and co-executive producer Anthony Carbone has cited Panda Express's orange chicken as a close approximation.[5] At one point, a proposal to add chemicals to make the lava glow in the dark was scrapped after the crew discovered that the formulation would render the lava toxic.[5] In order not to break immersion, individual players do not use safety equipment. Instead, according to co-executive producer Irad Eyal, "every single object in the game is built and designed from scratch to be able to not only hold up to punishment but protect the contestants."[6] According to Carbone, the show purchased and repurposed the volcano used by Kanye West during the Yeezus tour.[citation needed]

Inspiration for the show includes the Indiana Jones and Night at the Museum film series. To the latter point, the setting was initially going to be a natural history museum before being changed to a mansion.[6] Video games were also an influence in designing the levels, with the crew specifically citing Uncharted (2007) as an example. As such, the courses are designed in a non-linear fashion, with the second half of the first season acting as a "level two" and upping the challenge of the first half.[6]

Release

Floor Is Lava was released on June 19, 2020, via Netflix.[7] The show's release coincided with several similar shows, such as ABC's Don't and Fox's Ultimate Tag, in what USA Today dubbed the "summer of silliness",[4] while British GQ compared its "silly sets and close awkwardness" to "the belly-laugh slapstick of Japanese game shows" such as Takeshi's Castle.[8] The series received renewed focus in December 2020 after being mentioned in the Netflix mockumentary film Death to 2020.[9] A Hindi dub of the show was released in 2021, and is presented by Jaaved Jaaferi.

In April 2021, the series was renewed for a second season,[10] which debuted on June 3, 2022.[11] On September 16, 2022, a third season of the show was announced, debuting on September 30.[12]

Episodes

Series overview

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
110June 19, 2020 (2020-06-19)
25June 3, 2022 (2022-06-03)
35September 30, 2022 (2022-09-30)

Season 1 (2020)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byOriginal release date
11"The Basement: Level 1"Brian SmithJune 19, 2020 (2020-06-19)
22"The Bedroom: Level 1"Brian SmithJune 19, 2020 (2020-06-19)
33"The Planetarium: Level 1"Brian SmithJune 19, 2020 (2020-06-19)
44"The Kitchen: Level 1"Brian SmithJune 19, 2020 (2020-06-19)
55"The Study: Level 1"Brian SmithJune 19, 2020 (2020-06-19)
66"The Kitchen: Level 2"Brian SmithJune 19, 2020 (2020-06-19)
77"The Planetarium: Level 2"Brian SmithJune 19, 2020 (2020-06-19)
88"The Basement: Level 2"Brian SmithJune 19, 2020 (2020-06-19)
99"The Bedroom: Level 2"Brian SmithJune 19, 2020 (2020-06-19)
1010"The Study: Level 2"Brian SmithJune 19, 2020 (2020-06-19)

Season 2 (2022)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byOriginal release date
111"Return of the Virzi Triplets"Brian SmithJune 3, 2022 (2022-06-03)
122"Ballers, Ballerinas, and Black Belts"Brian SmithJune 3, 2022 (2022-06-03)
133"Moms vs Dads"Brian SmithJune 3, 2022 (2022-06-03)
144"Once Upon a Volcano"Brian SmithJune 3, 2022 (2022-06-03)
155"Lava Is Super Hot"Brian SmithJune 3, 2022 (2022-06-03)

Season 3 (2022)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byOriginal release date
161"All Fun and Games"Brian SmithSeptember 30, 2022 (2022-09-30)
172"Best Frenemies"Brian SmithSeptember 30, 2022 (2022-09-30)
183"Putting the Lava in Check"Brian SmithSeptember 30, 2022 (2022-09-30)
194"Cruisers, Bakers and Bubble Makers"Brian SmithSeptember 30, 2022 (2022-09-30)
205"Child's Play"Brian SmithSeptember 30, 2022 (2022-09-30)

References

  1. ^ Beer, Jeff (June 19, 2020). "How Floor Is Lava became Netflix's weapon in the new arms race of ridiculous game shows". Fast Company. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  2. ^ Foreman, Alison (June 19, 2020). "Netflix's 'Floor Is Lava' is super dumb and fun. Don't overthink it". Mashable. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Heritage, Stuart (June 24, 2020). "Netflix's Floor Is Lava: the show to save the summer?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Keveny, Bill (June 26, 2020). "'Floor Is Lava' secrets: How Netflix series bubbles to the top in reality TV's summer of silliness". USA Today. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Kwong, Matt (July 23, 2020). "Saucy, Slimy, Super-Secret: Behind The Scenes With 'Floor Is Lava' Star ... Lava". NPR. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c Worthington, Clint (July 1, 2020). "Your Burning Floor Is Lava Questions, Answered". Vulture. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  7. ^ O'Keefe, Meghan (June 19, 2020). "Is 'Floor is Lava' on Netflix Stupidly Insane or Insanely Perfect?". Decider. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  8. ^ McGurk, Stuart (June 26, 2020). "Netflix's Floor Is Lava is the worst-best show on TV". British GQ. Retrieved November 16, 2021.
  9. ^ Foreman, Alison (December 31, 2020). "'Death to 2020' a comedy special with plenty of laughs — and a corporate synergy message?". San Francisco Chronicle.
  10. ^ White, Peter (April 21, 2021). "'Floor Is Lava' Renewed For Season 2 At Netflix". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  11. ^ Reese, Ashley (May 9, 2022). "'Floor Is Lava' Bubbles Up for Season 2". Netflix. Retrieved March 15, 2023.
  12. ^ Armstrong, Vanessa (September 16, 2022). "Things get heated in 'Floor Is Lava' Season 3 trailer". SyFy. Retrieved March 15, 2023.