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Floor is Lava 2, now with an ejaculating volcano, is more complicated and more fun

Floor is Lava 2, now with an ejaculating volcano, is more complicated and more fun
Floor is Lava season 2's new finale: a wet, ejaculating volcano. (Photo by Netflix)

What is there to say about Floor is Lava, a show that is all about adults bouncing off padded objects and dramatically falling into fake lava, and then watching multiple replays, so we can see a person’s face rebound and hit the thing again and again and again?

Well, I can say this: Floor is Lava 2 is significantly better than season one, and not just because it’s added an ejaculating volcano. But hell yes: a lubed-up, ejaculating volcano!!

It’s hard to make a show like this more ridiculous, but Netflix’s Floor is Lava has done the better thing: become more complicated without changing what works.

For season two, the structure of the episodes has changed, and so have the rooms.

Floor is Lava’s first season had three teams competing in each episode, but there was no direct competition. The team that had the fastest time, or that got the most people through, won.

This season, three teams take on the same room, while the two teams with the best times compete for $10,000 on the volcano.

The volcano room isn’t complicated: a direct path to the side of a juicy Aggro Crag, with each team member having to retrieve and place a fake rock on the top of the volcano.

The losers take a lava slide down the center of the volcano into the lava, a fun exit.

Floor is Lava season 2’s rooms require more from the players

A Floor is Lava contestant jumps onto a giant Rubik's Cube in the new Kid's Room
A Floor is Lava contestant jumps onto a giant Rubik’s Cube in the new Kid’s Room (Photo by Netflix)

There aren’t just new room themes—a garage, a haunted attic, a game room, a kid’s room—but new rules.

The rooms have taken another step toward becoming like wet escape rooms. There are mini-puzzles to solve, some of which make their paths easier.

Teams can no longer just snake around the outside of a room, because before they even try to exit, each team member must now retrieve a separate exit pass, and those are spread across the space.

In some rooms, they have to figure out how to exit: the garage doesn’t even have an open door until they find a code to a lock box and then press a button inside, while the haunted attic has doors that must be kicked open.

But while there may be more strategy involved, this is not an intellectual exercise.

There’s plenty of bouncing off things and silliness.

I loved the dart board that, when hit with darts retrieved from another part of the room, became a giant hamster wheel that could be used to move along a wall. There’s also a giant joystick that spins, and just watching someone cling to that and spin around made me laugh, as I did when it spun around and clocked someone in the head.

The lava itself appears to be much thicker, and perhaps orange sauce-ier.

While it still gurgles and occasionally explodes, those seem reduced, perhaps because of the viscosity, or perhaps because whatever producer had their finger on the Make Lava Explode in Their Face button was more gentle this season.

On Floor is Lava 2, teams now watch from above

Floor is Lava host Rutledge Wood on his new—fake?!?—balcony
Floor is Lava host Rutledge Wood on his new—fake?!?—balcony (Photo by Netflix)

Compared to the gold standard of dumb reality TV show hosts, Holey Moley’s Joe Tessitore and Rob Riggle, host Rutledge Wood’s commentary tips far too much toward Probstian noise, exposition for the sake of talking.

But instead of being entirely off screen and annoying, Rutledge is now above the room, eventually joined by the first two teams to attempt the room, where they all watch from a balcony.

Well, that’s what we’re supposed to think. Rutledge looks downward and addresses the teams in the room—”You made it! Come on up here”—but they don’t actually respond. I spent an inordinate amount of time watching his sight lines and developing a (conspiracy?) theory that he was just watching on monitors on a set that had flashing red lights. Then I became convinced that this wasn’t happening live, because when teams joined, those who fell in the lava didn’t seem wet enough, almost like they smeared lava on their arms.

But even if I’m right and it is a separate space, what happens there is a considerable improvement over season one.

Having the first and second teams join the host to watch and comment together ramps up the competition and competitiveness: they’re now actually watching their opponents to see if they succeed or fail, and they also know their own stats and what it’ll take for them to move on.

It’s now possible for three people to fall into the lava and still proceed to the volcano at the end, if another team also falls in but retrieves their exit passes more slowly.

All of this also makes the episodes feel less repetitive: Even if teams take the exact same paths—and they don’t—there’s more happening to keep me engaged.

There are also minor improvements throughout. In season one, the contestants stood in front of a green screen and were coached into awkwardly saying things to introduce themselves. Now, we meet them sitting on furniture and chatting above some CGI lava, and it feels more casual.

Floor is Lava 2 only has five 30-minute episodes; since season one had 10, I imagine Netflix is doing its Netflix thing and splitting up a 10-episode season.

The fifth episode reuses the game room for “all-star” contestants, i.e. Netflix reality stars from Too Hot to Handle, The Circle (Courtney, Jack, and Savannah), and one member of Hype House and his friends.

Floor is Lava 2 it’s overall just a better-produced version of what was a silly but sometimes repetitive show that was a perfect early-pandemic distraction.

Floor is Lava 2

Floor is Lava season 2 offers more of what we came for, in a better package. B+

What works for me:

  • The new structure
  • The more-complicated rooms
  • The ejaculating volcano, of course

What could be better:

  • Less exposition pretending to be narration
  • More rooms/episodes?

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.

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Happy discussing!

BadMitten

Monday 6th of June 2022

The new rooms have been fun but the additional volcano stage at the end now is awful. It is not interesting watching them climb up that thing. If they really want to keep that second stage they should make it so that only the people who didnt fall in the lava on stage 1 can advance to compete on it (yes that means team A may have more people than team B, but if a team gets 3 people through the room on stage 1, they deserve an advantage over a team that that got only 2 people through that same room). I also don't get the placement of the rocks on the top of the volcano... From what I can tell the rocks are basically waiting for them at the top, so what's the point there (maybe scatter the rocks throughout the second stage so they need to retrieve them and meet at the top)

BadMitten

Friday 3rd of June 2022

"There aren’t just new room themes—a garage, a haunted attic, a garage, a kid’s room—but new rules."

Guessing listing garage twice was an error... Free editing at your service!

Andy Dehnart

Friday 3rd of June 2022

Yep, just an error. The fourth is the game room, which is the one that actually gets repeated during these five episodes!