Here is a list of things that happen in Netflix’s latest TV show:

  • A no-nonsense military pilot accidentally gets high on magic mushrooms and hallucinates a talking gremlin, causing him to crash his helicopter.
  • Two soldiers meet as a camel watches through the open door of their hotel room.
  • A man named Trunk knocks out a group of bad guys with a giant steak.
  • A skilled sniper seduces the bride-to-be at her own bachelor party.

Extinguished There’s plenty of raunchy humor and epic action packed into its eight-hour episodes, while also being one of the best anti-terror thrillers to come out 24. But while Jack Bauer was full of tension and not laughing, Extinguished (from the guys behind it Harold and Kumar, Whirlpool time machine and more recently Cobra Kai) finds comedy gold in its heroes’ last-ditch attempt to save the world.

The premise of Extinguished is deliciously simple. The show is about a high-powered special forces team assembled to foil an evil plan to sell (or possibly detonate) a nuclear weapon in Las Vegas. That alone could have provided enough plot for an entire season, but within the first 20 minutes the team has captured the main villain and defused the nuke – or so they think.

To celebrate a job well done, our heroes throw an epic party filled with booze, pills, sloppy sex, and a camel. Unfortunately, they learn a few hours too late that the bomb they found was actually a diversion containing just enough nuclear material to trick their sensors. The real weapon is still out there, and they only have eight hours to find and deactivate it before the real bad guys wipe Las Vegas off the map.

Terrence Terrell as “Trunk.”


Extinguished manages to sustain this premise for nearly eight hours, which is impressive considering it probably would have worked just as well as a 90-minute film. The series is full of twists and turns as new villains reveal increasingly devious plans, but despite juggling all of this and a large cast, Extinguished never gets too confusing for its own good. The story is easy to understand and consistently entertaining, even if it seems a bit inconsistent at times.

In an interview, Extinguished The creators explained that turning their original idea for a film into a TV show gave them room to let each character shine. And while this is partly true, there’s no denying that some members of the ensemble get more attention than others. Several episodes begin with a flashback highlighting the life of Rambo-like super soldier Chad McKnight (Nick Zano). This gives our overly confident white hero a deeper backstory, but makes other characters seem two-dimensional in comparison.

However, everyone still gets their time in the spotlight, with the highlight perhaps being Eugen Kim’s psilocybin-fueled revenge mission to save his daughter. Kimi Rutledge also shines as the requisite hacker girl with a painful crush on McKnight, while tough team leader Ava Winters (Shelley Hennig) leads the entire adventure. There’s more, but suffice it to say that everyone in this ensemble of unknown actors is perfectly cast and more than up to the challenge Extinguished unhinged story.

McKnight and Winters (and the camel).


Visually, Extinguished is a spectacle of explosions and naked body parts, but on the whole what you see is what you get. This is standard Netflix movies, a step or two up and a little more polished. The action is sufficiently epic, and when the camera tries to show you what’s going on in the minds of our drunk or hallucinating heroes, it does so with just the right amount of creativity, without ever descending into surrealism (the series’ craziest moments come undoubtedly in the form of a hallucinated gremlin, voiced by Jason Mantzoukas).

Extinguished is the kind of show we strangely don’t get as much of anymore. It’s the perfect mix of action and comedy without a superhero in sight, and it’s pretty much the raunchiest thing you’ll see this year (definitely don’t try to watch it with your parents over the holidays). This is by no means thought-provoking Golden Age television, but taken at face value, it’s the best possible version of an R-rated action comedy you could hope for.

Extinguished is now streaming on Netflix.

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