Warning! This article contains spoilers for the entire first season of Twisted Metal on Peacock.
The TV adaptation of the Twisted Metal video game series hit Peacock last week and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. While it’s not the deepest or most profound show you’ll watch this year, it definitely had its moments.
From Zombieland and Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick comes this absolutely bonkers series that was never really meant to be an exact retelling of the car battle game from the 90s. Sure, it touches on some of the main points that we all love from the games (mainly, Sweet Tooth the clown and his ice cream truck), the additional content works well to make this into a real genuine drama.
Now, when I say drama, don’t make the mistake of thinking that that’s the only label. Twisted Metal is a mix of comedy, drama, horror, and even some romance, all wrapped up together in a burrito of raunch. And while this might sound like a great idea on paper, I feel like the show tried to be too much at one time.
Let’s start with the comedy part of the puzzle. There are a LOT of one-liners and zingers and even some Gen X inside jokes that come at you from all angles, but not all of them land. Being a Gen Xer myself, I feel like I probably got a lot of the jokes that younger folks wouldn’t catch. But hey, I bet the jokes I say didn’t land were probably hilarious to someone else. It’s that whole spray-and-pray machine gun style of comedy which… I guess, come to think of it, is appropriate for this show.
And speaking of Gen X, the music was really top-notch for this old man who grew up in the 90s. From “Thong Song” (and the hilarious mini back story about Sisqo) to Cypress Hill to Faith No More’s “Epic,” I found myself looking for my Columbia House membership in hopes of grabbing that soundtrack on tape. I couldn’t find it yet, but maybe their Geocities website is down.
So the comedy and the music were the strong points for me, at least in the first 9 episodes. There was an OK storyline wedged in there and a love story that you’d miss if you blinked, but I was mainly disappointed that so much time was wasted on all of that instead of, you know, actual car battles. It just continued my opinion that this series was trying to be too many things to too many people. If you make a wacky TV show about a wacky video game full of explosions, then just concentrate on that.
Now, I have to say that the acting was really top-notch. Anthony Mackie as John Doe, Stephanie Beatriz as Quiet, Thomas Hayden Church as Agent Stone, but especially Joe Seanoa and Will Arnett (voice) as Sweet Tooth. Their seamless effort as that insane clown really made the show for me.
That Finale, Tho
But all of that said, I must admit that the final episode really pulled everything together nicely and redeemed so much of the weaker parts of the show for me. It was an epic finale.
I got my massive car battle with rusty metal cars and machine guns strapped to the hood. I got my explosions and even more 90s jams. But on top of that, there was a plot twist I didn’t see coming, and an ending that undeniably set up a Season 2. There better be a Season 2.
All in all, if you’re a fan of the games (especially the first three), you could probably skip to the last episode and have a helluva time with this show. Of course, you’d miss all of Joe Seanoa/Will Arnett’s best lines, but you’ll get exactly what you’d expect from a Twisted Metal show.
If you’re not a fan of the game, you’ll probably enjoy the rest of the season because it doesn’t rely too heavily on knowledge of the game. There are a couple of key players and definite Easter Eggs for the games, but I feel like you don’t need to play the games to enjoy this show.
The entire first season of Twisted Metal is now available on the Peacock streaming network.