Schwarzenegger Is A Superspy In First-Ever Scripted TV Series

Subscription streaming is such a magnetic business today that it has even lured Arnold Schwarzenegger for an action series.

Schwarzenegger, 75, is the star of “FUBAR,” representing his first time as a TV series star (not counting his eight episodes as host of “The New Celebrity Apprentice”).

In “FUBAR,” premiering Thursday on Netflix, the former governor of California plays Luke Brunner, a swashbuckling CIA agent considered to be the best in the business.

Unbeknownst to him, his 28-year-old grown daughter, Emma (Monica Barbaro), is also a CIA operative and -- you guessed it -- also one of the best. Watch out, bad guys!

Neither one of them knows the other is a secret agent until a surprise encounter in a Guyana jungle in Episode One of this eight-part series.



They then team up to disrupt an arms deal in a remote camp run by a psychopathic mastermind who Luke knew well as a child.

But here’s the hook: father and daughter have issues. While they’re running around dodging automatic weapons fire in the jungles and rice paddies of this sprawling encampment, they’re sparring about her childhood and how he was absent for most of it.

The show plays like a spy show that could have been concocted for network television, minus the occasional f-words.

Not only are father and daughter the best agents in the entire Central Intelligence Agency, but they are supported by a group of younger agents who back them up with out-of-this-world computer wizardry.

“FUBAR” is an acronym that stands for “F----d Up Beyond All Recognition,” according to the HBO World War II miniseries “Band of Brothers,” my primary source for WWII history.

In the Schwarzenegger series, the title is meant to indicate that the best laid spy plans are sometimes subject to sudden revisions. This happens several times in the show in high-octane action sequences that are its best scenes.

The scenario of “FUBAR” bears a vague resemblance to “True Lies,” the 1994 Schwarzenegger action movie in which he also hid his true identity as a secret agent from his wife, played by Jamie Lee Curtis.

She was not a secret agent, however, but eventually became one after she found herself in the middle of one of his assignments.

“True Lies” turned up as a TV series just this past March on CBS, but was cancelled by May.

In agreeing to star in a streaming TV series in his mid-70s, Schwarzenegger may have been influenced by his action-hero friend and rival Sylvester Stallone, 76, who is currently starring in the mob drama “Tulsa King” on Paramount+.

Possibly as part of the deal, Stallone was able to engineer an unscripted family reality show for himself, his wife and three daughters for Paramount+, “The Family Stallone.”

The show premiered just last week, and Paramount announced this week that it has already been renewed for a second season.

Along with “FUBAR,” Netflix is preparing to drop a three-part documentary about the life of Schwarzenegger “from his days pumping iron to his triumphs in Hollywood,” according to a Netflix description of the show.

The documentary series -- titled simply “Arnold” and premiering June 7 -- has the feel of a biographical project that has been authorized by its subject, and possibly part of a package deal with Paramount (although the TV Blog has no way of confirming this).

In an added twist, Netflix announced earlier this week that Schwarzenegger has been named Chief Action Officer for the streaming service.

“Nobody knows action like Arnold Schwarzenegger,” said this unusual press release. “That’s why we’re excited to introduce Arnold as our new Chief Action Officer!”

In this new role, “Arnold is working around the clock to bring you the most explosive series and films on earth!” the announcement continued.

The TV Blog believes this job is not real and that this press release was a publicity stunt. What was the giveaway? All those exclamation points! 

“FUBAR” starts streaming on Thursday (May 25) on Netflix.

Next story loading loading..