'Floor is Lava' is Netflix's latest hit — and it's exactly as silly as it sounds

"The goal of the show was the game you played as a kid has come to life," one of the show's executive producers explained.
"Floor is Lava" was Netflix's top program in the U.S. until it was unseated over the weekend.
"Floor is Lava" was Netflix's top program in the U.S. until it was unseated over the weekend.Netflix

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/ Source: TODAY
By Maura Hohman

As kids, we'd often pretend that mundane chores had life-or-death significance while we raced to finish them. ("Dry those dishes fast, otherwise they might explode!") As adults who've been stuck inside for months with no timeline for normalcy in sight, we're relying once again on imagination.

At least, that seems to be the appeal behind one of Netflix's newest hit series, "Floor is Lava." It's a competition that requires teams to work together to cross a room as fast as possible, but — you guessed it — you can't touch the floor because it's been replaced by red-orange liquid that bubbles and foams.

"We wanted it to feel like an action-adventure movie, like 'Night at the Museum' or 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' (and) give everybody the opportunity to do all of the things that you were forbidden by your parents to do when you played at home, like swinging from the chandelier and climbing on the curtain," the show's executive producer Irad Eyal told USA Today.

To avoid falling to their reality-show death, cast members must scale walls covered in bugs, climb Easter Island-inspired statues, jump between boxes strategically spread out around the room and more. Those who take the unintentional plunge disappear as soon as they're immersed in the "lava," adding an extra layer of authenticity.

"The goal of the show was the game you played as a kid has come to life," Eyal told USA Today. "So we don't want to do anything to break the illusion of it."

Another nostalgic touch? Each episode is named after the room of the house where it's set — basement, kitchen, study, etc.

The winning team secures a $10,000 prize and gets to hang out with the show's host, car expert Rutledge Wood, who, through his overly serious commentary, provides a considerable amount of the show's appeal. Wood is most well-known for two previous TV hosting gigs: the American version of "Top Gear" and "NASCAR Trackside."

"Floor is Lava" was originally released on Netflix on June 19, and within several days, it held Netflix's No. 1 spot for the most popular U.S. content, according to USA Today. But over the weekend, it was unseated by a new movie starring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams, which pokes fun at the popular European singing competition, Eurovision.

Still, The Daily Beast speculates that the show is one of the most popular on TV right now. For it to secure the top ranking on Netflix for more than a week, that would mean a substantial chunk of the streaming giant's 70 million subscribers were watching it.

At this stage, it's unclear whether the show will get a second season, but hey, you probably already know how to set up your own version at home.