The Rule of Three is when you watch three episodes of a TV show and make a judgement based on whether you’ll continue watching. If a show isn’t sufficiently entertaining after about an hour (not counting ad breaks), then it’s probably not going to be at all. The full season of Twisted Metal arrived on the streaming service Peacock, so I gave it a few episodes to charm me.
While I couldn’t say that I have a ton of experience with the Twisted Metal videogames, I do have quite some experience with the vehicular combat genre. I know for a fact that I’m in a minority of people because those titles just do not sell. But I know the broad strokes of the franchise; post-apocalypse, the clown in the ice cream truck, other less memorable characters…
So Twisted Metal takes place two decades after a cataclysmic event ended the world as we knew it in 2002. We follow John Doe, a delivery driver (AKA a Milkman) in California who takes things from settlement to settlement, in exchange for seemingly random objects. A handgun here, windshield wipers there — but, you know, some good quality wipers, the kind that paid good money for a name-drop in this blood-soaked R-rated streaming-only show. The people who live outside of settlements are, for the most part, violent criminals beholden to no law because there are literally no laws anymore.
John is approached by the head of a major settlement to do one, super-important delivery within 10 days, in exchange he will be given citizenship in their settlement. No more driving around, risking his life and being unable to trust another person, but safety and security, a home of his own… The downside is that he has to pick up said delivery on the opposite side of the country. And if you’ve ever seen a post-apocalyptic lawless hellhole, that’s hardly the ideal thing to do.
In the first three episodes, John meets characters from the games, as well as new ones freshly created for the show. There’s action, comedy, suspense, and the aforementioned clown. If you're not a fan of clowns, avoid this show. Sweet Tooth (said clown) is great, and voiced by Will Arnett to boot, but he's not a small part of the marketing push for this series.
I really enjoyed the first three episodes of Twisted Metal, and I'm looking forward to watching the rest of the series. I honestly had no idea how they would turn "cars shoot each other in an arena" into an actual series, but they pulled it off! It's almost enough to make me want to play some vehicular combat! But I won’t, nobody does, and that's coming from a fan of the genre… Twisted Metal's first three episodes show promise with fun scripts, great acting, and music choices which I found quite fitting. Definitely check it out if you can, because honestly, it has no right being as good as it is.