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Exploding Kittens





Kennedy Unthank

TV Series Review

Up in heaven (at least this Netflix version of it), God’s been called into a board meeting.

The board—made up of a variety of creatures—is upset with God’s recent lazy nonchalance. It recently caused an incident in which He burned the west side of heaven after He fell asleep waiting for His pizza to finish cooking. He hasn’t even answered a prayer in some time. And they think a little “rehabilitation” initiative would help Him to empathize again with the humans down below.

In fact, they’ve got just the folks to help: the Higgins family, made up of nerdy patriarch Marv; crazy wine mom Abbie; science-focused Greta; and hopeful viral content creator Travis. One of those four, the board says, sent up a prayer asking God to save them—not from their sins or anything, but more of a “make the weirdos in our family less weird” kind of thing.

They send God down in the body of a talking cat to fulfill His duty—and He’s not allowed back until He answers the prayer…and a whole lot of other issues around the world.

It’s a situation that’s tough enough, what with humanity’s tendency to not really want to follow the things of God. But it’s about to be made tougher; turns out, Hell had its own board meeting and found Beelzebub to be similarly lacking in her own leadership skills. They also sent her up to Earth as a cat.

And she’s got plans to foil everything God wants to do.

Play Your ‘Nope’ Card

Perhaps they should have stuck to making party games.

Exploding Kittens, the company, dominates your Target board game section with plenty of memorable games like Throw Throw Burrito, Bears vs. Babies and, of course, Exploding Kittens and its expansions. It apparently hopes to expand its reach by moving into your Netflix library.

The animated series focuses on two cards from the eponymous card game’s “Good vs Evil” expansion: the GodCat and the DevilCat. And their influence in the show goes far beyond determining whether a player explodes out of the game.

To put it bluntly, Exploding Kittens, the Netflix show, is irreverent and intolerant, taking Christian beliefs as a springboard for crude jokes. The God found in the series more closely resembles a mix of deistic and Greek theology than the Father and Creator we know from the Bible—a god who created the world but couldn’t be bothered to continue to care about it until someone forced his hand. He is distinctly unsovereign and unimpressive.

These crudities continue further: in this universe, God didn’t oversee the Bible’s creation and instead simply sat in to provide a title. He’s constantly criticized for design flaws. And in one episode, He has sex with the literal anti-Christ.

And when God (and the many other characters) aren’t making jokes about religion, they’re making jokes about sex. In terms of other content issues, some characters die in pretty gruesome ways. And crude language likewise joins this very Bunyan-like Vanity Fair.

And not even a defuse card will save you from this one.

(Editor’s Note: Plugged In is rarely able to watch every episode of a given series for review. As such, there’s always a chance that you might see a problem that we didn’t. If you notice content that you feel should be included in our review, send us an email at [email protected], or contact us via Facebook or Instagram, and be sure to let us know the episode number, title and season so that we can check it out.)

Episode Reviews

July 10, 2024 – S1, E1: “Pilot”

Sent down in the form of a cat, God’s first task is to find the Higgins family and learn who prayed to Him.

God watches a documentary on “pterodactyls mating,” and we hear the beasts screeching. God describes unicorns as ponies who have aroused male genitalia on their faces. The background of a band says “blood sugar sex tinsel.” We see a human (likely the biblical Adam) wearing nothing but a leaf over his genitalia. Complaining about needing to do work, God says that saving human families is why He created “sexy firemen”. Someone asks whether God is omnipotent, and God thinks the person asked if He was impotent. He then explains that He can have children and references His semen. We see a papier mâché man whose genitals are behind a pixelated censor, and when God places a sticky note over them, someone comments how it’s strange that He created male genitalia but is ashamed of it. God admires his work on the human rear. Someone’s username references crudities.

When someone uses Jesus’ name in vain, God denies Jesus’ divinity, saying “Does this beard look like a goatee to you? I said I’m God.” God describes himself as “the holiest of holy molys.” God talks about casting spells and is confused when He finds that His “magic” no longer works. God requests someone kiss His feet or present Him with a sacrificial goat. God yells out something “in the name of Zeus’s thundering b-ttcheeks.”

We see cherubim and hear references to Gorgon. It becomes quickly clear that God, in this adaptation, is neither omnipotent nor omniscient. A father admits that he told his son “god is dead.” A mother explains that no one prays in their family, as, after all, they don’t live in Utah—a likely reference to Mormons. When someone complains about the human body, God responds: “You try creating everything in six days.” God references “human-deity privacy laws” which normally prevent Him from looking into the lives of people. God claims that the forest is something He “totally phoned in.” Another cat causes the ground to catch fire in the form of a pentagram, and it’s revealed to be Beelzebub.

God claims to have invented cannibalism to help humans avoid starvation. Unicorns perish in an explosion. Someone looks to collect a “9/11 memorial snuggie.” A mantis shrimp attacks people. There’s a joke made about a potential child predator. A car crashes. People slay miniature zombies with toothpicks, which cause a little blood to ooze out.

God drinks a martini. We’re told He got intoxicated on “Godweiser” and ended up burning down the entire west end of Heaven. Abbie has a drinking problem and can often be found with some variation of alcohol in hand. God is briefly subdued by tranquilizer.

God attempts to say the f-word but is cut off. We hear one instance of “d–n,” “h—” and “crap.” Jesus’ name is used in vain once. God displays his middle finger. A joke’s punchline is about Timothée Chalamet being “alluring” yet “disease-ridden.”

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Kennedy Unthank

Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics. He thinks the ending of Lost “wasn’t that bad.”

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