“Hitler is up to another nefarious scheme, and it’s up to the Danger 5 team to stop him.” That tagline is perhaps the only way to accurately sum up the best show you’ve never seen.
“Danger 5” is a 2012 Australian live-action comedy series that is currently one of Netflix’s hidden gems. The show follows the eponymous Danger 5 team, a group of five international agents who must oppose the Nazi regime.
The show is self-aware, incredibly campy and heavily inspired by men’s pulp magazines and ‘60s TV adventure series. Each episode has the team of beautiful and comically sterotyped spies tasked with the mission to stop the Fuhrer’s plots. The cast consists of: Tucker, the perpetually smug Australian leader; Ilsa, the femme fatale Russian assassin; Jackson, the all-American macho with a cigarette constantly hanging from his lip; Claire, the beautiful and intellectually overlooked blonde and Pierre, the cocktail- and woman-loving Frenchman.
Hitler himself is a caricaturized villain of the moustache-twirling variety, hatching ridiculous plots on a weekly basis in his quest for world domination. One week will have Nazis airlifting national monuments in a contrived attempt at power; the next week they’ll be building a super-weapon at the bottom of the sea.
With episode titles such as “Lizard Soldiers of the Third Reich” and “Fresh Meat for Hitler’s Sex Kitchen,” it is easy to see that the show values one thing - ridiculous, over-the-top humor more than anything else.
The show’s purposeful campiness makes it incredibly entertaining to watch. The Danger 5 team always wins, and each episode ends with Hitler jumping out of a window under a hail of the heroes’ bullets, so he can return next time with Japanese death robots, or some other equally stupid plan.
When designing anything to be so bad that it’s good, it is easy to miss the mark and end up with a dud. Thankfully, the team behind “Danger 5” is the same group of people who created the successful web series “Italian Spiderman,” and so-bad-it’s-good is their specialty. Attention to detail is what really binds the jokes together, and the team’s skilled use of scale-models, rubber suits and other ‘60s era special effects solidify the vibe they were aiming for.
Constant running jokes keep the audience entertained and offer the potential to attract a strong cult following. For example, Pierre seems to be old drinking buddies with everyone the team meets, sharing a wild night out partying with apparentally half the world. Additionally, for some bizarre and never-explained reason, everyone who dies in his arms uses their last breath to describe the “best” version of some random cocktail. The man’s drink list is also a running body count.
With each episode lasting just under 30 minutes, it is easy to find time for one or two episodes a day, or to binge watch a whole season and not feel too guilty. “Danger 5” delivers enough strange, parody-laden humor that it is almost impossible not to love it. Add it to your Netflix must-watch list.