Pleased To Meet You
And The Fastest Is…
Five words can accurately sum up The Fastest, Netflix’s unique Arabic racing series. “Who is this show for?” On the one hand, you’ve got a lot of cars, a lot of technical know-how, along with plenty of gushing over stats for souped up cars and their performances. But yet, there’s barely any racing.
Instead, most of this show is taken up with superficial drama, cheesy, hyperactive quips from Tareq Al Harbi and getting to know different competitors. Across the 40 minute episodes, 8 of those are dedicated to racing.
So what makes this show unique? Well, the main hook here is that all the racers are from the Middle East. From Bahrain and Lebanon through to the UAE, all these guys and gals are joined together to compete for a cash prize of $50k. In order to do that, the different racers are thrown into either a drag race of a drift race. And therein lies another massive problem with this competition.
In episode 1, we’re introduced to a racer who’s a female drift expert…and she’s thrown into a drag race. It’s utterly bonkers and even worse, because there’s no do-overs or second rounds. Had this show actually had the wherewithal to do one drag race and one drift each chapter, it may have fared better. Instead, we’re left with a quick-as-a-flash drag or drift race that’ll leave you questioning what the point in all this was.
As you can guess, The Fastest is certainly in no hurry to get to the good stuff. Each chapter introduces a set of racers, sometimes joining established players from previous episodes. They all ride in flamboyantly with their rides and engage in banterous conversation with the other competitors; it’s typical reality fare.
There’s also some superficial drama too, typified by an incident in episode 1 when a racer worried about the race conditions and claiming it’s too hot to race… in the Middle East. That’s not an isolated incident either by the way, and these bouts of superficiality pop up all the way through.
The Fastest a bit of an enigma. It’s not enticing enough for racing fans to watch. After all, Formula 1: Drive To Survive and Hyperdrive have that nailed and this pales by comparison. It’s also not dramatic enough to reel in those soapy fans after all-out carnage. Instead, what we’re left with is the equivalent of a lukewarm dinner; sure it’s edible but you’re unlikely to enjoy it very much.
Verdict - 3.5/10