Netflix's new racing show, Hyperdrive, is a lot more Mario Kart than it is NASCAR. No one is throwing turtle shells or banana peels, but its tricky courses are filled with twists, turns, and surprises meant to challenge the show's competitors and keep viewers on their toes. If you like, stunt driving, unconventional car races, or simply watching ordinary people do ridiculous things, you'll probably want to know if Hyperdrive will return for Season 2 as soon as the final episode's credits roll.
Unfortunately for now, the future of the series is uncertain, but it does have one big name attached who could help inch Netflix toward a renewal: executive producer Charlize Theron. Theron has some car experience herself through her roles in the Fast & Furious franchise and her starring turn in Mad Max: Fury Road, but her involvement in Hyper Drive is primarily behind the scenes. She does appear on-camera to be in the passenger seat for some test-runs, but she never gets behind the wheel herself.
Hyperdrive marks Theron's third time executive-producing for Netflix: she previously worked on true crime success Mindhunter, which just released its second season, as well as short-lived comedy series Girlboss, which was canceled after one season. That's sort of a hit-or-miss track record, but at the very least, having a big name like hers attached to Hyperdrive could draw eyes to the project and help it find the audience it needs to get renewed.
As for the show itself, it invites some of the world's best stunt drivers to bring their souped-up custom cars and run a complicated track that requires them to pull off a variety of stunts with precision. If they falter, they get a penalty added to their final time. At the end of each episode, the driver or drivers with the lowest times are sent home, leaving only one Hyperdrive champion. It may sound simple, but when these stunts involve obstacles like the Leveller — a massive see-saw that drivers need to keep balanced for 10 seconds with only the use of their car —things can get dicey quickly.
"We like to call it American Ninja Warrior meets Fast and Furious," executive producer Chris Cowan told Entertainment Weekly. "We wanted to create a groundbreaking spectacle that you could only find on Netflix — something that was too stupid to attempt anywhere else."
It might surprise you, then, that some of the contestants aren't professionals. Instead, Cowan told EW, they're real people who the show's casting team found over the course of a year by visiting race tracks, drag strips, and amateur driving groups around the world.
Between such a dangerous premise and A-list talent, Hyperdrive should be able to land a second season. There's clearly a market for car shows — just look to the enduring appeal of Top Gear or The Grand Tour — so really, all Netflix needs to do is tap into that audience. Hopefully, Theron's Hollywood cache will be enough to do the trick.