Wet Hot American Summer has become something of a cult classic since its 2001 release. Though it tanked in theaters, the film found its fans upon its DVD (and video) release, who appreciated the ridiculous humor for what it was: ridiculous.
Now the original cast and crew have reunited for a second outing. Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, is an eight episode series set for release exclusively on Netflix later this month. While the movie focused on the last day at sunny Camp Firewood, the series will focus (unsurprisingly, given the title) on the first day. Starring Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Paul Rudd and Elizabeth Banks, to name but a few, the series comes from original creators Michael Showalter and David Wain, with Wain directing. New cast members include Kristen Wiig, John Hamm and Randall Park.
Many trailers and teasers have been released ahead of the show’s premiere, including spoof promotional videos for the camp, and now a new featurette gives a glimpse behind the scenes as well a chance to hear from the cast and crew.
There are many jokes at the expense of the cast’s ages. Showalter and Wain have not shied away from this in the show, either, with the line “Now you’re all sixteen or seventeen years old,” followed by a great shot of Rudd (46), checking out Marguerite Moreau (38). Poehler thinks everyone is dressed up as their parents, while Cooper is convinced Rudd hasn’t aged a day. Watch out too, for Chris Pine appearing as some kind of Camp rock god, Eric.
The second clip released has Elizabeth Banks as Lindsay teaching us all a valuable lesson in the art of negotiaton, much to the delight of Zak Orth’s J.J.
The rapport between the cast comes across easily, and it is this fondness for one another and a desire to create comedy together once more that has been the driving force behind this Netflix revival. As Jordan Peel reminds us, the humor is very dry. The show is played straight, and this will definitely appeal to fans of the original film. It’s not smooth and sophisticated but First Day of Camp will probably appeal to that childish side of us that still laughs over blatant innuendo and the sight of Poehler and Cooper leading a Camp Firewood sing-along.
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp might not be in line for a string of awards, like other Netflix shows, but it will provide eight hours of happy escapism, if you share the same sense of humor as the writers, cast and crew.
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp premieres on Netflix on Friday, July 31st.