TV Show Review - Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp! Was the first day as good as the last?

Welcome back to Camp Firewood, campers! It has been 14 years since the hit film Wet Hot American Summer was released starring a who’s who of actors before they struck it big. Set in the early 80s on the last day of summer camp, this film is filled with all sorts of campy humor that is sure to make you smile and laugh throughout.

Netflix has brought the film back with a new original series titled Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp. The series is eight half hour episodes and will grab your attention right from the start. The whole season takes place on just the first day of camp so the episodes are titled according to the time of day; “Campers Arrive”, “Lunch”, “Activities”, ect. This show takes the humor of the film and cranks it up to a whole new level. From the start you’ll notice that Netflix, amazingly, got the entire original cast to return to play their original roles. This of course means that you have actors like Paul Rudd, Elisabeth Banks, Marguerite Moreau, and Bradley Cooper playing characters as young as 16. This is all part of the charm of the show however as most of the cast looks gloriously ridiculous in clothes and wigs to make them look like their younger selves. (Except for Paul Rudd who apparently didn’t age.) Sure, some actors look quite different than their younger self (Michael Showalter for example who plays Coop has put on weight) but the fact that the show doesn't try to hide these differences and plays along with them is part of the show's zany charm. The great thing about this show really is seeing all of the film characters return and seeing where everything started.

*Note: This show is much better if you have watched the film first.

The show answers specific unanswered questions from the film such as where the talking can of vegetables came from (yes, a talking can of vegetables), who camp Tiger Claw is, and how certain characters became couples. Michael Showalter and David Wain returned to write the show, having written the film, so fans will see this series has the same style of humor and all the nonsensical scenarios as well. There are some fun cameos including Weird Al Yankovic as a hypnotist, Josh Charles as a camper from Camp Tiger Claw (with a triple-popped collar, woah!), and even Chris Pine as the hermit musician Eric. The campers in the show are featured a little more prominently than they were in the film which may or may not make people happy. Although it is fun to see what is happening with the campers from time to time, that is not the storyline that fans really want to see.

Overall, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp is absolutely hilarious and made better by the fact that the original cast returned. You can clearly see that they had a blast while filming this show. The fun they had shines through their performances and makes it a better viewing experience for the fans. So sit back, enjoy, and try not to think too hard about why certain things are going on.

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  1. Any idea who the actress is in the top right row of that Netflix cover picture? She looks very familiar and I can not figure out who she is

    1. Do you mean the official poster at the top of the article? That's Marguerite Moreau. She played Connie Moreau in the The Mighty Ducks films.


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