Recap: Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, Series Premiere

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Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp Plot Summary:

Campers arrive for the first day of Camp Firewood. Counselors and campers settle in for the 8 week summer.

Photo Credit: Gemma La Mana/Netflix.
Photo Credit: Gemma La Mana/Netflix.

Wet Hot American Summer is a cult classic. It flopped when it first debuted but has garnered the respect and adoration of fans throughout the years. Where the 2001 film was set on the last day of Camp Firewood in 1981, the original Netflix series focuses on the first day of camp. Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp begins the hairbrained and zany narrative that ends the 1981 Camp Firewood summer.

The main point that came across when watching the pilot episode, “Campers Arrive,” is that Wet Hot American Summer has become a sort of mecca. Not only did the entire original cast come back for the eight episode series, but a ton of other well known actors also make appearances and everyone is hardcore committed.

The original film was weird. It was so bad, but a tongue-in-cheek, over zealous, on purpose kind of bad. Wet Hot American Summer was so bad it became good. The same goes for the pilot episode of the series. The jokes are over the top, obvious, and sometimes even explained out by the characters. But these famous and prodigious actors have come out to be wild and gross and have fun.

Bradley Cooper Amy Poehler Wet Hot American Summer
Photo Credit: Saeed Adyani for Netflix

Michael Showalter and David Wain wrote with the same comedic style as their original film, and even used anecdotes of their own childhood experiences at camp. I thought the first episode was hilarious. It was definitely bizarre and blithe, but what made it so well done was that the love everyone working on it has for Camp Firewood is so visible and apparent.

The pilot did a good job originating histories of the OG characters and setting up storylines for new characters. It wasn’t jumbled or boring and felt like a natural beginning. Amy Poehler and Bradley Cooper were, to me, standouts. Their flippy, flappy, floppy twins routine made me laugh so hard I swear I almost peed.

If you’re not a fan of the movie you probably (definitely) won’t like the series. It was created in the same exact sensibility and may have even become crazier. But as for me, I will watch the next seven episodes in quick succession enjoying every single ludicrous moment.

Rating: 9 out of 10


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Marley Ghizzone is the Breaking News Editor for Pop-Break. Aside from writing news, Marley reviews television shows and the odd film. She is currently a senior at Rowan University studying Radio/Television/Film as well as Creative Writing. Marley also writes an opinion column dedicated to feminism for her student run university newspaper, The Whit. Pop culture is her drug of choice and her talents include binge watching entire seasons of TV shows obsessively fast and crying over fictional characters. Follow her on Twitter: @marleyveee
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