By Aaron Stiles
Now, that everyone is returning to classes, homework, and fighting over parking spaces, is the time when everyone starts to hate the classes they are enrolled in and starts to think of a better time, a simpler time: summer vacation.
While some students went on great camping trips, cruises, and spent lazy days on the river, others stayed on our couches eating junk food, binge-watching Netflix… At least, that’s what I did.
If you were like me and spent your two months of vacation on Netflix shows, then you will have noticed the new Netflix original series Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp season one. If you were one of the people who did really fun and awesome things this summer and missed the show, then this review is for you (also, you can stop rubbing it in).
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp is a prequel to the 2001 film Wet Hot American Summer. Both are created and directed by David Wain and Michael Showalter, who plays the main character Coop. First Day of Camp features all of the same actors from the 2001 film, which became a cult hit not only because of its raunchy and over-the-top comedy, but because of the actors themselves, who now have achieved incredible fame and popularity in mainstream media. The actors from First Day of Camp as well as the original film include stars Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Michael Ian Black, H. John Benjamin, Elizabeth Banks, and Kristen Wiig.
The acting in this first season is remarkably like the original film, which is impressive due to the fact the original film was made 14 years ago. At that time, Bradley Cooper and a few other actors in the film were brand new to the film industry and were acting in their first film at the time. To mimic something that was made 14 years ago without allowing other roles to influence you at all shows the talent these actors possess.
Paul Rudd plays a hilariously oblivious and cocky camp counselor, Amy Poehler and Bradley Cooper play a theatre-obsessed couple whose relationship is rocky, and Elizabeth Banks plays a 20-something news reporter going undercover as a 16-year-old camp counselor. The combination of the acting and the ridiculous roles makes for an uproariously funny comedy. In all honesty the acting is about 85% of what makes this show so fun to watch.
The other 15% of the amazing quality of this TV show comes from the jokes that Michael Showalter and David Wain wrote for the show. In the spirit of the movie, most of the jokes are raunchy but there are many other great jokes added in as well. Most of the comedy comes from the fact that the actors in the film are portraying 16-17 year olds but are in reality anywhere from their late 20s to late 40s, making a lot of the interactions they have with the campers awkward to watch but delivered so cleverly that it just makes for extremely funny stuff.
There are also some great moments of slapstick and situational comedy that are perfect for the over-the-top tone of the film. The humor tackles all sorts of topics from relationships to facing your bully, making for some actual heart-warming moments that are immediately followed by crude jokes that ruin the moment in the funniest way possible.
All in all, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp brings great laughs for everyone involved and is sure to be a great time. Fans of the original Wet Hot American Summer will be in for some great surprises and huge laughs. Even if you haven’t seen the film, First Day of Camp will hook you immediately and you will find yourself laughing over and quoting the jokes days later. Even if all you know about the show is the actors, I can guarantee that’s enough of a reason to watch it, because you will instantly love it.
Another great thing about the show is that the episodes only run about 25 minutes and season one has only eight episodes, so it is an easy show to pick up and begin watching immediately and extremely easy to get through, especially if you are a binge-watcher. Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp is a whole lot of fun, you will enjoy every minute of it.