Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp [TV-SEASON REVIEW]

After absolutely adoring the 2001 feature film 'Wet Hot American Summer' my eyes were completely transfixed on the Netflix series that was due to come out - and now a couple of weeks later it has. Now that I just bingewatched all 8 episodes I can finally answer whether or not it lives up to the movie or if it is just a desperate attempt to try and relive the spirit of the movie but fail spectacularly.

Simple question shall receive a simple answer; 'Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp' is great. A near perfect loveletter to the weird nature and insane humor style the original movie had. There seems to be this weird turnaround this year for filmmakers who returns to a movie they made many years back and actually manages to make a very successful followup. It happened earlier this year with George Miller and 'Mad Max: Fury Road' and now it most definitely has happened with Michael Showalter, David Wain and the entire cast in 'Wet Hot American Summer' (let us all hold hands and pray that the same thing will happen with Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell with 'Ash vs Evil Dead' later this year). It has to be said that they managed to pull off quite an achievement by getting pretty much the entire original cast to return after such a long time - especially after so many of them have moved on and become really big movie stars like Paul Rudd and Bradley Cooper. The latter even shot all of his scenes in a single day back in February.

As usual when I review a whole season I always include a list of the all the episodes from best to worst as well as the rating I would give each one so without further ado, here is the basics of what I thought of each of the episodes in 'Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp': 

Episode 8      Day is Done             10/10
Episode 6      Electro/City            10/10
Episode 5      Dinner                  10/10
Episode 7      Staff Party             9/10
Episode 4      Auditions               8/10
Episode 3      Activities              8/10
Episode 1      Campers Arrive          8/10
Episode 2      Lunch                   8/10

A lot of people did not like the first 2 episodes (primarily the first) and I can certainly see where they are coming from but I was way too busy just having so much fun with these characters and all the crazy shenanigans they get into. There is not a single episode were I did not fall to the floor laughing. This is probably the funniest piece of entertainment I will see all year and possibly even the best season from any TV-Show released this year. It is really hard for me to say I dislike any of the episodes because even though it definitely focused a bit too much on the new character Kevin but after episode three we get a lot more of the characters we know and love and it is basically just back to a normal insanely eventful Camp Firewood day. I was actually worried about the series since of course coming back to a movie/TV-show after such a long time has not always worked out very well. It could very well just have been a shell of what the movie was just to cash in on how popular these actors have become. A definite proof that the same amount of love and understanding of what made 'Wet Hot American Summer' worked has been put into this Netflix show is the title cards that tell us what time it is. In the movie they are used to get a laugh out of the audience (this is something I covered in my review) because something insane happens and then it cuts to a text that tells us only 20 minutes has passed even though that is impossible - I really thought that if this show would turn out to be terrible, the text would only be there to tell us the time because it was there in the original film. 

In the final episode ('Day is Done') we get a hand to hand combat scene which I have to say is excellent. I have seen so many worse choreographed and filmed action sequences in major motion pictures than what 'Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp' pulled off while also nailing the silly nature of the show. The entire series is surprisingly well filmed for a TV-Show like this and it makes me really sad that we probably will never get anything like this again as it cannot be easy to get actors like this to come back. But it also makes me extremely happy that we even got it in the first place as there was really no reason to make a prequel to a movie barely anyone saw or liked. Netflix really is one of the best things out there right now for being able to do things like this, giving really creative projects a chance despite not being all that popular or well known around pop culture apart from some of the actors. 

Before I finish the review I just want to say, to all of you people out there bashing this TV-Show or the movie and starting it with "Listen, I got all the jokes but..." and then move on to complain about plot holes, deus ex machinas, the really silly jokes etc... just know one thing - you probably did not get it no matter how hard you try to prove it. This is especially if you are trying to poke holes in a story that is deliberately poking holes in itself. 

Yes not ever episode was perfect, some episodes made me laugh harder than others - but I have to judge this show based on what it actually is here for - which is to make you laugh and on that aspect, in 8 episodes it knocked it out of the park more than practically any other TV-Show I have ever seen in my life has done. 'Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp' is the best season I have seen from any TV-Show this year so far and I am completely ready to call it the best season when the year is done, I loved it so much that there is no other rating I can give it than;


- Lucas


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