Sixteen years ago, we were bemused with a delightful cult comedy film Wet Hot American Summer. A somewhat parody of teenage summer films, it blended the satirical with the silly and produced a riotous film. A couple of years ago, creator’s Michael Showalter and David Wain continued the film in a small Netflix series called First Day of Camp. Met with critical acclaim for tackling the comedic parody with unparalleled energy. Now they all return for a frolicking and brilliant eight episode series 10 Years Later which does exactly what it says on the tin.
As promised in the first film, the gang from Camp Firewood is back exactly ten years after the events of the first film. After skipping the eighties and heading straight into 1991, our favourite campers are all grown up, having moved onto careers such as rock-stars, actors, bookshop owners, and more. Meeting at Camp Firewood after a decade, old romances come to boil, and tensions mount as a more sinister plot threatens the whole Camp. Can they save their childhood joy?
The biggest joke in Wet Hot American Summer is that, even though their characters have aged significantly, they are much older than 26. It also plays into that idea of teen movies that they can accomplish so much career wise by the age of 26. That stream flows throughout and lends to the finale. I say biggest joke as though there aren’t a lot, but trust me, Wet Hot American Summer is genuinely one of the weirdest and strangest shows on television and it is bloody hilarious too. There are sights in here that you will witness with your eyeballs and you will never forget. Never forget. For the most part, Wet Hot American Summer is a jolly and frivolous series that you’ll enjoy fantastically. There are full dull notes, and it isn’t as fresh as the first series, with tones of similarity echoing throughout.
There are all your favourites here. Amy Poehler, Michael Showalter, Christopher Meloni, and more produce raucous and hilarious jokes as their characters are pushed beyond. Returning from the last series is Chris Pine, Jack Early, and Jason Schwartzmann who continue their characters in a brilliant way. Whilst new additions such as Jai Courtney and Dax Shepard are good for little laughs. Then there’s Ben Wyatt….I mean Adam Scott…who now plays Bradley Cooper’s character…Ben. Honestly, I know this show isn’t Parks and Recreation but I got a little teary eyed when he embraced Amy Poehler’s Susie. Leslie and Ben together again. Sigh.
Apologies, Scott is a genius addition to the show and feels as though he was always Ben. (But we do miss Cooper.)
At the end of the day (which is the time period this series is set,) Wet Hot American Summer is a silly parody of a numerous amount of eighties and nineties films. It’s fun and an enjoyable TV series. Plus, it is good to see these characters on another outing once more.