There was so much hype leading up to the premiere of Netflix’s Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp series. Everyone was talking about it! I mean, reuniting a star-studded cast fifteen years later is no small feat. But oddly, no one seems to be talking about it now, almost a week after Netflix released it. Why that is: I have no clue. The series is incredibly funny and just as good (if not better) than the original. It gives viewers a whole different experience when they go back and watch the original movie. It also gives viewers a whole lot of chuckles.
Beware: there are spoilers ahead as I countdown the top 5 pivotal moments of the Wet Hot American Summer series that make it worth spending four hours on your couch.
1. Abby Bernstein becoming a woman.
While this plot point may seem incredibly small, I personally think it is one of the funniest moments in the whole series. In episode two, we learn that Abby Bernstein, who promises to hook up with Ken Marino’s character in the original film, is not a counselor. She’s actually a camper who, after getting her period for the first time, goes from being played by a 13-year-old girl to being played by a 40-year-old woman. Of course, hilarity ensues.
2. Mitch: the can of soup.
In the original, the talking can of soup is entirely unexplained. It just is. It’s the weird talking can of soup that helps guide the camp chef, played by Christopher Meloni, through the final day at camp. In the series, we discover the can is an result of Mitch falling into a vat of toxic waste! Mitch, a new addition to the Camp Firewood crew, is the original camp director. He is thought to have died in that vat of toxic waste, but actually survives as a can of soup. Typing this, this whole plot point seems incredibly strange and hardly funny. However, this bit, along with many others in the series, are so over-the-top ridiculous that you can’t help but cackle (or guffaw– your choice).
3. Lindsay is a journalist!
This plot point really came out of left field. Lindsay, played by Elizabeth Banks, is not a 16-year-old girl as we previously thought. She is actually a 24-year-old woman who writes for Rock N’ Roll World magazine. Her big story? To go undercover and profile a summer camp. Which leads her to…
4. Chris Pine’s absolutely ridiculous character.
Chris Pine plays a recluse who was once destined for stardom as a music genius. Lindsay discovers him and helps him finish the song he’s tried to finish for years. His character, Eric, is so overly-dramatic, like many other characters in this series, which makes his scenes especially funny to watch. In the end, Eric and Lindsay save the day when the rival camp and the United States Army invade Camp Firewood. Remember what I said about things being over-the-top and ridiculous? Well, that’s when it gets REALLY over the top and REALLY ridiculous (but in a good way!).
5. Michael Cera’s horribly weak and horribly dead character.
A small town lawyer takes on the United States of America for Camp Firewood in quite possibly the shortest court scene ever. Michael Cera plays that small town lawyer. And that small town lawyer dies unexpectedly. His death is one of those things that makes you scream and laugh at the same time. I won’t tell you how he dies, because that spoils all the fun.
In conclusion, this series is filled with absurd and nearly senseless plot points. Who would ever believe a 24-year-old could pass for a 16-year-old? And who would ever believe that meek Michael Cera could beat the United States in court? The ludicrous of the extreme situations the characters are put in make this series so damn funny. Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp isn’t a series filled with subtle comedy. It’s filled with blatant and almost foolish jokes. The Wet Hot American Summer series is absolutely brilliant and does the original film justice.
BONUS: Netflix also recently dropped a behind-the-scenes documentary filled with mini interviews, funny moments, serious moments, interesting facts, and the overall journey of filming the original movie. Hurricane of Fun: The Making of Wet Hot is a perfect addition if you just don’t want the summer of 1981 to end. Did you know they all lived at Camp Firewood while filming the movie? Also this:
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