What to binge this weekend: Let’s all have a ‘Wet Hot American Summer’!

Summer’s here and the time is right for…binging TV shows! I’ve got a recommendation that should put you in the summer mood, and also will make you laugh at some real dumb stuff. Like, the dumbest stuff you’re ever going to see. It’s time for us to have a Wet Hot American Summer!

If you haven’t seen the 2001 movie Wet Hot American Summer, you’ll need to watch that before you can dive into the two miniseries Netflix produced based on that film. Yes, a cult movie from the turn of the millennium has gotten two different miniseries over a decade later. The first one, First Day of Camp, came out in 2015, while the second, Ten Years Later, came out in 2017.

The original movie is a supremely silly parody of camp comedies that were big in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, and also the ‘80s in general. The film takes place in 1981, after all. Also, it features a ton of future stars. Here are just some of the names from the movie: Elizabeth Banks, Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, and a promising young actor named Bradley Cooper. That’s not including all the guys from The State, a short-lived MTV sketch show from the ‘90s, that were the primary creative force behind the movie.

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It’s a fun movie if you enjoy absurdist comedy. There may or may not be a talking can of vegetables involved. So yeah, if you haven’t seen the movie, watch that first. Then, you can check out the shows.

Wet Hot American Summer takes place on the last day of camp at Camp Firewood, so you can guess when First Day of Camp happens. It’s impressive that they got the primary cast, much more famous by 2015, back for the movie. It’s also funny off the bat that all these actors are playing slightly-younger versions of themselves 14 years later. The show doesn’t rest on that joke, though. There’s a lot more to it, and it’s definitely the more successful of these two miniseries.

That being said, there is still a lot to like about Ten Years Later. It’s still good, if a half a step down. If you’ve watched the movie and the first series and want more, you should definitely check out Ten Years Later. Otherwise, maybe you can tap out, or just watch the first episode to get a sense of it.

There are 16 episodes in total of the Wet Hot American Summer series on Netflix. You can stream them and get taken back to your camp days. Only it will be a lot funnier and with a lot fewer mosquitos.

About Chris Morgan

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