Here's What to Expect From Netflix's Wet Hot American Summer TV Show

by | July 28, 2015 | Comments

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, Netflix’s reboot of the titular 2001 cult film, is upon us. And before you binge your way through Camp Firewood this weekend, check out the Rotten Tomatoes primer on everything you need to know about season one.

 


WHAT’S THE SET-UP?

Welcome to Camp Firewood, 1981. For those familiar with the film, it’s the same Maine summer camp where Wet Hot American Summer is set — but, while the movie took place over the last day of camp, the new TV version starts on the first day of camp. In other words, this is a prequel set two months prior (even though the cast is 15 years older). The entire season is a continuing storyline transpiring over a single day, with episodes that should be seen in order, preferably binge-watched like a long movie.


WHO’S BACK FROM THE ORIGINAL CAST?

Pretty much everybody you remember from the original movie shows up for the TV series. Molly Shannon is back as crafts teacher Gail von Kleinenstein, as is her love interest, Gene (Christopher Meloni), the disturbed Vietnam vet-turned-camp chef. Janeane Garofalo returns as Beth (on her way to becoming camp director) and her soon-to-be love interest, Professor Henry Newman (David Hyde Pierce). The camp counselors are also in full attendance: Andy (Paul Rudd), Gerald “Coop” Cooperberg (Showalter), J.J. (Zak Orth), Victor Pulak (Ken Marino), Neil (Joe Lo Truglio), McKinley Dozen (Michael Ian Black), Katie (Marguerite Moreau), Ben (Bradley Cooper), Susie (Amy Poehler), Lindsay (Elizabeth Banks), Ron Von Kleinenstein (Judah Friedlander), and Can of Vegetables (H. Jon Benjamin).


WHO’S NEW IN THE CAST?

If your mind hasn’t exploded yet from the roster of stars who made it back to Camp Firewood, it might when you see the talent who was added to the First Day of Camp. Without spoiling too much, we can tell you that Mad Men alumns Jon Hamm and John Slattery show up, as well as Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore), Lake Bell (In a World), Rob Huebel (Transparent), Jordan Peele (Key & Peele), Paul Scheer (The League) , Josh Charles (The Good Wife), ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic (UHF), Chris Pine (Star Trek), Michaela Watkins (Enough Said), and Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids).


WHY A TV SHOW AND NOT ANOTHER MOVIE?

“Part of what happened with us is we realized we had more story that we wanted to tell than what we could fit into a 90-minute vessel,” Wain told reporters at a Netflix press day in April. “So we just kept thinking about it and realized that the platform, and the medium, and the audience, and the creative space of Netflix was perfect. That had just emerged at around the time that we were thinking about this, and so it was a perfect convergence.”


DO YOU HAVE TO KNOW THE MOVIE TO GET THE SHOW?

Watching the film (which is currently streaming on Netflix) is not a prerequisite for enjoying the show — though it would augment the experience. “If you’re a fan of the movie, or you know it well, then there’s a whole layer of many, many, many little and big ways that things get set up, or precursors to elements of the movie, that we tried to make clever, funny, [with] fun reveals and so on,” Wain teased. Also, since the TV show is a prequel, the events from the movie haven’t happened yet.


WHY HAVE ACTORS WHO ARE SO MUCH OLDER THAN THEIR CHARACTERS?

“After a few minutes you’re not even thinking about how old they are. You’re just watching this story of these teenagers and laughing,” Wain explained. It was always part of the bit that the actors were too old for their characters in the film, but, of course, 15 years later, the age difference is even more apparent — and more funny. “I do think it gives you an opportunity to see it in a way that you wouldn’t,” Showalter said about the age of the cast. “There is an element of satire to it that you wouldn’t get if you had actual teenagers playing these characters.”


HAS THE HUMOR CHANGED AFTER 15 YEARS?

Janeane-Garofalo-700x3801

If you’re a fan of the film Wet Hot American Summer, you can expect much of the same silliness and meta-comedy from the new TV show. But, while the movie showed camp counselors on a heroin bender, you might not see as much shock humor in this version. “In [the TV show] Stella, and even a little bit in Wet Hot, there was an element of trying to be outrageous — potentially offensive,” Showalter said. “That’s less interesting to me right now — that particular kind of throw-caution-to-the-wind. I’m more interested in a certain kind of fun. I want people to feel good.”


WILL THERE BE A SEASON TWO?

There’s no word yet on whether or not there will be a season two, but WHAS creators Showalter and Wain seem open to it. Wrangling the talent for the TV reunion was strangely easier than expected. “We just basically set a date and said, “Okay, whenever anyone’s free during that time, come on over and we’ll shoot,” Wain said. “So, that was never the delay. It was just sort of getting the whole machine up and running. But, yeah, I think there’s plenty more to do if it all works out. It would be great.”

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp premieres this Friday on Netflix. Read reviews here.

Tag Cloud

children's TV Comics on TV Mary Tyler Moore FX romance game of thrones mockumentary Music Ovation cancelled Reality Awards spy thriller First Reviews Schedule latino screenings Amazon Women's History Month indie Black Mirror toy story Musicals TV discovery Family 21st Century Fox Superheroes harry potter political drama Lionsgate movies Emmys stand-up comedy Horror The Purge jamie lee curtis Epix crossover Dark Horse Comics Sundance TV Baby Yoda witnail DC streaming service The Walking Dead Comedy Calendar Pet Sematary series Syfy Apple TV Plus Food Network Turner Classic Movies E3 Comic Book Warner Bros. Paramount biography E! Western dc television BBC America Emmy Nominations animated romantic comedy Winter TV batman History cooking Kids & Family science fiction joker Teen hist Film Festival Cartoon Network USA blockbuster spanish language independent DGA SundanceTV Pixar war OneApp ABC Family crime drama south america Winners dceu aliens Crackle Holidays Brie Larson anime cartoon mutant christmas movies cats crime El Rey facebook First Look Esquire RT21 quibi 2018 YouTube Red Tomatazos Marathons ratings Cannes Walt Disney Pictures Oscars technology miniseries video strong female leads sequel zero dark thirty natural history psychological thriller Spectrum Originals name the review halloween Turner ESPN renewed TV shows See It Skip It 2019 Marvel Television Elton John Shondaland versus Watching Series Acorn TV FOX Summer slashers TBS award winner Chernobyl The CW teaser revenge theme song adaptation Disney Plus TCM Heroines LGBTQ singing competition docudrama Marvel Studios Logo Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt A&E Endgame Tubi justice league CBS All Access RT History Box Office Lifetime Christmas movies cars TCA Winter 2020 comics casting elevated horror Lucasfilm cancelled television Showtime canceled TV shows golden globes Film Netflix Christmas movies Trailer Opinion Rock dramedy Grammys Valentine's Day Amazon Prime Star Trek SXSW streaming TLC Video Games Television Academy Tarantino Biopics National Geographic breaking bad A24 Song of Ice and Fire Fox News doctor who adventure Crunchyroll Spring TV NYCC Sony Pictures Rom-Com Freeform WGN Disney streaming service Nickelodeon Trivia foreign Countdown Nat Geo space game show 24 frames VH1 Cosplay Spike Disney Ellie Kemper festivals screen actors guild CNN Discovery Channel Britbox The Witch anthology robots USA Network NBC Hallmark Mary poppins Awards Tour ghosts Peacock what to watch X-Men Premiere Dates Action APB Apple Red Carpet 2015 true crime CW Seed American Society of Cinematographers dragons ITV MCU Classic Film Captain marvel composers PaleyFest MTV Amazon Prime Video WarnerMedia Universal zombies historical drama 45 Year in Review BBC finale 71st Emmy Awards Star Wars Mary Poppins Returns Pop Hallmark Christmas movies OWN Netflix Photos Nominations nature Hulu blaxploitation Mudbound Polls and Games BET Toys sitcom cancelled TV shows VICE 2016 Mindy Kaling supernatural Trophy Talk SDCC based on movie vampires CMT YouTube Premium CBS crime thriller Extras Musical Disney+ Disney Plus kids richard e. Grant TruTV Pirates Apple TV+ Tumblr cancelled TV series DirecTV cops cults diversity New York Comic Con Fantasy Marvel binge serial killer Best and Worst AMC GoT werewolf Bravo Infographic Columbia Pictures spider-man IFC Rocketman travel medical drama Sundance Now Drama Comedy Central tv talk spinoff Set visit Ghostbusters free movies San Diego Comic-Con Fall TV Sneak Peek YA Shudder TCA 2017 period drama HBO Max Anna Paquin TIFF Martial Arts comic Academy Awards police drama disaster Sci-Fi politics Rocky Election 20th Century Fox Stephen King unscripted Masterpiece Podcast Certified Fresh HBO Arrowverse green book talk show Superheroe Starz LGBT book TCA reboot thriller rotten movies we love Avengers Quiz directors Chilling Adventures of Sabrina IFC Films Interview Christmas PBS Thanksgiving comiccon Creative Arts Emmys MSNBC DC Universe FXX TNT sag awards hispanic Binge Guide GLAAD Paramount Network Pride Month ABC cinemax 2017 President boxoffice sports Mystery DC Comics Sundance TV renewals social media psycho The Arrangement Character Guide Vudu zombie 007 Adult Swim Disney Channel Lifetime GIFs YouTube TV Land Writers Guild of America transformers Country spain canceled Holiday Reality Competition 2020 Animation Super Bowl