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

Countdown Freeform Polls and Games superhero festivals Thanksgiving Holiday Interview psycho Arrowverse reboot The Purge Nat Geo boxoffice Showtime Endgame TCA Winter 2020 free movies science fiction Star Trek revenge nbcuniversal SundanceTV natural history zero dark thirty Universal Binge Guide TV Land unscripted Marvel war The CW blockbuster CW Seed Spike Song of Ice and Fire Warner Bros. technology VOD PaleyFest Marvel Television Teen Trailer rotten Lionsgate Emmy Nominations Superheroes Amazon Prime Video anthology BBC American Society of Cinematographers Nominations films Disney Channel Western reviews Baby Yoda documentary doctor who Vudu cats RT21 GLAAD DC streaming service TIFF travel Oscars elevated horror directors dramedy crime drama YouTube Music Summer CBS All Access The Arrangement Year in Review spy thriller Heroines 4/20 21st Century Fox Awards Tour HBO Go Mystery DC Comics romance zombies ghosts asian-american Comic Book vampires game show MSNBC police drama TV BET canceled TV shows Musicals child's play disaster Disney+ Disney Plus A&E DGA werewolf E3 hist sports medical drama Lifetime Rock justice league Tumblr Superheroe 2019 YouTube Premium mockumentary San Diego Comic-Con Valentine's Day Starz Mindy Kaling Comics on TV BBC One 2015 anime halloween versus LGBT Hallmark Christmas movies romantic comedy Classic Film Turner Classic Movies FX MCU Character Guide Netflix Christmas movies ITV richard e. Grant nature Paramount 24 frames psychological thriller Rocky space 71st Emmy Awards spinoff GoT 2017 Fox News 45 hollywood CMT sitcom Ovation Cannes Pixar Best and Worst USA Film ratings game of thrones best Hallmark FXX miniseries Election DirecTV NYCC Adult Swim Awards Pirates blaxploitation Comedy worst biography Emmys Toys christmas movies BAFTA what to watch classics adaptation E! true crime video animated video on demand 2018 renewed TV shows PBS Pet Sematary social media Peacock dceu thriller ESPN movies National Geographic Cartoon Network scary movies Kids & Family supernatural TCM batman Funimation spider-man TCA Awards Disney Syfy Rom-Com tv talk period drama Sony Pictures HBO Red Carpet Star Wars TruTV First Look 007 GIFs dragons Travel Channel sequels TLC satire Reality Competition Chernobyl all-time Sundance Now robots screen actors guild green book Martial Arts Tarantino finale criterion crime President news Nickelodeon USA Network Mudbound Action twilight CNN TBS kids Academy Awards See It Skip It dark Amazon Studios documentaries cults 20th Century Fox slashers OneApp Disney streaming service historical drama cartoon critics Amazon Amazon Prime Brie Larson Elton John comic dogs AMC The Witch concert Christmas IFC Films Photos award winner TV renewals docudrama streaming A24 PlayStation New York Comic Con fast and furious cancelled politics VH1 Tomatazos children's TV Columbia Pictures laika Shudder casting Women's History Month X-Men Creative Arts Emmys Television Critics Association Animation Marvel Studios Mary Tyler Moore Holidays Food Network Premiere Dates Anna Paquin Trivia FX on Hulu a nightmare on elm street YouTube Red foreign Mary poppins HBO Max Tubi witnail Country Paramount Network comedies Set visit cancelled TV shows Fall TV comics stop motion adventure El Rey Horror teaser Watching Series Britbox cops Crunchyroll mutant joker Biopics based on movie RT History Lifetime Christmas movies MTV serial killer sag awards Pop TV Pride Month spanish language Writers Guild of America Musical Drama stand-up comedy diversity mission: impossible Bravo rotten movies we love Lucasfilm Reality ABC ABC Family sequel Pop canceled Spring TV crime thriller parents binge name the review die hard BBC America TCA SXSW chucky indiana jones Logo LGBTQ Family indie Rocketman Certified Fresh Infographic Stephen King Apple TV Plus Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Ellie Kemper Podcast Television Academy television facebook Trophy Talk aliens Quiz Ghostbusters TCA 2017 Apple TV+ Super Bowl APB FOX Grammys Sci-Fi cooking Film Festival Netflix golden globes Schedule discovery Spectrum Originals First Reviews Black History Month CBS independent NBC Opinion book franchise Esquire 2016 Disney Plus strong female leads Extras Sundance TV screenings emmy awards History spain TNT Box Office zombie Apple Video Games Fantasy IFC Walt Disney Pictures breaking bad SDCC cancelled TV series BET Awards south america composers Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt WarnerMedia obituary Comedy Central talk show Turner theme song Dark Horse Comics The Walking Dead Winter TV cars VICE Captain marvel cancelled television singing competition Winners movie Shondaland Avengers DC Universe Masterpiece Hulu Calendar jamie lee curtis harry potter OWN hispanic latino Sneak Peek comiccon cinemax Marathons YA Mary Poppins Returns transformers Hear Us Out Epix Acorn TV universal monsters Black Mirror series quibi Discovery Channel 2020 Cosplay toy story Crackle dc WGN crossover stoner political drama 72 Emmy Awards Sundance