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

FXX cults supernatural Super Bowl rotten APB all-time Starz 2015 popular comiccon psychological thriller Tomatazos criterion jamie lee curtis technology Certified Fresh Family Bravo MCU Country aliens biography black Tumblr Alien blockbuster Cartoon Network hispanic game show Stephen King Pop kong comic 4/20 Fox Searchlight science fiction Reality Cannes San Diego Comic-Con green book hidden camera historical drama facebook dark 99% Awards social media Fall TV SDCC BBC One ghosts elevated horror First Reviews HBO true crime Marathons MTV TV CMT PBS Chernobyl doctor who Character Guide TV One Pixar spinoff Broadway disaster sports theme song stop motion latino GIFs Paramount Network DirecTV TCA Winter 2020 Netflix Showtime Walt Disney Pictures Marvel Television singing competition book adaptation football name the review anime Musicals Superheroe HBO Max mockumentary natural history Hear Us Out Lifetime Action SundanceTV critics boxoffice Extras First Look Set visit AMC canceled TV shows Lucasfilm Podcast renewed TV shows police drama TruTV new star wars movies Mary Tyler Moore quibi serial killer crime cooking kids Shudder remakes politics 2017 72 Emmy Awards game of thrones composers diversity Amazon venice nbcuniversal TBS crime drama political drama strong female leads The Purge reviews BBC America fresh toronto The Witch NYCC HBO Go golden globe awards 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Endgame President Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt cinemax Emmy Nominations IFC Freeform Universal IFC Films Vudu ITV Apple TV Plus Crackle Winter TV docudrama stand-up comedy witnail TCA discovery Rom-Com sitcom Shondaland best robots TV renewals toy story PlayStation Rock Opinion james bond space Nat Geo deadpool X-Men south america psycho Mindy Kaling godzilla Masterpiece period drama zero dark thirty chucky Paramount Plus comic books Star Trek NBC dramedy ratings Year in Review Best and Worst VOD OWN documentary tv talk 21st Century Fox adaptation Apple Spring TV Schedule scorecard Travel Channel halloween tv mutant Tarantino zombie Comic Book The Walt Disney Company trailers superhero blockbusters Syfy Musical binge TNT Kids & Family Disney Channel LGBTQ vampires Marvel christmas movies The CW Marvel Studios mission: impossible Holiday miniseries franchise women anthology Amazon Prime Video finale WarnerMedia children's TV Holidays comics Warner Bros. TIFF TCA 2017 2020 Columbia Pictures Biopics Summer french Martial Arts See It Skip It richard e. Grant Animation talk show Heroines harry potter 93rd Oscars American Society of Cinematographers VICE Watching Series breaking bad child's play E3 ESPN Logo Ghostbusters VH1 Sundance jurassic park Horror Toys GLAAD The Arrangement Box Office Thanksgiving Black History Month rotten movies we love animated spanish language movie unscripted blaxploitation YouTube Red RT History Fox News Arrowverse cars TLC spain romantic comedy free movies award winner nature Mystery Drama Disney video Brie Larson Calendar ABC Signature australia crime thriller halloween Quiz Countdown Comedy Central cancelled television PaleyFest Grammys Music Reality Competition movies dceu MSNBC Turner Classic Movies Trailer thriller cancelled TV shows The Academy 2018 rt archives concert Food Network sag awards comedies Creative Arts Emmys ViacomCBS Elton John classics Nominations Sundance Now golden globes USA video on demand YouTube Premium Winners Baby Yoda BBC travel Britbox rom-coms Premiere Dates slashers dogs Netflix Christmas movies festival Captain marvel festivals Hallmark ABC Western Amazon Prime Television Academy History A&E Disney Plus Pet Sematary YouTube Sundance TV Sneak Peek Spike Mary poppins joker FX Chilling Adventures of Sabrina asian-american Rocketman indie Ellie Kemper independent superman razzies BET Awards Crunchyroll Acorn TV FX on Hulu Election WGN spanish Cosplay Black Mirror indiana jones heist movie screen actors guild Pride Month die hard kaiju news Christmas films archives Writers Guild of America 71st Emmy Awards boxing Dark Horse Comics Esquire revenge nfl parents king kong The Walking Dead Nickelodeon Hulu adventure obituary Avengers 24 frames Funimation Academy Awards Turner SXSW Song of Ice and Fire worst Mudbound universal monsters Sci-Fi Hallmark Christmas movies medical drama crossover Teen hollywood RT21 streaming zombies El Rey Epix Peacock documentaries japanese stoner Exclusive Video docuseries reboot foreign Red Carpet what to watch prank TCA Awards TCM Comedy screenings Legendary National Geographic Lionsgate Fantasy Star Wars Pirates Valentine's Day worst movies Lifetime Christmas movies Amazon Studios emmy awards CNN book television war OneApp transformers versus Discovery Channel Film DC Comics spy thriller USA Network 2016 Polls and Games werewolf teaser Binge Guide Sony Pictures cartoon Oscars Anna Paquin Classic Film telelvision cancelled dc fast and furious satire dragons DC Universe scary movies BET Comics on TV New York Comic Con A24 Awards Tour hist YA Pop TV FOX 2021 45 007 TV Land Mary Poppins Returns BAFTA Superheroes canceled Disney+ Disney Plus CW Seed batman sequel Adult Swim Video Games GoT justice league Rocky cops based on movie Spectrum Originals ID cats italian CBS DGA Apple TV+ Television Critics Association pirates of the caribbean Paramount DC streaming service Tubi LGBT Emmys romance ABC Family CBS All Access 2019 E! directors Disney streaming service Infographic Interview cancelled TV series Women's History Month monster movies twilight 20th Century Fox Photos sequels series laika Trophy Talk casting a nightmare on elm street Film Festival Ovation Trivia spider-man