Thursday, August 27, 2015

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp

So late summer nights are usually the time to catch up on the ever growing backlog of shows and movies to watch, and one night I decided to try out a movie that I kept hearing the name of. Wet Hot American Summer. I kept hearing the name because not only is the movie on Netflix, but so is the newly released mini series as well as a making of documentary for the movie, so between all three I was a little bit curious. I'd previously heard that the movie was pretty funny so I gave it a go.

And to be honest, I didn't think it was especially great. Don't get me wrong, I did like the movie, but at the same time it is really apparent that they didn't succeed with everything they wanted to do. Some of the jokes fell flat, the pacing was a little off and it lacked a suitable budget which left everything feeling a little cheap. BUT, with that said, if you can put aside all gripes with some of the humor and technical aspects, it is certainly possible to enjoy this movie, with all its lovably dumb characters and cheesy satire of teen comedies of the 80's.

When the movie came out in 2001, it absolutely bombed, both commercially and critically. The movie was torn apart by almost everyone. Though over time, some people found the remains and managed to enjoy what was there, a movie not meant to be taken seriously at all. It went on to achieve cult status along with movies like The Big Lebowski. When Netflix announced the mini series, I'm sure that most people had no idea what it even was, while people who liked the movie rejoiced. The mere fact that it could be created it honestly astounding, all things considered. The cast in the movie was absolutely stacked, as many of the stars hadn't hit it big yet. There's Bradley Cooper, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Amy Poehler, among others, and all of them were slated to return with new additions in tow. After finishing the movie I went on to start the mini series.

I can say whole heartedly that the mini series improved on the movie in every way, clearing up some backstory, expanding on some jokes and preserving the essence of the movie perfectly. The whole concept is silly, taking place on the first day of camp in 1981, while the movie took place on the last day of camp in 1981, so all the characters look much older while actually being younger. Every episode was packed with jokes that, unlike the movie, are mostly solid.

In a time when most shows or movies take themselves so seriously, it's refreshing to see something so delightfully uncaring about logic. There was one particular part where there was a trial and a verdict for something that all happened within the same day, because who has time for the legal system? At any rate, I highly recommend Wet Hot American Summer: First Day at Camp as well as the movie, cause even though it might not be for everyone, knowing the jokes in the movie makes the series even better.

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