TV Review: Wet Hot American Summer - Ten Years Later

SYNOPSIS:  Welcome to the Camp Firewood Ten Year Reunion! From David Wain and Michael Showalter, the masterminds who brought to life the original 2001 cult classic film and the 2015 acclaimed prequel series by the same name, WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER: Ten Years Later is the hilarious new eight-part limited series starring the original cast, plus an all-star lineup of new cast members.

Wet Hot American Summer, Netflix, Comedy, Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Chris Pine, Bradley Cooper, Jai Courtney, Chris Meloni

REVIEW: When Netflix debuted the prequel to WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER two years ago, our very own Chris Bumbray reviewed the ridiculous concept of these forty-something actors portraying younger versions of themselves. Now, with the sequel series, the huge ensemble cast that includes almost the entire original cast along with prequel additons like Kristen Wiig and Chris Pine are joined by new cast members Adam Scott, Alyssa Milano, Dax Shepard, Jai Courtney, Skyler Gisondo, Samm Levine, Mark Feuerstein, Marlo Thomas and Joey Bragg. Fast-forwarding to the teased ten year camp reunion from the original movie, Camp Firewood's junior counselors are now twenty--somethings. It is the year 1991 and all of the period attire and pop culture references to the 80s have been supplanted by everything 90s. 

Right off the bat, the series opens with the aforementioned scene from the original film where the counselors agree to meet up in ten years at 9:30 in the morning. We then get to see what everyone has gotten up to post-college and the results are both expected and unexpected. Katie (Marguerite Moreau) is a 26-year-old vice president of a cosmetics company. Coop (Michael Showalter) is a novelist struggling to finish his memoir of his years at Camp Firewood, Lindsay (Elizabeth Banks) is a reporter trying to do more than puff pieces and Andy (Paul Rudd) is a dropout who hasn't changed much over the years. Amy Poehler is back as Susie, now a Hollywood star, who is dating her co-star Garth McArthur (Jai Courtney). All of the rest of your favorites have returned including Ken Marino, Michael Ian Black, and many more. But, it is even more apparent now than it was when the prequel series came out that the huge cast could not all be available on set at the same time.

Wet Hot American Summer, Netflix, Comedy, Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Chris Pine, Bradley Cooper, Jai Courtney, Chris Meloni

Since the story takes place over eight, half hour episodes, many characters appear and disappear for stretches of time while others have subplots that require only a few of the actors to share the screen. It is a little distracting, like Arrested Development's most recent season, but you cannot really expect that all of the A-list talent could get away to film this show. But, writers Michael Showalter and David Wain make an extra effort to pack them screen time they do get out of each actor with the most batshit comedy possible. Everyone you know and love are back, in some capacity, along with some new campers from the next generation who give the elder counselors a run for their money. Skyler Gisondo (VACATION) is a great youngster playing Andy's nemesis, Jeremy "Deegs" Deegenstein. Rest assured, if you loved the movie and the prequel, you are going to get a kick out of the sequel. 

Without delving too much into major plot elements, there is an overarching storyline that runs through the entire series that involves the return of Showalter as Ronald Reagan along with Michael Ian Black as George H.W. Bush. The less said, the better, but needless to say the writers somehow found a way to top the insane arc from First Day of Camp that inspired this narrative. After watching the entire eight episode series, I definitely saw the merit in binge-watching the entire run as it does pull together like a super-sized feature film.(running at just under 3 and a half hours total). The new cast additions are all solid and the way they are integrated into the story is intentionally blatant and very funny. I won't run the plot twists and cameos for you but I guarantee fans of WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER will not be disappointed.

Wet Hot American Summer, Netflix, Comedy, Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Chris Pine, Bradley Cooper, Jai Courtney, Chris Meloni

WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER: TEN YEARS LATER is absolutely a fun addition to the franchise and wraps things up in such a way that I don't think we will be seeing any future installments of the series. But, I never expected to see this cast playing younger or older versions of themselves two years apart so never say never. It is hard to capture what made the original movie such a cult classic, but this sequel makes great use of the popular talent involved and overcomes the logistical and scheduling struggles in getting all of them in the same series together. Some of you may be underwhelmed by the finished product, but WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER fans know who they are and this series is more for them rather than trying to win over new viewers. So, if you haven't given the original movie or prequel a chance, now is the time and you can book end it with this great wrap-up chapter in the Camp Firewood saga.

Netflix debuts all 8 episodes of WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER: TEN YEARS LATER on August 4th.

Source: JoBlo.com



Latest Entertainment News Headlines