“Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp” is for the most part completely absurd. Yet, who knew that they would have such a spirit of continuity to everything that they did?
After learning in the second episode (read our review for that here) that Lindsay was actually a terrible reporter from a fake rock-and-roll magazine, tonight revealed to us a surprising truth about the famed Can of Vegetables that Jonas spends so much time with in the original movie: It is actually Mitch all along! He was turned into this after falling into the toxic waste dump. We said after episode 2 that we didn’t love that story, since we don’t think you really need to establish peril so much on this show. We do still feel that way, but seeing that story lead to the talking vegetables among other things was really funny.
The toxic waste story is leading about a conspiracy that is getting us some really great cameos. Michael Showalter playing double-duty as Ronald Reagan was worthy of some laughs, as was learning that somehow Gail’s love interest Ron is somehow mixed up in all of this.
Yet, none of this matches the cliffhanger of having Jon Hamm be the Falcon, the man hired in Argentina to come and destroy Beth and Greg at Camp Firewood to ensure that the secret stays buried. Given that Hamm is not in the original movie, we have to assume that this is probably not going to end particularly well for him.
Elsewhere in this episode, Coop continues to be really delusional about his “girlfriend” Donna, who seems mostly intent on just reeling him in, letting him down, and then reeling him in again. It’s certainly a bizarre pattern of behavior that is difficult to figure out, but very funny to see what Coop is willing to deal with and how Donna is so easy to get forgiveness from him. The Katie love story with Blake (a wonderful Josh Charles) is equally entertaining, mostly because it feels like Katie really does have a habit of just hooking up with all the wrong guys. We’re also so far from where Katie and Coop end up at the end of the movie.
Still, Lindsay may be far and away the standout of the series so far. Elizabeth Banks’ role in the original movie was mostly making out with random people, but here she is the world’s worst reporter, uncovering a legend that exists with one of the cabins. We don’t know how exactly she goes from here to where she does at the end of the movie, but this is going to be exciting to figure out. Episode Grade: A-.
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