We’ve finally had a chance to see all eight episodes of “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp” in its entirety, and if we have one prevailing emotion out of all of this, it is satisfaction. This was a very funny, lighthearted romp through a part of history that we loved so much in the original movie.
Was the Netflix series perfect? Probably not. There were times when scheduling conflicts / time limitations were somewhat obvious, such as the absence of Amy Poehler and Bradley Cooper from the end of the story, and there were also some individual stories that could have been better (we’re looking at you, Neil). In general, we’re not sure that there was a single iconic moment in the series that had us howling with delight to the point where it will go down in the history books.
With all of the negatives out of the way, episode 8 was a very funny finale that featured an epic battle scene between Camp Firewood and Camp Tigerclaw, Lindsay stopping Ronald Reagan using the freedom of the press, rock ‘n roll temporarily saving the day until Eric’s supposed death, and then the resurrection of Eric later in the time jump forward two weeks at the end of the show.
For the most part, characters were set up well for the movie. Coop found himself potentially a new girl to fawn over after Donna’s departure in Katie, Gail is now engaged (yet again), and we finally saw David Hyde Pierce again in the closing minutes. We do like that there were a few things that were left somewhat mysterious, such as how Lindsay goes from being a “friend” of the campers to wanting to make out with so many of them. Still, there was enough resolution to feel like the rest of the camp would fill in all of that time.
We’re in the end happy that David Wain and Michael Showalter decided to go through with making this silly, spontaneous glimpse into the early days of these characters. It was such a love letter to longtime fans, and the fact that they were able to get people like Jon Hamm and Kristen Wiig to join an already-incredible ensemble is tremendous. Grade: A-.
If you want to see some of our other episode reviews for “First Day of Camp,” head over to this link today. Also, be sure to sign up now to gather up some more TV scoop on all we cover via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: Netflix.)