had to take a couple of days to process everything that I watched. The promise of seeing where these characters were 10 years later has been with me since I fell in love with the Wet Hot American Summer movie all those years ago. Where would my favorites be? What would their lives be like? Truthfully I'd follow some of those actors anywhere and through their weirdest movies and shows. I'm also moderately obsessed with New England summer camps in general so I would have likely watched this show regardless of my personal affectations for the story line. Netflix, piggy-backing off the First Day of Camp series promised us this one practically right off the bat. I was not disappointed but I wasn't thrilled either. I ended up with that delightful feeling of meh.
This is where you stop if you don't want spoilers.
The entire gang is back with new and ridiculous dialogue and situations as well as a few new characters and fun actors to help round out an already robust cast. The basic premise is that all these years later, the gang is descending on Camp Firewood to fulfill the promise they made to each other. Everyone has grown up and started (or tried to start) their adult lives. Coop is a struggling author, Katie is a beauty executive, Lindsey is a puff piece reporter trying to make it onto the hard news circuit. Andy is a deadbeat dad, Ben and McKinley are still together and have a daughter, and Gene is living in a trailer in the middle of nowhere with the love of his life…his refrigerator.
Upon their return to the camp, everyone discovers that camp director Beth is having to sell the property. The gang tries to save the day by enlisting the assistance of the group from the rival camp across the lake. In one of the weirder turns we find out that the rival team is actually working for former President Ronald Regan in an effort to buy the camp so he (Regan) can blow it up. This is where the plot gets incredibly convoluted and odd. The entire story line of the former presidents wanting to destroy the camp seemed like the only real way to tie in Lindsey's character. More on this a little later.
Meanwhile, you've got McKinley and Ben who is now played by Adam Scott. In a fun nod to his Parks and Rec roots, they managed to work a "literally" into his dialogue. Ben spends the majority of the series off screen and they explain the recasting with a nose-job. While some may think this is stupid, I would point to the recasting of the son in National Lampoon's vacation as a precursor to this. It gave me my Ben & Leslie Parks and Recreation fix briefly at the most. They've hired a babysitter Renata played by Alyssa Milano and she may or may not be a serial killer. I won't ruin that particular ending but I will say that I loved how it played out.
Susie has a relatively uninteresting storyline about her being in love with a movie star who leaves her for the limelight. Vince is finally ready to lose his virginity in a creepy three-way with Yaron and Donna. Then they introduced new characters and pretended they were there throughout the first movie…we just didn't see them. That was relatively entertaining.
Overall, the series was scattered. It's hard to write about anything too specific because there was a lot going on for so few episodes.
Finally one thing I loved was the true ending with Michael Showalter pitching the ending to his novel to his editor. She's read the story of the last days of camp and asked if it all really happened. He asks her what would she rather read; what he gave her, or a small story about getting together with old friends and reminiscing. He has a point and I think it sums up the series nicely. They made this for the fans because we asked for it. We begged for it. Would we have rather watched this insane and fantastical crazy mess? Or did we really want just a bunch of people talking about the good 'ol days. I loved that they never did tell us where McKinley needed to be at 11.
Overall I enjoyed it. While there were plenty of things that fell flat for me, there was enough to keep me interested. I'm glad they made this, not sure I'll need anything else.
Ctrl+C reviewed the movie-Take a listen