Welcome to The First Day of Camp
Wet Hot American Summer is a modern comedy classic, and by the rules of contemporary cinema, since it’s fourteen years old, it’s old enough for nostalgia. And you know what nostalgia means—it’s time for a sequel/remake/reboot! Or rather, it’s time for a prequel TV show premiering on Netflix on July 31, titled Wet Hot American Summer: The First Day of Camp. The movie tanked horribly when it came out in 2001, but thanks to the improved fortunes of much of the original cast, including Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, and Elizabeth Banks, The First Day of Camp is a high-profile release for Netflix.
Before streaming and Netflix, and back when pirating a movie meant waiting hours for it to finish downloading, the best way to find American Summer was if you knew someone with a copy, which, if you went to USC in the early aughts, means you were probably borrowing my copy. Wet Hot American Summer was like a secret club and you had to be invited in before you got to experience the magic, and that was a big part of what made it special. Not everyone knew it, and even though it’s gained a cult following and some of the cast has become very famous, it’s still not a widely known thing.
But the TV show might finally change that. The first trailer for Wet Hot American Summer: The First Day of Camp was released yesterday and it’s GREAT. Paul Rudd’s entrance is amazing and only made funnier because that is clearly a stunt double in a bad wig on the bike. The bit with Christopher Meloni is fantastic and spot-on—I went to summer camp as a kid and there was always a veteran in the kitchen, I assume because they knew how to cook for hundreds of people at a time. Bradley Cooper’s double-polo is funny, but Josh Charles’s TRIPLE POLO kills me. I can’t wait for The First Day of Camp, and I hope everyone discovers and loves American Summer as much as I do. The TV show looks like a worthy companion piece, but the movie certainly deserves the recognition.