Say this for David Wain and Michael Showalter. The former cast members of The State are not into this linear storytelling thing. At least not with their coveted Wet Hot American Summer franchise.
Franchise? With a movie and two eight-episode series on Netflix, doesn’t that label fit? It’s not six seasons and movie, but Wet Hot American Summer is certainly a reliable comedy brand name — especially for its many fans. If you’re not familiar with it, the 2001 movie followed a group of summer camp counselors on the last day of camp in 1981. The film may have gained even more cult popularity as some of the actors in the cast — like Elizabeth Banks, Bradley Cooper and Paul Rudd — went on to become stars.
This time, Wain and Showalter are giving us the sequel that most probably expected when news broke that the whole gang from Camp Firewood was getting back together. The first WHAS series was a prequel, taking the story back to the first day of camp, rather than picking things from the last day. But the new series jumps 10 years into the future to show where we see what happened to Lindsay (Banks), Andy (Rudd), Katie (Marguerite Moreau), Susie (Amy Poehler) Victor (Ken Marino) and the other camp counselors.
Check out the trailer for Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later.
Michael Ian Black looks like an awful George H.W. Bush there. But maybe his performance can outshine the bad make-up. Or that’s part of the gag.
If there’s a bitter note to this Camp Firewood reunion, it’s that the guy who made everyone promise that in 10 years, they’ll all meet and see what kind of people they turned into, won’t be around to see his old friends. Unfortunately, Bradley Cooper won’t be a part of this latest series due to scheduling conflicts. But the production made up for it by adding Chris Pine (who really should do more comedy) and Adam Scott. Oh, and Jai Courtney. He was kind of funny in Suicide Squad.
Personally, I’m always happy to see Gene (Christopher Meloni) who has apparently become Wolverine. Although this series takes place in 1991, nearly 10 years before Hugh Jackman made the furry, six-clawed mutant a pop culture sensation in the first X-Men movie, Wolverine was still plenty popular in the X-Men comic books. Those comics were at the height of their popularity back then. There’s probably no connection here, however, other than the visual gag.
Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later begins streaming on Netflix Aug. 4.