Yesterday it was announced that comedy classic Wet Hot American Summer is going to return as a limited series for Netflix. With most of the original cast members reprising their roles, too. I’m here to tell you this is a good thing. The original film, which followed the summertime antics of an irreverent group of lusty camp counsellors, has become a bit of a cult classic since its original release, and if you haven’t seen it yet maybe now’s the time.
Though I arrived somewhat late to the Wet Hot American Summer party—I first saw the 2001 film at some point in 2007—I got nearly as big a buzz from this news as when I found out Twin Peaks was returning as a limited series for Showtime (premiering in 2016). In the case of the latter, I had heard the news mere days after having finished watching the entire early-90’s series on Netflix, after years and years of putting it off. The timing was crazy.
A similarly weird coincidence occurred with respect to the news of a new Wet Hot American Summer series/sequel. Just last week at a New Years Eve gathering, having gotten myself into a conversation with relative strangers regarding the subject of cult classic comedy films, I drunkenly extolled the virtues of Wet Hot American Summer. I really went for it. None of my audience had even heard of the film, and so I knew I had to make an extra big deal out of it or else they’d never remember to watch it.
Then, a few days later, I find that Netflix has elected to revive yet another cult property, bringing back to life the original WHAS film’s characters in the form of an 8-episode limited series. My first thought upon hearing this rather awesome news was: Damn, I hope those New Years Eve dinner party guest hear of this; then they’ll know I was for real!
I’m not going to go into a full review of the original Wet Hot American Summer here, but let me just give you the same shpeal I gave the people on New Years.
The following is as accurate a recreation of that event as can be expected ten days after the fact:
“Dudes! If you haven’t seen it, SEE IT! It’s not what you think. I know it kind of sounds like a no-brain (BUURRPP!) sex comedy staring Ryan Reynolds or something, but it’s not. It’s freaking got Jeanine Garafolo in one of her earliest film roles. Got young Paul Rudd in an awesome role, Michael Ian Black, Amy Poehler, freakin’ Bradley Cooper, Michael Showalter, Christopher Meloni! But it’s not just that they’re in it, either. It’s like a super bizarre no-holds-barred comedy of randomness. It sometimes delves into the metaphysical. It breaks the rules, man!
You know how when you’re watching a movie? (BUURRRPP!) And then you think of something funny that you wish the filmmakers had had the balls to do? Like randomly give one of the character super powers for just one scene? (AWKWARD LAUGH) Or maybe make one of the characters casually walk off screen only to take part in a completely unprovoked, random-as-hell homoerotic sex scene? (NERVOUSLY SHUFFLES FEET) Or have characters forget their lines and make up new ones on the spot, yet leave this in the movie?
Well dudes, director David Wain (BUURRPP!) has the balls to do exactly those things, and much, much more. Watch the freaking movie, dudes! Even if you think it sounds terrible—like I did, at first—just watch it brah!”
Well, that’s approximately what I said. Maybe without so much burping, but yeah. Anyway, who’s to say if this Netflix sequel will live up to the original in any way, but, as with Twin Peaks, I’ll take it where I can get it. I feel like it’s one of those cases where more is better than nothing.
Not like you can say the same for the Terminator sequels.
Read more about this Wet Hot American Summer sequel series here!
Or, speaking of Netflix, I hear they’ve changed their logo yet AGAIN! Read my report on the newest Netflix logo change.