Netflix continues to make all of our pop culture fantasies come true (see: Arrested Development), premiering a phenomenal trailer today for its Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp series on the heels of the odd VHS-tinted teaser it released two weeks ago.
That trailer offers an embarrassment of riches: Jon Hamm's paramilitary man doing battle with Christopher Meloni's ex-military chef; Kristen Wiig as a camp sexpot; Paul Rudd storming in on a Harley; Elizabeth Banks borrowing the camp nurse's diaphragm; Bradley Cooper and Michael Ian Black's gay couple making eyes at one another; the list goes on.
The show is a prequel to the 2001 cult classic movie, Wet Hot American Summer, which inspired (and probably disappointed) an entire generation of American sleepaway camp kids. Set on the last day of summer camp in 1981, randy counselors try their hardest to find romance (translation: get laid) before they have to return to their regular ol’ lives.
The director of the movie, David Wain (Role Models), is staying on as director of the show, based on a script he co-wrote with his co-writer on the film’s screenplay, Michael Showalter. Wain and Showalter, as well as a large segment of the cast and crew, were members of the ’90s sketch comedy troupe and MTV show The State.
When the film premiered, it received some pretty nasty reviews, notably from Roger Ebert, who composed his to the tune of Allan Sherman’s “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh”: “Don't make me stay, / Oh mudduh faddah— / In this idiotic motion picture.”
The film, which grossed less than $2 million at the box office, has a 32 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but it still managed to become a fan favorite, perhaps due to its amazing cast, many of whom went on to become wildly successful. Favorite moments include falling space junk, gurnals, Christopher Meloni’s insane camp chef and his talking can (voiced by Archer’s H. Jon Benjamin), and lots and lots and lots of Paul Rudd awkwardly making out.
Every single one of the stars from the original movie is back, including Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, Amy Poehler, Janeane Garofalo, Christopher Meloni, Michael Ian Black, and Paul Rudd. Of course, they are all 14 years older now and, seeing as the show is meant to be set earlier than the movie (on the first day of camp instead of the last), we can all get excited for an extra layer of absurdity on top of the already fairly absurd premise. They were all 10 years too old to be playing teen camp counselors in the original, and now they’re 24 years too old.
The show also features a crazy number of famous faces (including three Mad Men stars) who were not in the original cast, like John Slattery, Lake Bell, Richard Schiff, Josh Charles, Rich Sommer, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Michael Cera, Chris Pine, Jon Hamm, and Kristen Wiig.
In typical Netflix style, all eight episodes will be released at the same time on July 31. So cancel all your meetings, buy s’mores ingredients, and prepare yourself for an odd and delightful trip back to Camp Firewood.