The first day of camp is about to be in session. Netflix is unveiling its highly anticipated prequel to the 2001 cult classic Wet Hot American Summer this month. The eight-episode miniseries, which will bring all the original characters back to Camp Firewood, is already getting a positive response from critics and it’s not hard to see why. Check out five reasons why you’ll love Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp just as much as the original:
1. The whole gang is back
The original film featured a huge ensemble cast packed with now A-list names. Somehow, Netflix got them all to agree to return – which means you get to see Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, Elizabeth Banks, Molly Shannon, Michael Ian Black, Janeane Garofalo, Ken Marino, Zak Orth, David Hyde Pierce, Joe Lo Truglio, and others all reprise the roles they originated over a decade ago.
2. There are new hilarious characters
In addition to the original star-studded cast, there will be several new big names joining the show. Jon Hamm, Chris Pine, Jason Schwartzman, Kristen Wiig, John Slattery, Lake Bell and Josh Charles are among the new kids at Camp Firewood. The cameos come often and unexpectedly, so you’re guaranteed to be surprised, even with the ones you knew were coming.
3. It fills in the blanks
While the original movie was set during the last day of Camp Firewood’s season, the series is set entirely on the first day of camp. That means viewers finally get to learn some backstories you didn’t even learn you – like how exactly Gene (Chris Meloni), the sweater-fondling Vietnam veteran and camp chef became friends with a responsive Can of Vegetables (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin).
4. It’s even more raunchy and absurd than before
The original Wet Hot American Summer was filled with puerile and nonsensical humor. Writer and director David Wain and co-writer Michael Showalter have only amped up the ludicrousness this time around. The prequel is doubly insane. But what makes it even funnier? Now everyone is on the joke– including the actors, who are clearly getting a huge kick out of acting more adolescent than ever, despite being 14 years older.
5. Critics are loving it
Wet Hot American Summer was critically derided at the time of its debut, but has since become a classic. Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp is getting a positive reception right off the bat. Case in point? The Verge writes “WHAS:FDoC succeeds because it doubles up on the nothing-is-sacred promise of the film, and proceeds to absorb every beat, cliché, or overused trope ever put to film.” Meanwhile, Deadline proclaims that “the raunchy Netflix prequel kicks ass.”
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp hits Netflix on July 31.