Starring: Elizabeth Banks, Paul Rudd, Marguerite Moreau, Janeane Garofalo, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, Zak Orth, Lake Bell, Chris Meloni, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Michaela Watkins, AD Miles, Molly Shannon, Josh Charles, Chris Pine, Jon Hamm, Randall Park, H. Jon Benjamin, Nina Hellman, David Bloom, Thomas Barbusca, Judah Friedlander, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Cera, Kristin Wiig, Jordan Peele, Bruce Greenwood
Created By: Michael Showalter and David Wain
Hilarious. I’m so glad I watched this. Just, really off the wall stuff, but absolutely batshit bonkers awesome. If this is actually remembered a year from now for Emmy consideration, I immediately suggest Paul Rudd for an Emmy for this. His comic timing… unmatched. Also, Chris Meloni is fantastic here, as his character is given more backstory than the movie allowed and more screentime. In much smaller roles, Chris Pine is hilarious in the few episodes he’s in, and Jon Hamm also steals a few scenes. Being noticed in what is arguably the funniest ensemble cast of the year is tough, but somehow the eight episodes of First Day of Camp give all the characters their due.
I’ll openly admit that I know this style of comedy isn’t for everyone. I know that some people won’t find this brand of crazy funny. But what I loved wasn’t just the funny, but also the characters. I ended up giving a damn about everyone, and liking all the characters, which is a lot more than I can say for Hulu’s new comedy Difficult People. Over the course of a few episodes, you really begin to care what happens to these characters and these relationships, and the camp itself. That’s a rare quality, especially for a show with such a huge ensemble cast.
I’m really looking forward to another season of this. I think it was handled really well, considering how little time some of the cast spent on set (Bradley Cooper shot all his scenes in one day, yet is in every episode). I am continuously surprised by Netflix, and the decisions it makes with its original programming. Pleasantly surprised. If you don’t mind watching a bunch of 30-40 year olds acting like 16 year olds for a few hours, then I definitely recommend this to you.
FINAL GRADE: A