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'Wet Hot American Summer' fan recap: I love you from my head tomatoes

Season 1 | Episode 2 | “Lunch” | Aired July 31, 2015

Cold open: New York City! This is the first time anything in the Wet Hot American Summer universe has ever taken place outside of Camp Firewood. It’s the trendy offices of Rock ‘n’ Roll World magazine, where the reporters are hot, trendy, and cynical. Lindsay (Elizabeth Banks) has a pitch. “There’s this summer camp in Maine,” she pitches. She convinces her boss (hello, Jordan Peele!) that she can get a real scoop on what the youth are thinking. “How can you pass for 16?” he asks. She dramatically clips back her hair. “Well, I’ll be damned,” her boss says.

Lindsay is off to Maine to write 5,000 words about summer camp. Of COURSE she’s an undercover reporter. My heart fills with more joy for the existence of David Wain and Michael Showalter (the creators).

If there was any criticism for the original film, it’s that sometimes the pacing is a bit weird. These 29 minutes flew by in an instant, and I’m already scared of finishing the series.Wet Hot American Summer

More characters are introduced, including Yara, the hot new counselor from Israel (played by David Wain in a glorious curly wig), who is a rival to Coop for Donna’s love. And one of the origin stories I have been most excited about: a tween camper gets her first period and turns into … Abby Bernstein! Gum-chewing and all. The surprise here is that Abby is an actual camper and not a counselor, which makes her sexual escapades even more inappropriate. Gene (Christopher Meloni) is introduced as a straightlaced guy engaged to be married to Gail (Molly Shannon).

Wet Hot American Summer

But with so much going on already, I want to take a moment to honor Michaela Watkins, the former SNL cast member who was let go after one season, and one of the funniest performers I’ve ever seen. She has shown up in numerous great television roles (Enlightened, Transparent) but never really had her own starring role, which is a damn tragedy. Here she plays Rhonda, Claude Dumet’s sassy New York choreographer. She doesn’t want anyone to waste her time with talentless hacks, but you’d better learn the combo quickly; she’s only going to say it once. “Your grapevine needs to travel!”

Wet Hot American Summer

The most Wet Hot American Summer-y thing to happen (it even feels like something you’d see on The State) is that in order to save poor Kevin Appleblatt from being embarrassed that she soiled his shorts, Coop quickly dresses as a woman, Mrs. Doubtfire-style, and pretends to be Patti Pancakes, an old woman who defecates in children’s shorts and leaves them around the woods as a sort of treasure hunt. Later, while confronting Donna with Yaron, he waves the shorts in her face. This is possibly the only time I’ve ever laughed out loud at a poop joke.

Some choice quotes:

Susie: Couples don’t fight!
Ben: Yes they do. My parents fought all the time until my father killed himself.

Lindsay: I had no idea how I was going to convince a bunch of teens that I was just like them and not a 24-year-old with a lifetime of career sexual experience.

Susie: Let’s have passionate, angry make-up sex.
Ben: We haven’t even had regular sex yet.

Rhonda: Sorry I’m late. A guy jumped in front of the F train.

Oh yeah: Mitch made a shady deal with a company to let them dump toxic sludge in the woods of the camp.

Wet Hot American Summer

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp is currently on Netflix.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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