Wet Hot American Summer is one of our more unlikely comedy institutions. The 2001 film from The State comedy team of Michael Showalter, David Wain, and Michael Ian Black–with supporting appearances by everybody from Janeane Garafolo, Amy Poehler, and Paul Rudd to a wet-behind-the-ears early Bradley Cooper and Elizabeth Banks–was panned upon its release (witness the 31% Rotten Tomatoes rating it still bears like a war-wound) and flopped at the box office. But the film may well have just been ahead of its time in its send-up of 80’s sex comedy tropes, as the fifteen years that followed its release have turned it into such a beloved cult sensation that Netflix’s eight-episode TV follow-up–Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp–is awaited in some corners like it’s Star Wars: Episode VII.
It would take a special TV show to score Bradley Cooper (fresh off of American Sniper), Paul Rudd (as he’s busy playing Ant-Man), and Elizabeth Banks (coming off of her directorial debut with Pitch Perfect 2) all as primary cast members, but not only are they–along with all of the key players from the original film–back in costume as way, way, way-too-old teenagers for the follow-up, but there’s a veritable army of big-name additions to the cast, as well: Jon Hamm, Chris Pine, Jason Schwartzmann, Kristen Wiig, Jordan Peele, and Michael Cera all appear in the first trailer for the series. Little of the plot gets revealed in the preview of the series, but with eight episodes to play with, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp has jokes to spare, and the sense of humor at work here is as weird and gross and sharp and hilarious as one would expect. Big Netflix revivals of beloved series have been known to fall short in the past (Arrested Development season four, we hardly remember ye), but hopes are high for the Wet, Hot revival–which drops in full on Netflix on July 31st–and there’s nothing in the trailer to diminish them.