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TV Review: Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later


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Although the characters of Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later may have been left wanting more of the action, we frankly could have done without this tired sequel. 

Since the franchise began in 2001, Wet Hot American Summer has proved notoriously popular with a particular audience for its unrealistic storylines and unapologetically goofy jokes.

Indeed, after gaining somewhat of a cult following, the series' latest instalment, Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later, was hotly anticipated to provide more of the same alternative comedy. And to be fair, the sequel does indeed provide an eight episode ride, crammed full of more absurd story lines and utterly ridiculous gags than ever before.

Fans of the franchise will be happy to see the return of the talking can of beans, previously known as Mitch, as well as the lovable yet ill-equipted camp cook Gene (Christopher Meloni).

However, not everyone is back for this second re-outing since the original, with a strange yet "subtle" actor change coming into play for the character of Ben. Adam Scott takes over from Bradley Cooper, with the change in likeness written off in true Wet Hot American Summer style as the wondrous effects of a nose job.

While the mini Parks and Recreation reunion between Scott and Amy Poehler is a quaint touch for some, the changed dynamic in a series that has been held up by it's insane ensemble of comedy stars is hard to get past.

Opening with a brief look back at the character's previous escapades at Camp Firewood, the first epsiode sets the tone well, seemingly offering the perfect balance of silly comedy and gripping storylines. However, despite its promising opening episode, the ensuing comedic frenzy which had been promised is increasingly difficult to find as the series goes on - save a few scenes which offer a glimpse into the franchise's previous hilarity.

Indeed, by the end of the series, it is increasingly hard to remember why Wet Hot American Summer was ever a hit. With half baked character development and a plot which leaves vast, inexcusable holes in the story line, the new series is simply too far from reality - even for a show which has always been proudly kooky. 

Special mention should be given to the final episode, which is by far the worst of the eight, for wrapping up the reunion with an entirely disappointing plot twist which essentially cancels out much of the action. 

Ultimately, while established fans may well stick with this out of loyalty for the franchise - enjoying a few sparse moments of brilliance - this sequel is simply a joke too far. 

Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later is avaliable to watch on Netflix.

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