By Ray Rahman
July 27, 2015 at 02:23 PM EDT
Saeed Adyani/Netflix

Box office aside, the original Wet Hot was like a comedy Avengers, with Janeane Garofalo, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, and Elizabeth Banks—and, importantly, much of MTV’s The State—assembling for a wildly surreal adventure in the woods. First Day, meanwhile, plays like a gleeful origin story. Kicking off at 7:45 a.m. on June 21, 1981, the eight-episode series takes place over the course of Camp Firewood’s opening day. Diehards, for instance, will get to see how the talking can of vegetables (H. Jon Benjamin) came to be. There’s also a new crop of respected names on board: John Slattery shines as a theater director, Josh Charles and Kristen Wiig pop their collars as snobs from the rich rival camp, and Jon Hamm, well, hams it up as an assassin. Ostensibly, there is a thread tying the series together—a mysterious toxic ooze has been found at the camp—but it’s all just an excuse for creators David Wain and Michael Showalter to craft more hilariously absurd, endlessly quotable moments (plus a ridiculous Reagan impression) that will more than satisfy fans of the movie. B+

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