Revisiting beloved films and series is always risky. Fortunately, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp succeeds, by remaining faithful to the film without excessively retreading old jokes.
On the surface, Difficult People might look like another showbiz insider sitcom full of shrill, self-absorbed jerks, but it succeeds thanks to whip-smart writing and a fast pace that flows as smoothly as the invective spewing from the characters’ mouths.
A couple weeks back, I talked about my quest to find a summer TV fling. As you’ll recall, I was discouraged. The Whispers was too dumb to be enjoyable. Wayward Pines, while sufficiently ridiculous, failed to do anything interesting with all its weirdness. And the less said about this season of True Detective the better. Then I found Mr. Robot, an unexpected delight from the USA network of all places.
When Seinfeld premiered in July of 1989, critics and audiences didn’t quite know what to make of it. Everything about it ran counter to what traditional sitcoms looked like up to that point. The characters were self-absorbed and petty. The tone was often cold and mean spirited. Episodes featured mundane stories with low-stakes conflict. It was also funny and smarter than just about anything on TV at the time.
After a second season that felt like a bit of a slog, Orange is the New Black has delivered a third that reaffirms everything I love about this series. It was funny, smart, poignant, and, at times, gut wrenching — often all within the same episode.