Pop Culture

Netflix Rec: What I Watched in August


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Wet Hot American Summer

I’d heard about this weird movie that starred a lot of current comedian gods and goddesses, but never really had the motivation to watch it.  When I heard about Netflix’s sequel (prequel), I figured I’d give it a shot.  You should too!  Wet Hot American Summer is absurd humor at its finest.  And it is so enjoyable to see Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper and many more familiar faces having the time of their lives.

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Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp

This 8-episode “prequel” is even weirder than the movie that inspired it!  I adored every single self-aware reference to the fact that men and women in their 40s were playing teenagers.  The jokes get stretched further, the characters are more hilarious than ever, and the famous faces grow in number.  I’m guessing a lot of actors were fans of the movie and begged to be in the show; especially noteworthy are Chris Pine, Jon Hamm, and Kristen Wiig.  I’m not in the cult deep enough to know if this is a popular opinion or not, but I think I liked First Day of Camp even better than Wet Hot American Summer.  

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Hurricane of Fun: The Making of Wet Hot American Summer

But wait!  There’s more!  That’s right, I got so obsessed with Camp Firewood that I watched the documentary of Wet Hot American Summer.  I mean, it wasn’t a chore.  It’s just more Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, and Christopher Meloni.  It was fun to be transported back to 2001, especially at all the clips of cast members playing Snaps.  I remember being infuriated by that game, and although I think I once knew how to play, I don’t anymore, so I empathized with their struggle.  If you like any of the actors or actresses in Wet Hot American Summer, you’ll probably like the documentary.  The genius of these comedians is that they’re funny on their own, with or without a script.

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Aziz Ansari:  Live at Madison Square Garden

Aziz Ansari manages to be incredibly funny and edgy without being sexist!  I would like to shower him with a million awards for not only not making me feel gross, but for actively making me, as a woman, feel acknowledged and respected.  He’s incredibly perceptive, and he offers some embarrassingly accurate insights into our growing obsession with technology.  Very funny.

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The Switch

This is a generically cute rom-com that would be forgettable were it not for 1) its innovative acknowledgement of in vitro fertilization and sperm donors and 2) Jeff Goldblum.  I have a total 80s Mom Crush on him, and in this movie he eats chocolate while walking on a treadmill.  Be still my heart.  Worth watching just for that.

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Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

I’d wanted to see this in theaters, but then I didn’t.  And I forgot to get it in Redbox.  So when it appeared on Netflix, I was thrilled to have a chance to see this indie dramedy.  Steve Carrell is great, Kiera Knightley is great, and several very funny actors make cameo appearances.  I enjoyed the various depictions of people’s reactions to the end of the world, and I was surprised by how heartfelt this weird movie turned out to be.  I even got a little teary by the end.  Wonderful movie.

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