The original “Wet Hot American Summer” movie from 2001 stands apart from other comedies of its time thanks to its signature brand of absurdism. Now, in the age of President Donald Trump, life is often as crazy as any joke a comedy writer could come up with.
Thankfully, though, “Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later” ― the second season of the Netflix revival ― still pushes the limits of comedy, despite competing with the political climate of 2017.
In the latest eight-episode season ― which premieres Friday― Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush are both major characters. The setting is 1991, with Bush currently in office as president, and a main plot point is that both presidents are essentially terrorists attempting to nuke the seemingly random Camp Firewood ― the perpetually quaint setting for this series.
In a sort of two stooges routine, Reagan (played by Michael Showalter) bullies Bush (played by Michael Ian Black) throughout the series in various surprising and humiliating ways. At one point, Reagan defecates on someone’s scale model for a project, and then makes Bush do the same while fighting back tears.
As far as is currently known, the behavior of these on-screen presidents somehow trumps that of our current president. This is oddly comforting amid an era when every day seems to bring new, unbelievably scary news.
Most of the returning cast ― including Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks and Amy Poehler ― also came back for this second season. Adam Scott replaced Bradley Cooper’s character, which is explained away by a nose job.
If you obsessed over the originals, you’ll likely still find a lot to love with “Ten Years Later.”
Here’s the trailer: