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NPR Arts & Life

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Wet Hot American Summer' And Impossible Missions

Amy Poehler and Bradley Cooper in <em>Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp</em>.
Amy Poehler and Bradley Cooper in <em>Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp</em>.

Linda Holmes is in L.A. for the Television Critics Association press tour, so she's appearing on this episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour as a panelist, calling in from NPR West. I'm in her host chair. A commercially disastrous 2001 movie has just gotten an eight-episode TV prequel on Netflix. Cats and dogs are, in fact, living together across this great country. Has the world gone topsy-turvy?

This week, Linda, Glen Weldon and I are joined by our pal Chris Klimek to discuss David Wain and Michael Showalter's Wet Hot American Summer — the new TV series (subtitled First Day Of Camp) and the cult film that spawned it. Given that the movie came out in 2001, given that it starred twentysomething actors playing teenagers at summer camp, given that its box-office grosses were in the low six-figures, and given that many of the movie's stars (Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, et al) have gone on to much bigger things, how on earth is such a reunion even possible? We tackle that topic and more.

Then it's on to the latest movie in which Tom Cruise appears shirtless and runs awkwardly while things explode, Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, which opened last week to excellent box office and ecstatic reviews. But what do we think? Because she's been eyeballs-deep in the world of television for what seems like months now, poor Linda couldn't pitch in to the discussion. But Glen, Chris and I have enough thoughts to go around on Tom Cruise's relatability, the Mission: Impossible movies' legacy, and whether a truly terrific action film can still be unmemorable.

Finally, as always, we close with What's Making Us Happy this week. Linda gives us an update on press tour — with an emphasis on a brush with a favorite from her youth — and her recent appearance at the Podcast Movement conference. Glen loves this Comedy Central series and a book he's recently started. Chris loves Lin-Manuel Miranda's new musical and plays a clip. And I rolled around gleefully in a wonderful (albeit questionably sanitary) symbol of my youth, available in Washington, D.C., until Sept. 7. Then, at long last, I close the show by soliciting show topics from you, our dear listeners. Here's the form for passing along your ideas — thanks in advance!

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: the show, Linda, me, Glen, Chris, producer Jessica, and pal and producer emeritus Mike.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.