NBC's Camp: Will You Enroll for the Summer?

Camp Premiere Recap“This is not going to be some coming-of-age movie,” sighs Kip (Tom Green) to his dad at the start of NBC’s new summer dramedy Camp. It might, however, turn out to be a coming-of-age TV series, at least based on a pilot filled with every trope ever associated with the fictional summer-camp genre.

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The premise is at once simple and familiar: Emmy- and Oscar-nominated Rachel Griffiths stars as Mackenzie, owner of Little Otter Family Camp, who’s reeling from her recent separation (hubby ran off with a Russian aesthetician), struggling with delapidated infrastructure and financial problems at work and trying to look out for the emotional well-being of her extremely horny teenage son Buzz.

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Buzz, meanwile, works as a counselor in training at Little Otter and bonds with sensitive misfit Kip and beautiful outcast Marina. Other players include: star-crossed, college-age lovers Sarah and Robbie (and the sexy visiting author who threatens to come between them); Cole, a young camp employee who’s clearly smitten with Mackenzie; Roger, owner of the rival Ridgefield Camp who’s trying to buy out Mackenzie while also supplying her with regular hate-sex; an assorted mix of parents (it’s a family sleepaway, of course) to whom Mack can spill her secrets; and kids who can provide occasional comic relief.

The surprises, alas, are few and far between: Sarah lost her swimming scholarship due to a pot- and booze-fueled car accident; Marina has come to camp in the wake of a topless photo scandal; and Kip, in remission from leukemia, decides to stick it out despite his intense dislike of the outdoors and star-strewn skies.

Before the hour is over, Kip throws a punch at a rich frat boy (then gets the tar kicked out of him); the core Little Otter kids steal some sound equipment from Ridgefield (so they’ll be able to stage their talent show); Buzz gets permission to share a bunk with Kip (getting him out from under his mother’s watchful eye); and Mack decides against accepting Roger’s offer to sell and takes out a second mortgage on her home to cover the camp’s expenses.

Of course she does! How else will more hijinks ensue next week?

What did you think of Camp? Grade the premiere in the poll below, then hit the comments with your thoughts!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Dick Whitman says:

    It actually made me laugh. I’ll definitely keep watching.

  2. dude says:

    I liked it a lot more than I should have but I still didn’t feel any need to come back next week. There’s not a character that I feel strongly enough to return to.

  3. I really liked it. I was afraid it was going to be heavy, but it stayed away from too much drama and had a lot of really likeable moments and characters. Looking forward to what’s next.

  4. Tamara says:

    So-so show, but it’s got some of my favorites from Dance Academy! Love to the dancing Aussies!

  5. Leah says:

    I really liked it. Especially as a summer show. I’ll be back.

  6. Jared says:

    I haven’t watched it yet but will definitely check it out because I love Thom Green.

  7. Kathy Kadaja says:

    I liked the pilot episode & the premise for the season – good timing.
    * With hope that Mack (Rachel Griffith) will be a regular, it seems rather odd that she is not listed as full cast member & imdb only has her listed for 1 episode!
    Can’t help but wonder if she was brought onto the show just to get people interested enough to get hooked.

    (It was sad to see “Brothers & Sisters” go off the air:( but…

    I intend to keep my PVR set to regularly record this promising new show & see where it takes us.

    • HAP says:

      Exactly the point I made in a post on a different article yesterday. Inasmuch as the entire cast is Aussie and virtually unknown to US audiences, it would not surprise if NBC used Griffith, the only one with US name recognition, just to hype the show’s kickoff

  8. J Kiefer says:

    It sucked big time!

  9. Danielle's frenemy. says:

    A lot of Aussies!!!

  10. Jay says:

    It’s no beaver creek.

  11. Evan says:

    Meatballs 2013. In a good way.

  12. DavidSask says:

    This show should never have made network and belongs on ABC Family. Rachel obviously took job so she could be in homeland!

  13. Courtney says:

    I laughed a few times, the look on Buzz’s face when Kip punches the Frat boy was classic. I will definitely keep this on Wednesday night line up……

  14. Bob says:

    Meh. It’ll be a good summertime filler.

  15. Reds says:

    I am not sure how I felt about it. The entire cast is Australian. I understand that it was filmed in Australia during our winter, but it is noticeable if you pay enough attention.especially when the Aussie accent leaks out in the younger actors,like when they say a word that we would pronounce with a long “A” like hay instead of a shorter “A” like hat)
    Ok, so you get past that and then you see the badly edited, pulled punch scene when “Kip” hit the “frat boy.” His punch went all the way past the guy making it look like he hit his shoulder before the “frat boy” followed.
    There was one joke that rubbed me the wrong way because of the way it was said, but oh well.
    It could be a funny, campy (sorry for the pun) show but the pilot tried to hard to be too many things.
    Overall, ABC Family’s HUGE was a much better “Camp” inspired show of late.

  16. bobbie says:

    I liked it. I’ve always had a fondness for Summer Camp movies, people living in close quarters for a few weeks who are not normally together.

  17. Midori says:

    It’s a great idea for a show. Every season you watch a few of the kids age, but if the actors don’t want to come back you just don’t have them and say they didn’t go to camp this year. Works out well for a TV show.

  18. I really enjoyed it, I never went to summer camp but pictured it like this. I hope it gets a full pick up and think it is a great summer show.

  19. Nice Website. You should think a little more about RSS Feeds as being a traffic source. They bring us a nice bit of traffic

  20. Kate says:

    Loved this show so much and especially kip is extremely hot. It’s funny and awesome <3 l

  21. Alex says:

    I knew there was something just…off…about it. The whole thing is Australian! I have nothing against Australia, but summer camp is so totally American and you can tell somehow that the place and the people are not American. I wondered throughout all three episodes so far where the heck the kids are! Are they paying a staff to do nothing? Don’t any of the staff live with the campers? I’ve worked at several summer camps myself and this is not what they’re like. The rules at American camps are religiously enforced (FYI to viewers who haven’t had the experience) I’ve never heard of “family camp” and when I googled the term, it seems to be a religious thing. That was another thing: the tone and feel of the show seem to be like some ABCFamily Christian thing (aside from the surprisingly frank drug and sex references). In the third episode when they put on the 90s gangsta rap song “OPP” and had people over 50 eagerly dancing…well…that was another thing that had me realizing this was kehoe not made in America. However, the glimpse of Marina in the red string bikini in ep 3 will keep me coming back for more. I have a weakness for hourglass figures…even on Aussies.

  22. Molotov Cocktail says:

    The premier was awesome, I needed a show like this. It brighten up my dull summer very much. Although I was never provided the privilege of going to a summer camp, I have always dreamed of going into one, Just the idea of starting new and meeting interesting people always got me excited. Sadly I never got the opportunity and me being 19 years old, going into 20 soon is too late for me. hopefully though my kids can enjoy a summer camp. I liked all the different plots that were introduced and the girls were certainly beautiful and the scenery was magnificent. Overall it was simple, simple yet amazing at the same time. 10/10 for me, best slice of life show this summer, it had a good run. NBC well done :)

    • Kathy Kadaja says:

      Hey – maybe you can still enjoy camp experience as a counsellor, waitstaff, or something else – lots of different jobs.

      I never had the chance either, but I enjoyed working as dining room waitress (filling in when needed, a few shifts of light housekeeping & babysitting) at a Muskoka resort, in my late 20s – SO glad I did.

      Some execs (VPs) I’ve met since, worked summer jobs as resort waiters, saying it was a valued, multi-tasking educational experience.

      Further along in my years now, I might still go for it again in the years ahead, if/when timing & opportunity comes along.

      In the meantime, I hope we can all continue to enjoy the CAMP show for a long run, on the air!!!

  23. Dave B says:

    My wife and I just finished watching the Camp season on DVR. Found it to be a very refreshing and fun show. Sorry it was cancelled. Would loved to have watched it next year.

  24. Kathy Kadaja says:

    Saddened by the end of this one, bcz I enjoyed many aspects of the plotlines & generally good-natured characters, maybe the show creators will tweak/spin it into another new show for next summer season.

    Still lots of other good stuff of tv, besides the many ridiculously unreal reality shows following people that nobody in their right mind would ever aspire to live like.

    I like Celebrity Apprentice, even though some get a bit too wacky (sleep-deprivation?) bcz it deals w actual challenges, like marketing & presentation, that people may face in the business world.
    I say “Well done”, Donald Trump!
    As one who believes in maintaining highest of standards (& is looking for a job) I would love to work for one of your companies.
    Oops – getting off tv topic.
    Happy tv viewing!