Friday, July 12, 2013

NBC's "Camp": seriousness and lighthearted comedy; is it another "Summerland"?

Summer brings new series to broadcast and cable television, some of them inventive, but others rather desperate.

“Camp”,  a new comedy (and mockumentary) series by Liz Heldens and Peter Elkoff, premiered on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, with a pilot.  NBC has reportedly ordered ten of the expected thirteen episodes.
Apparently filmed in Australia, it takes place at the Little Otter Family Camp (or is it “Little Hawk Family Camp”). 

It starts with a nerd kid Kip Wampler (Thom Green) resenting the idea of giving up Internet and computer toys for the woods and great outdoors.  But half-way through we will learn that he had leukemia, a grave aside in an otherwise lighthearted show (that doesn’t match the style of “Modern Family”).   He resents the way he has to be so careful about getting infected with anything.

Rachel Griffiths plays Mackenzie Granger, the owner of the “family” camp, and recently divorced. Her son, Buzz (Charles Grounds) is a camp counselor "in training".
Later, there is a discussion about homophobia and anti-gay slurs, that is somewhat constructive.   The show is somewhat explicit as to language, as some of the boys do want a new kind of “adventure”. 

NBC’s site is here

The show reportedly did fairly well in ratings.  Will it develop a hook, or is it too scatterbrained.  A good comparison could be made to Spelling’s “Summerland” on the WB about eight years ago, where Zack Efron was introduced.  It seems today that the series today have trouble establishing the hook of similar series a decade ago.

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