Sunday, January 1, 2023

Adult Animated Comedy Web Series Episode Review: Camp Camp - Escape from Camp Campbell

Camp Camp is an adult animated comedy web series by Rooster Teeth that premiered online in 2016. Its comedy is rooted in the period that it was released, but it still holds up well today.

The series takes place in Camp Campbell, a summer camp that takes campers wanting to go to many types of camps, promising that they'll experience everything that a dedicated camp, but failing to live up to even the standards of a standard camp.  The premiere episode, "Escape from Camp Campbell", follows a jaded, sarcastic ten-year-old boy named Max, who wants nothing more than to escape from the camp.

Two new campers arrive in a bus driven by a grumpy old man with a hook called the Quartermaster. One of the camp's only two camp counselors, an annoyingly happy 20-something man named David, alongside Max, greets them as they arrive. 

The new campers are a rough-and-tumble nature-loving 10-year-old girl named Nikki, who was signed up by her mother for adventure camp, and an intelligent but shy 11-year-old boy named Neil, who signed herself up for science camp. Neil soon joins Max in hating the camp when he realizes that not only is the science equipment completely absent but is nervous that he has to socialize with other types of campers. Nikki also joins up with them as she sees herself as "an agent of chaos".

David opens the door of the mess hall, intending to introduce them to the camp's other counselor, a jaded 20-something woman named Gwen. However, they arrive in chaos, as the camp's bully, Nurf has duct taped another boy to the ceiling fan. That boy, however, is happy, as he is there for the space camp and is simply known as Space Kid. The other campers include an older girl named Erid who is there for extreme sports camp, a boy named Harrison who is there for the magic camp focused on illusions, a boy named Preston who is there for theater camp, a young boy who is a Hitler doppelganger named Dolph who is there for art camp, and a girl named Nerris who is there for the other magic camp that is focused on live-action role-playing, or LARPing, in a fantasy setting. All of these different camps are shoddily made and falling apart. Rounding out the madness is the founder of the camp, Cameron Campbell, a self-styled adventurer who is into shady business and is actively being chased by the United States government.

This episode is one of the best premieres I've seen in introducing characters as everything is established well. Rewatching this with knowledge of the episodes that come after it, not only do the characters remain consistent and the premiere remains uncontradicted unlike many other series, but the events of this episode are actually followed up later on. As a premiere episode, the intro with its catchy theme song isn't shown, but David does sing part of it in one part of the series. This gives a taste of the full thing that will be shown in the next episode. The three main characters are fun and well-defined, the side characters are charmingly eccentric, and the voice acting is fantastic. If you are a fan of adult animation, I highly recommend giving this one a watch.

Final verdict:
4½ out of 5

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