Friday, January 18, 2013

Fun Friday: Camp Cucamonga

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Oh, camp movies! They seemed to be everywhere twenty years ago, from Heavyweights to Poison Ivy, and one of my personal favorites, Camp Nowhere. It might be the middle of winter, but NBC announced last week that it will debut a summer camp drama, Camp, later this year. Set at Little Hawk Family Camp, "parents decompress with gin while teenagers make gleeful mischief and fall in and out of love." Well, thanks to Netflix and their suggestions, I checked out Camp Cucamonga recently, and thought it was cute. Not great, but had I seen it when it originally aired on NBC in 1990, I might be singing a different tune now! I bring it up today because, not only was it a TV movie, but it cast mainly television stars as the characters. Read on:

John Ratzenberger, most known as Cliff on Cheers, played the kind-hearted owner of a camp that, while beloved, may only be a few violations away from shutting down. Jennifer Aniston, now known most for playing Rachel on Friends, was one of the two main camp counselors in this film, and the daughter of Ratzenberger's character. And, Sherman Hemsley, renown for his role of George on The Jeffersons, acted as the handyman, though he was mistaken for the inspector throughout most of the movie!

Quite a few of the kids were favorites from my childhood, including Candace Cameron (DJ on Full House), Jaleel White (Steve Urkel on Family Matters), and Josh Saviano and Danica McKellar (Paul and Winnie, respectively, on The Wonder Years). Sure, there were folks from shows I never watched, like Chad Allen (Zach on My Two Dads) and Brian Robbins (Eric on Head of the Class), but I'm sure some of you recognized those faces! There were also a couple of non-television people, like the never-did-much-else-besides-ten-episodes-of-South Central Tasha Scott and the silver screen wonder Breckin Meyer, too.
I'd love to give this proper credit, but I could only find it here:
What's the movie about? Well, there's plenty of young love, some cliques, a little bit of wilderness survival, and plenty of antics. There's a resident dork, an attitude chick, a skater, and a bad boy. The show drips with late-80s fashion and jargon, and once you see it you'll never forget the "cu-ca-mon-ga" chorus from the music video the kids create to try to save the camp. Much of the plot is predictable, but there are a couple of twists which will keep you laughing!

Have you seen Camp Cucamonga? Will you be adding it to your Netflix queue? Are you interested in NBC's upcoming Camp? Weigh in below!
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