Friday, July 12, 2013


Were you aware that this was a Dance Academy reunion? I was surprised to see Tom Green (Sammy, now Kip), Dena Kaplan (Abigail, now Sarah), and Tim Pocock (Ethan, now Robbie) in this show, but I also hadn't realized that it was filmed in Australia. As a pilot, the episode does a decent job of introducing the characters and their relationships, but the momentum to go forward doesn't seem to be there. It's going to be a summer with counselor relationships, the camp owner constantly struggling to keep the place going, and lots of conflict with a nearby camp... nothing different. I think that perhaps this series could have used an episode without the campers... just the staff coming together and getting to know one another, but flashbacks aren't out of the question. However, it seems that some of the counselors (like Marina and Kip) don't arrive early, so who knows.

Also, as someone who spent two summers working at a residential camp and another two doing day camps, I find some of the things that take place suspicious. I'm sure this will be something I will nitpick as long as I watch this show, but the two issues I had with the pilot: you don't have a huge event like a circus on the second day of camp, and the amount of pricey equipment (those water trikes alone are like $3,000 apiece) is astonishing... I bet some consolidation could easily happen before Mackenzie would actually have to sell the camp.
John Tsiavis/NBC
Camp "Pilot" (S01E01): Mackenzie is running Little Otter Family Camp without her husband, Steve, this year, though her son, Buzz, will be a CIT for the first time. He's craving independence, which his mother is attempting to stifle by forcing him to live with her, rather than bunk with the other CITs. She does eventually chance her mind and give him some freedom, but not before a public scene where she pushes him into the lake. [I hate personal relationships in the workplace.] Steve wants Mack to buy him out, but she doesn't have the money, so he wants her to sell the place. At first she's very resistant, but then, after repeated things failing, she considers it, as there's a willing buyer, Roger, who runs the camp across the lake. She even offers it to him while being intimate, a new level to their love-hate relationship, but she changes her mind when she sees how hard her staff is willing to work to make a great experience for the campers. [I'll agree that the level of commitment from the staff really affects a camp's dynamic.] 

Buzz makes friends with Marina (whose parents seem materialistic) and Kip (a technophile whose leukemia is in remission), and they're soon seen as the outcasts amongst the camp staff. [I think there's more to Marina...] The "cool kids" seem to be a veteran and cliquey bunch, led by Sarah (a competitive swimmer who lost a scholarship due to driving under the influence) and Robbie (who is considering going to law school at Stanford to be with Sarah). When the talent show is in jeopardy because raccoons ruined the speaker system, some of the counselors just go steal the other camp's backup system, along with some lobster. [what a horrid solution to the problem!]
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