Review: Camp Camp “Party Pooper”

 

Overview (Spoilers Below)

When a classic-looking Volkswagen pulls up to camp, the campers are introduced to a cool, old, traveling musician and his adorable dog, Missy. When it’s revealed that this is Gwen’s father, Lewis, everyone enthusiastically welcomes him (except for Gwen) and they encourage him to perform a music show onstage at night. Gwen is frustrated by her father’s easy-going attitude in the face of all the public performance paperwork she needs to do because of the spontaneous show. All the while, Lewis is commenting about how Gwen needs to take a break, ease up, and stop being a stuffy millennial. This — in combination with the fact that no one is helping Gwen with any of the work — infuriates Gwen throughout her father’s visit.

The kids fawn over him and his stories (Max is simply obsessed with Missy.) Gwen takes note of how his successful life on the road (as well as Missy’s famous YouTube channel) garners more happiness and success than she ever could, despite all the work she does. On the night of the show, Lewis tells Gwen she’ll never have time to pursue her passion if she keeps working endlessly, and she snaps under all the pressure to keep the show (and camp) afloat. She goes to the docks, and her dad follows. She talks about how the world’s changed, and he finally gives her credit as a millennial — telling her how proud he is of her.

(Missy performs in his place.)

Our Take

This was one of the best character-driven episodes in Camp Camp. Ever.

First of all — how often do we see a Gwen episode? Not nearly as much as David episodes. Before now, Gwen just seemed like a typical overworked and underpaid millennial — but this episode takes that chunk of her persona and finally adds some emotional depth to it. Apathy and exhaustion always appeared to be Gwen’s main modes of being, but this episode, we see something different. We see just how much of Camp Campbell’s continuous existence is in thanks to her, and how despite how she hates it, she does feel proud of herself — despite the fact that she also struggles with thinking of herself as a “loser.” That is a realistic character!

Lewis was also great to see — his character design and voice were both appealing and cool. While he was the “antagonist” of this episode, it shows how the disconnect between millennials and boomers can be mended. It almost felt like if Camp Camp was a series that played on TV, this would have been one of the “very special” episodes that people would remember. It wasn’t all jokes, and it wasn’t too serious. It was the perfect balance between humorous and meaningful.

Speaking of humor — this is definitely the happiest Max has appeared throughout the entire series. Every interaction he had with Missy was golden and laugh-worthy. It’ll be sad if this is the last we see of Lewis, but then again, his appearance was perfect just the way it was.

Makes us wonder if we’ll ever meet Gwen’s mom.

Kayla Gleeson

Kayla Gleeson is an entertainment writer and media player, with work involved in shows such as Anthony Bourdain's "Parts Unknown" and Chicken Soup for the Soul's "Hidden Heroes." In addition to her work on BubbleBlabber, she also has dozens upon dozens of published articles for RockYou Media. Aside from immersing her life in cartoons, she loves to write and read poetry, be outdoors, go to conventions, and indulge in Alan Resnick stylings of comedy.

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