Wednesday, July 10, 2013


A wholesome family dramedy full of attractive young actors, Camp seems like it would probably be more at home on ABC Family than on NBC. It also makes me miss Huge, the sadly short-lived ABC Family dramedy about a weight-loss summer camp for teens. Like Camp, Huge featured plenty of familiar elements of summer camp movies, but it also showcased the kind of characters rarely seen on TV, and it did so with nuance, compassion and impressive acting. The summer camp on Camp is more standard-issue, although it is a "family camp," meaning that kids, teens and their parents all stay together in cabins and participate in outdoor activities, which is something I'm not familiar with.

Even so, the first two episodes feature a series of stock summer-camp elements, including the talent show, the capture-the-flag game, the snooty rival camp and the summertime-only romances. The cast is appealing, led by Rachel Griffiths as the somewhat neurotic camp owner/director, who's in the process of getting a divorce. The large ensemble means that the characters are a little one-dimensional at this point, with fairly simplistic conflicts, but there are hints of complexity that could develop into something over time. For the most part, Camp is pretty basic and predictable, but if you (like me) have a soft spot for heartfelt teen/family dramas, it could be worth watching, if only to spend time with some likeable, easygoing characters.

Premieres tonight at 10 p.m. on NBC.

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