Grading every couple on NBC’s endearing new “Camp”

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With its fifth and current episode “Heat Wave,”  the new show Camp on NBC, officially endeared itself to me. After enjoying its premiere episode, its next few episodes had been hit (“Capture the Flag” took me back to those joyously raucous Color War battles we used to have when I was at camp) or miss (“The Mixer”) for me. “Heat Wave” was riveting, raunchy fun, setting up a few more love triangles and potentially zesty scenarios for the near future.

Filmed in Australia and filled with Aussie actors doing their best American accents, this show is about a camp called Little Otter Family Camp and the staff and campgoers that reside there in the summers.

At the show’s core is Rachel Griffiths’s Mac, the camp’s director who inherits the camp from her deceased Dad and is suffering through a divorce with her ex-husband. Little Otter is seemingly always on the verge of economic collapse as it competes with the country club-type camp nearby called Ridgefield, helmed by the evil sometime love interest of Mac’s, Roger. Spicy, no?

Of course, most of our time is spent with the campers and staffers at Little Otter. One camper is Buzz, Mac’s son and my favorite character on the show. He’s like a Seth Cohen but without scruples. Then there’s Kip’s buddy Kip (Tom Green, but not the one you’re thinking of), an outcast and a new camper, who is hiding a history of fighting cancer. Kip secretly loves Marina, another outcast and new camper. Next we have Sarah (Dena Kaplan) and Robbie (Tim Pocock), two impossibly good looking staffers who split their time between keeping the young campers in line and making out. Then there’s Cole (Nikolai Nikolaeff), a burnt-out former baseball star who now works as chief staffer/handyman at the camp. There are more, but we’d be here a while.

This show has so many couples, should-be couples, and almost couples. If you’d please, I’d like to pass judgement on all of them with the following list…

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Mac and Cole — A…The show has been implicitly suggesting this couple to be a possibility from the very first episode or so. On this last episode, Cole finally worked up the nerve to kiss Mac, and she didn’t pull away. She did say “so many reasons why we shouldn’t” after or something like that. But this is going to happen people.

divorce

Mac and her ex – C. Sorry Buzz!

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Rodger and Mac – B…but I think these two have chemistry and middle-aged sex appeal to spare. Plus, their sexual relationship makes the whole camp versus camp scenario much more interesting.

Kip and Chloe – B+. Okay so Chloe (think Marissa from the OC, but with shorter hair, crazy eyes, and an interest in disturbing beat poetry) seems to exist solely to provide a diversion for Kip until he and Marina get together, but at least it’s an entertaining one. Chloe is a cartoon character, which is to say, her character has no grounding in real life. But I’ll overlook that fact because she’s blessed with good lines (she’s turned on by Kip’s near death cancer experience) and the actress who plays her has superb comic timing. The beat poetry performance she put on for Kip after she ambushed him in the shower was demented and her delivery was every bit uncomfortable as it was funny:

Six…rounds in the Chamber

Five… fingers on each hand

Four…chambers of the heart

Three… members of a family (creepy cutesy smile now)

Two…parents to forget

One…child in the basement

Zero…out of time (whispered into Kip’s ear).

We’re rooting for this couple if only to hear more poetry like this.

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Grace and Buzz – B…This has been brewing from the beginning as well. Last night during Truth or Dare during Buzz’s birthday party, Buzz was nearly dared to kiss Grace by Kip, but it didn’t happen, and she would later kiss Robbie, who she’s now clearly crushing on.

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Robbie and Sarah – B+…I like them, but these two are so splitsville. The hunky Spaniard Miguel has already seen to this.

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Miguel and Sarah – C+…Miguel is sort of a douche and arrogant but his saving grace is that he’s also self-aware, another strong move by the show’s writers in my book.

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Marina and Kip –  B…I know it’s inevitable but I like Chloe and Kip because they play zany and great off each other. I’m rooting for at least two more weeks with them.

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Marina and Greg – F… My affection for Chloe and Kip doesn’t mean I don’t want to see Marina land someone. Greg is gross, though.

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Todd and Raffi – A…As Grace’s dads, these two are great. They are helicopter parents, suffocating poor Grace but in a hilarious way, so it’s okay.

Let me know if I missed any!

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