Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Blogging A to Z: Undeclared

Undeclared is a gem of a show from 2001-2002 that was treated with the same sort of network respect as shows like Firefly: airing episodes out of order, switching nights, etc. (both shows aired on FOX). So most likely if you've seen Undeclared, it's been through its second life on DVD or on cable on IFC.

This is Judd Apatow's second show, following the similarly ill-fated Freaks and Geeks, and features a cast of actors you now see on TV and in movies.

That bottom row in particular: you can see Carla Gallo as Dr. Sweets' girlfriend on Bones (Dr. Sweets having come from Freaks and Geeks), Charlie Hunnam is on Sons of Anarchy, and Seth Rogen has been in Superbad, Knocked-Up, 50/50 and a bunch of other movies (he also had a role in Freaks and Geeks). The red-shirted guy, Jay Baruchel has shown up on a lot of shows, like Syfy's Being Human, the film The Sorcerer's Apprentice with Nicholas Cage, and he voiced a kid in How to Train Your Dragon.

Also, Jason Segal (How I Met Your Mother) plays a rejected boyfriend in half the episodes, whose cringeworthy behavior turns stalker-like.

So what IS Undeclared? It's about a kid named Steve's college experience and his adventures living in the dorm. To his detriment, this experience also includes his recently divorced father (pictured above) who lives in town and tags along. This show really nails the experience of dorm life and the strange new freedoms of living away from home for the first time. Or trying to get away and not quite being able to.

One of my favorite episodes is when Marshall (in the striped shirt) gets sick, and Rachel (yellow sleeves) wants to help him with homeopathic methods. She has good intentions but essentially does not know what she's doing, and meanwhile Marshall slips further from consciousness, while still trying to maintain his job in the cafeteria.

Why You Should Watch: If you've ever lived on a college campus, this will bring back memories.

Factoid: Lots of guest stars flow through this single season series: Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, Ted Nugent, Ben Stiller. Plus then-unknowns Amy Poehler, Jenna Fischer, Busy Phillips (who also appeared on Freaks and Geeks) show up in episodes.

8 comments:

  1. I've heard of the show but I've never watched it.

    What does the Fox network have against cool shows?

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  2. I have never heard of the show.

    I am stopping by for the A-Z challenge.

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  3. I've heard of this show but I don't remember watching it. I DO remember watching/liking "Freaks and Geeks" though. :)

    Happy A-Z!

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  4. I've never even heard of this show, but it sounds AHmazing. Putting it on my To Be Watched list... :)

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  5. That's another show I totally missed. But I'm usually a year behind catching on to the good ones anyway. Visiting from AtoZ.

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  6. I've never even heard of this show, but it sounds good.

    Sonia Lal @ Story Treasury

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  7. This show definitely flew under the radar, but thankfully it lives on in DVD!

    @Madeline - I LOVED Freaks and Geeks! That one should have lasted. :/

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