Undeclared

My whole reason for signing up with Netflix was to rent Undeclared. Undeclared is a TV show that aired on Fox beginning in 2000 and lasting one mere season before being canceled. Much like other brilliant Fox comedies, we hardly knew ye.

Premise

Undeclared centers on Steven Karp, new freshman to the University of Northeastern California. Now in college, Steven is able to shed his geek nature and start a new life. His roommates are Lloyd, a dashing british exchange student going for a degree in theater, Ron, a business major played by Seth Rogen, and Marshall, a scruffy looking guy working on a music degree despite his parents pushing his into business.

The first night of college changes Steven's life as he meets Lizzie, a cute girl from across the hall with an overprotective boyfriend at home, played by Jason Segal. Her roommate is Rachael, whose having her own problems with adjusting to college.

Each episode attempts to center on a specific topic of adjusting to college life, much like Freaks and Geeks did for High School and home life.

Interest

Undeclared was created by Judd Apatow, which was the sole purpose for my initial interest in the show. He also co-created Freaks and Greeks which I've written about before (here and here). He's also been chiefly responsible for 40 year old virgin, Knocked Up and Superbad. All with the underlying theme of Freaks and Geeks.. Freaks being pot heads and burn outs, and Geeks being.. geeks. Because they follow this pattern, Judd Apatow's properties are full of movie references and drug humor which our generation can easily identify with.

Undeclared is no different than the rest but really shows Apatow's true calling in his craft. Don't get me wrong, I think Freaks and Geeks is probably his greatest show to date, but it's too heavy and too real. I feel so much emotion when watching that show, I'm not sure how more of it I can take.. Undeclared takes a step back from that and focuses more on the comedy. The comedy floats to the surface and lets the subtle drama aspects govern the plot, but not the scene.

The Office uses a similar formula. You come to the show for its comedy, but stay and continue to watch because of the characters and their relationships. The Office wouldn't work with any other actors playing these characters, and neither would Undeclared.

Squeezing the show into half an hour really forces the comedy to take center stage too. There's really no time to build a compelling drama high in such a short time and still make it funny.

Verdict

This show is pretty damn hilarious.. Each character and actor complements each other so well.. It makes the show incredibly believable and enjoyable. Definitely check it out ^_^




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