I loved Undeclared when it aried on Fox in 2001. I had graduated from college just a few years before, and it was cool revisiting those feelings from the first time you set out on your own. Unfortunately, Undeclared suffered the same fate as Judd Apatow's other brilliant series, Freaks and Geeks and was cancelled due to low ratings. Things like this really make me fear how stupid the television watching public is. These people surround me. These people vote for stupid people. And they win. We can have three seasons of The Simple Life, but fantastic shows with really sharp dialogue and three dimensional characters get axed.
Undeclared follows freshman Steve on his first year at college in a co-ed dorm. He's got the wacky roommates, the cute girls across the hall, his share of psychos for neighbors, and almost every room has an action figure in it. I love how the Spinal Tap action figures watch on as he loses his virginity.
We just got the screener copy, the first disc, of the box set due out August 16th. My wife had never watched the show, but we poured through five of the episodes last night. The humor is still relevant, the dialogue is still funny, and the girls are still cute. I love Lizzie. Funny though, now looking at IMDb, she's older than me by two years, but was playing a college freshman two years after I graduated. She will appear in this friday's 40 Year Old Virgin staring Steve Carrel. (Read the review)
The humor is the best aspect of the show. It's fresh and relevantI keep saying thatbut I really mean it. Too much television today, even the scripted variety that we long for, seems to rehash bad jokes and awful puns. The ones I like the most are the sexually deviant, but even after awhile, those get old. (I never thought I'd find myself saying that). I love how each of the characters' flaws build the humorous situation, so it's congruent with what you'll accept, but not predictable. When they're the butt of the joke, it's not just "Phoebe's dumb, so that's funny" like it was on Friends. I also love watching the characters watch the other characters. [Ed note: Wha?!] They're aware that everyone is out of place, and trying hard to change and fit in. It's like a nest full of eggs, and each bird watching it's siblings hatch as they emerge. Kind of, but with more boob jokes. I, uh...
From the episodes I watched last night, one of my favorites is the pilot where Steve first tries to leave his nerd self behind and become the big man on campus. Not that I can relate fully, I wasn't that big of a nerd. HAHA... ha... oh man. I also loved the episode where the "losers" whose roommates are having sex are stuck sleeping in the rec room, staying up late, bonding, and eventually hooking up. I also like the episode with the impressions guy. We all know a guy that can't stop doing Dr. Evil impressions. They nailed this guy dead on.
When Lizzie and her long-distance boyfriend Eric are having a fight over the phone, I love when Eric gets really pissed and yells, really whiny "Oh I'm sooooo stupid, I guess I'm too stupid, to stop from hanging up the phone *click*." Hilarious.
One of my favorite episodes from the whole season, and on a later disc, revolves around the fraternity hi-jinks. The ways they get back at each other, and the escalating pranks they pull, are classic.
Extras The box set is chocked full of extras. There's audio commentary and deleted scenes for most of the episodes. I also loved how the menu screens for each and every episode had a specifically branded set up, and quotes from that episode playing in the background. Very nice, and I'm anxious to get the full set so I can check out all of the extras.