I actually wouldn’t call this a totally new discovery. I first discovered Undeclared while I was first discovering Freaks and Geeks. It’s the second TV series by Judd Apatow (once Freaks was cancelled) and I wasn’y hugely impressed by it. Maybe it was because I was expecting a more dramatic hour-long show along the lines of Freaks. Instead, it was more comedy than drama and ran for a paltry 30 minutes (seems like barely enough time for any depth).
Then, recently my sister was watching it and I decided to give it another try (mainly because I saw Jason Segal’s face). And I found something unexpected: even as it was more a comedy, it still contained Apatow signature moments of poignancy as well as extremely lovable characters. As always, Apatow allows us to look past the character’s flaws and seem them all as real people with tangible emotions and problems.
I would say to watch Freaks and Geeks and then Undeclared. Undeclared focuses on Steven (Jay Baruchel) an awkward high school nerd who hopes to reinvent himself and forget his past high school years once he gets to college. While there he forms a friendship with his roomates, womanzing Llyod (Charlie Hunnman), and oddballs Ron (Seth Rogen) and Marshall (Timm Sharp). He also tries to make things work with a girl above his league (Carla Gallo) and deal with his parents’ recent divorce.
The show balances brilliant humor, painfully awkward experiences, and a great human story. The show has a brighter, less moodier feeling than Freaks had. That’s because it is a more optimistic show, instead of being stuck in the hell of high school it’s about moving on daring to be change, explore and be a new person.
Why the hell was this cancelled (after just one season)? It’s a mystery. But Fox might’ve wanted it cancelled badly for some reason, especially with the fact that it was aired out of order. If it had given a chance, it could’ve gone slower and been able to progressively slow down the character development and find out even more about the characters. Along with guest star appearances from Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell who wouldn’t want to watch this show? Well, you should.