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Undeclared aired from September 2001 until March 2002 on FOX.
Bookish, awkward, and insecure Steven Karp ( Jay Baruchel) was starting his freshman year at the University of North Eastern California. Steven had grown up 10 minutes from the campus, and his father, Hal ( Loudon Wainwright), who was in the early stages of a divorce and had lost his job as a Saab salesman spent a lot of his time hanging around the dorm. At age 48, and much to the chagrin of his son, Hal was acting like a teenager. Steven was infatuated with Lizzie ( Carla Gallo), a psychology major who spent a lot of time on the phone with her jealous boyfriend, Eric ( Jason Segel), who was out of school and working at the Kopy-Mat. Steven shared a suite with three other guys-Lloyd ( Charlie Hunnam), a drama major from London and the dorm's resident ladies' man; Marshall ( Timm Sharp), a music major from Fargo, North Dakota, who worked in the school cafeteria and was much smarter than he looked; and Ron ( Seth Rogen), a sarcastic business major from Vancouver. Marshall had the hots for neurotic Rachel ( Monica Keena), a sexy art major from Marin County, who lived across the hall. Lizzie and Rachel's other roommate, Tina ( Christina Payano)-who, like Steven, had failed to chose a major-was madly in love with Lloyd. After Eric broke up with Lizzie, she and Steven got more serious.
A review from variety
September 24, 2001 7:25PM PT
By Phil Gallo
Judd Apatow succeeds again with a pilot that hits so many right notes when it comes to depicting the transitional phase between the teen years and adulthood. “Undeclared” starts with the first week of college when fear, hormones and perceived freedom prove uncontrollable for boys and just plain confusing for girls. The ensemble tackles their roles with confidence and the writing is right on target in its appeal to teens and young adults who yearn for those halcyon days. Show will greatly benefit from lead-in “That ’70s Show,” especially the young demo that has helped that show thrive for the last two seasons.
Set on the campus of the University of North Eastern California — wherever that might be, Chico? Weed? — Steven (Jay Baruchel) arrives with the certitude that his growth spurt and new haircut hide the scars of his nerd life. He’s tall, thin and unsure of himself, a contrast to his beer-swilling roomies Ron (Seth Rogen) and Marshall (Timm Sharp), who instantly confound the lad, and Lloyd (Charlie Hunnam), the Brit theater major who’s got dibs on the better bed.
Down the hall, the overly enthusiastic Lizzie (Carla Gallo) and the anxiety ridden Rachel (Monica Keena) are splaying broad personality traits in their dorm room; Lizzie pledges her love and then gets in a tiff with her boyfriend back home and Rachel, for no reason, freaks out. Apatow plays it just right: The guys don’t know what to make of these girls.
Their ambition, seeing as how it is day one of the college years, is to get a party assembled for the night. As they go about finding co-eds — one great scene is inside an elevator when insecurity stymies the four guys, another is when a wannabe deejay explains his craft — they learn that a British accent paves the road to riches. Steven gets the double whammy of surprises: Dad (singer Loudon Wainwright) checks in on him during the party and announces his pending divorce; and Lizzie, on a whim that is somehow a shot at the b.f., is interested in having sex with him.
With small touches and by spreading out the dialogue, Apatow has created a broad tableau for these characters, each of which is putty in their new surroundings. Pilot suggests that they have plenty of room to move even if they don’t grow. Unfortunately, Fox’s promos make it seem like the entire season is about sex.
Jake Kasdan’s direction in the pilot is assured and keeps the show moving as well as any contempo bigscreen college comedy — “Legally Blonde,” for example.
Cast is uniformly sound and sufficiently distinct without forcing oddballs into the mix. Show’s strength in the pilot is its reliance on the ensemble over displaying individual talents but it might well have two secret weapons. One’s Rogen, who plays the cool cat who’s easily tripped up and has to work on regaining his composure; and Keena, who appears to have a good sense of how to play simple emotions convincingly and might well be on to bigger things.
Fox; Tue. Sept. 25; 8:30 p.m.
Production: Taped in Los Angeles by Apatow Prods. in association with DreamWorks Television. Executive producer, Judd Apatow; supervising producer, Victor Hsu, Rodney Rothman; producer, Kristofor Brown; director, Jake Kasdan; writer, Apatow.
Crew: Director of photography, James Carter; production design, Jefferson Sage; editor, William Kerr; music, Mike Andrews; casting, Alison Jones. 30 MIN.
Cast: Steven - Jay Baruchel
Lloyd - Charlie Hunnam
Rachel - Monica Keena
Lizzie - Carla Gallo
Marshall - Timm Sharp
Ron - Seth Rogen
Hal - Loudon Wainwright
Tina - Christina Payano
With: Jarrett Grode, Simon Heberg.
A Review from The New York Times
TELEVISION REVIEW; A Freshman and His Inner Geek
By CARYN JAMES
Published: September 25, 2001
Like some cocky television phoenix, this season's best new comedy is born from one of last year's notable flops. Judd Apatow, the executive producer of last season's much loved, quickly canceled ''Freaks and Geeks,'' about high school in the 80's, has came back with ''Undeclared,'' a warm, perceptive, extremely funny show about college freshman facing the most ordinary adjustments. Though it is set today, ''Undeclared'' is essentially ''Freaks and Geeks'' in college.
At the center is Steven (Jay Baruchel), who has grown seven inches in one year and looks it; he has the gangly posture of someone who hasn't gotten used to how long his legs are. His voice is nasal, and it's a good guess he got his braces off five minutes ago. Determined to be a newer, cooler Steven, he is still visibly in touch with his inner geek. He arrives at the dorm wearing a new shirt with a zebra-stripe pattern that screams he is trying to fit in and failing. So much for his delusion that, as he says, ''I've, like, finally got a fashion sense.''
His roommate, Lloyd (Charlie Hunnam), is an irresistibly attractive and charming blond guy who resembles Heath Ledger. As if that weren't enough, he is a theater major and comes from England. ''I've been there once, on this Jewish teen tour, 'Shalom, Europe?' '' Steven says, as if Lloyd might have heard of it. Lloyd shakes his head and explains they are about to give a party. ''This entire campus is heaving with beautiful women who don't know anyone yet,'' he says. ''We want them to know us. Hence the party.''
''Hence the pah-ty,'' Steven echoes, awed at Lloyd's accent. ''That's so cool.''
The show is wonderfully cast and acted, with a tone of larger-than-life realism. Its humor comes from the instantly believable characters who try to behave like grown-ups but have a complete lack of social assurance. Steven's suitemates are Ron (Seth Rogen, also one of the show's writers), a business major with the authority of a budding mogul, and the hapless Marshall (Timm Sharp).
Across the hall Lizzie (Carla Gallo) speaks baby talk into the phone to her boyfriend and is so exuberant she frightens her roommate, Rachel (Monica Keena), who is beautiful but prone to panic attacks. This group has plenty of time to socialize because they are not exactly scholars. Their school, the fictional University of North Eastern California, was probably the entire student population's backup choice when they sent out college applications.
Unlike most shows about teenage characters, ''Undeclared'' does not distort them into the perfect innocents their parents would like them to be. One of the best things about the show is its matter-of-factness about sex: some students have a lot of it, and the others are desperate to have it at all. ''Do you have a condom?'' Lizzie asks Steven when she suggests they have sex on their first night. ''I have eight condoms,'' he says, so precise in his calculation that it's obvious he has never used one from his stockpile.
Even the notes of comic exaggeration are based on reality here. Steven's endearingly clueless father, Hal (Loudon Wainwright III in a witty performance), turns up on campus just hours after dropping off his son, announces that Steven's mother is divorcing him, then sticks around drinking beer and getting marital advice from Lloyd and Ron. The character is intentionally cartoonish, which adds just the right touch: parents are supposed to seem ludicrous and embarrassing to their teenage children.
A half-dozen episodes of ''Undeclared'' were available to preview, and the series lives up to its promise. In future episodes Will Ferrell plays an alumnus who writes term papers on order, and Adam Sandler appears as himself, showing up at an awkward dorm party. And in another, Steven creates a monster when he tells Lloyd that after having sex he should actually talk to the woman. Lloyd takes his advice, and Steven finds himself sleeping down the hall in the rec room, which is crowded with other students who have been exiled from their rooms, too. ''Are we losers?'' one worries.
At times ''Freaks and Geeks'' tried too hard to create jolts of recognition. Here the frantic characters regularly call one another idiots, yet ''Undeclared'' always seems smart and effortless.
Fox, tonight at 8:30
(Channel 5 in New York)
Created and written by Judd Apatow and produced by Apatow Productions in association with DreamWorks Television; Mr. Apatow, executive producer; Victor Hsu and Rodney Rothman, supervising producers; Kristofor Brown, producer; Joel Madison, consulting producer.
WITH: Jay Baruchel (Steven), Charlie Hunnam (Lloyd), Monica Keena (Rachel), Carla Gallo (Lizzie), Timm Sharp (Marshall), Seth Rogen (Ron) and Loudon Wainwright III (Hal).
An Article from Entertainment Weekly
Published on November 23, 2001
Forgoing a model-perfect student body for lots of realistic yuks, Undeclared takes a beyond-the-norm peek inside the dorm
By Dan Snierson
Life is full of disappointments. Grape-flavored gum tastes nothing like grapes. X-ray glasses offer no forbidden peeks at undergarments. And, for the record, we can believe it's not butter. But every so often, something comes along and restores our shiny faith in humanity -- or at least prime-time television. Chicks and dudes, that something is Undeclared, Fox's new college comedy that is (a) about things that actually happen in college and (b) funny. Forgoing both the Crest-whitened cast and the dreaded laugh track, Undeclared (airing Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m.) operates on the lo-fi tip, tracking a bunch of dorm dwellers (most notably stammering baby-faced Steven, played dorktastically by 19-year-old Jay Baruchel, left) who roll with the pell-mell punches of campus life. Underneath the workaday micro-plotlines -- nursing a clumsy crush on the person across the hall, being banished to the rec room while your roomie gets busy -- the show brims with enough loopy charm and refreshing realism (who here hasn't swiped an abandoned keg?) to make you pine for those golden days of slurping ramen noodles from a hot plate. ''There's the obvious way to do it where you just have good-looking kids prancing around, crying and getting drunk, and having their friends tell them they're drinking too much,'' opines Undeclared scribe Seth Rogen, 19, who also stars as sardonic Ron. ''But it just doesn't happen like that. The reality of it is a lot lighter and it's a lot less glamorous, but at the same time, it's far better to watch.'' The man running the show is certainly happy with his view from the ivy tower. ''I'm thrilled that when I decide to do a show about something, I don't go, 'Oh, there's 47 Simpsons episodes about that,''' notes Undeclared creator-exec producer Judd Apatow, late of Freaks and Geeks. ''Usually there's one Felicity episode about it -- and they did it very differently than I would.''
In coming weeks, he'll zig and zag the show with typical aplomb: Steven lands his first girlfriend; his newly single dad, Hal (Loudon Wainwright), raises the cringe stakes by dating one of Steven's RA's; neurotic Rachel (Monica Keena) gains the freshman 15; and freaky suitemate Marshall becomes quasi-famous when a photo of him puking winds up on the Internet. Whether stories like these will ever graduate Undeclared from Nielsen mediocrity (No. 66) to superhit status seems almost incidental, because the series already represents a class-act victory for underdog spirit. ''I guess a good way to put it is, We're not trying to be anything else other than what we are,'' says cast member Timm Sharp, 22, a.k.a. Marshall. ''Does that make sense?'' Absolutely. Now pass the beer bong.
To watch clips of Undeclared go to https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=undeclared+tv+show
For more on Undeclared go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undeclared
For Tim's TV Showcase go to https://web.archive.org/web/20020124085320/http://www.timstvshowcase.com/undeclared.html
For Undeclared Online go to https://web.archive.org/web/20030403013055/http://undeclaredonline.cjb.net:80/
For a Website dedicated to Carla Gallo go to http://carlagallo.atspace.com/
For a Website dedicated to Loudon Wainwright go to http://www.lw3.com/
For reviews of Undeclared go to https://www.avclub.com/c/tv-review/undeclared
To watch the opening credits go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfa0nlm8_7I
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Keywords: The Cast of Undeclared