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Unfabulous aired from September 2004 until December 2007 on Nickelodeon.
Rocky Road Middle School was the setting for this sunny female teen comedy, which attempted to replicate the success of such hits as Clarissa Explains It All and Lizzy McGuire. Addie ( Emma Roberts) was a perky, trying-to-fit-in seventh grader, whose most notable characteristic was that she would often break out in song, singing the plot, accompanied by her own guitar. On the home front were her hottie older brother Ben ( Yadhg Kelly), who worked at Juice, a smoothie bar where Addie and her friends hung out, and her indulgent parents Jeff and Sue ( Markus Flanagan, Molly Hagen). At school were best friends fashion-conscience Geena ( Malese Jow) and basketball player Zach ( Jordan Calloway); "mean girls" Maris and Cranberry ( Emma Degerstedi, Chelsea Tavares); and an assortment of teachers and rivals who made her feel , well, "unfabulous." Jake ( Raja Fenske) was the on again/off again object of her desire. Just when they began to get close Addie would clumsily knock the punch bowl on his head and-oh, here comes a song.
Young actress Emma Roberts is the daughter of actor Eric Roberts and niece of actress Julia Roberts.
A Review from variety
September 9, 2004 4:49PM PT
By Laura Fries
Acting is undoubtedly in the genes, although traces of auntie Julia’s megawatt smile can also be found on the face of young Emma Roberts, star of the new Nick tween series “Unfabulous.” Even with such stellar pedigree, Roberts, daughter of actor Eric and niece to Oscar winner Julia, has a charm all her own as the savvy but awkward young Addie Singer.
“Unfabulous,” along with equally appealing new companion series “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide,” taps into those quintessential elements that for better or worse make junior high so memorable.
Inevitable comparisons to Lizzie McGuire, the other accident-prone, gawky TV middle schooler, no doubt will abound. The two shows share remarkable similarities — goofy but well-meaning parents, annoying brothers, stalwart but offbeat friends.
Whereas McGuire’s Hilary Duff evolved into the junior high ideal as opposed to the one viewers could identify with, Roberts offers a much more accessible character with Addie. Her comic delivery, sly smile and diminutive stature for her age make her much more relatable, if not necessarily marketable, to tween girls.
It also helps that writer-creator-producer Sue Rose gives Addie a sharp wit and a guitar in order to articulate the whimsical and sometimes overwhelming feelings of adolescence. When life gets complicated, Addie whips out the 12-strings and muses aloud with her Phoebe-Buffay-like songs.
Premiere episode revolves around the first day of school and the traditional beginning-of-the-year party. When the usual venue becomes unavailable, the party review board, an unofficial body of power in which the popular girls hold court, hears proposals for a new site.
Even with the shag-carpeting deduction, Addie’s offer to use her family’s basement is accepted because her older brother is deemed “hot.” Addie is, of course, hoping to use the opportunity to win the attention of the school heart-throb, but a punch bowl accident and ill-placed Webcam conspire to bring her nothing but embarrassment.
Director Linda Mendoza utilizes some creative graphics to breathe fresh air into the requisite TV voiceovers, but she displays real panache when working with the more fantastic elements of the show. All of the embarrassing details and nuances of junior high are exaggerated to hysterical effect, perfectly illustrating the overly dramatic nature of kids at this age.
Rose also wryly incorporates the various ramifications that new technological advances can have in this social stratum, especially with a funny bit about instant text messaging and the turnaround speed of gossip.
Jill Sobule, who penned pop hits “Supermodel” and “I Kissed a Girl,” provides the clever and catchy rifts that adroitly capture Addie’s current foibles.
Molly Hagan and Markus Flanagan don’t do much to help the maligned reputation of TV parents, but they add a professional touch to what are otherwise stiff and unpolished secondary perfs.
“Unfabulous” does gain points for a diversified cast, including a principal who uses a wheelchair, as well as a student body that reflects a realistic view of the world.
Nickelodeon; Sun. Sept. 12; 8 p.m.
Production: Filmed on location in Hollywood by Nickelodeon. Executive producer, writer, creator, Sue Rose; director, Linda Mendoza.
Crew: Camera, Carlos Gonzalez; editor, Stewart Schill; music, Jill Sobule; casting, Sharon Lieblein, Harriet Greenspan. 30 MIN.
Cast: Addie Singer - Emma Roberts Zach - Jordan Calloway Jeff Singer - Markus Flanagan Sue Singer - Molly Hagan Geena - Malese Jow Ben Singer - Tadhg Kelly
An Article from the New York Post
UNFABULOUS – JULIA ROBERTS’ NIECE GETS HER OWN SHOW
By Linda Stasi
October 31, 2004
EMMA Roberts, the 13-year old star of Nickelodeon’s breakout hit, “Unfabulous,” is, in real life, a pretty fabulous
kid. I know this for a fact because my daughter, Jess, was Emma’s first teen babysitter.
Sure, TV’s newest tweenage “It” kid comes from Hollywood royalty – her aunt is Oscar-winner Julia Roberts and her dad is Eric Roberts of ABC’s “Less Than Perfect.”
Like Emma herself, her TV character, the aptly named Addie Singer, splits her time between being kind of fabulous and sort of unfabulous – escaping the embarrassments and awkwardness of adolescence by writing her way out of
it with songs which she plays and sings.
After all, what’s a girl to do when she falls in the punchbowl in front of her friends except write a song about it?
In real life, Emma also plays the guitar and sings, but she does it between work, home schooling (three hours a day when she’s not working), chores (laundry; cleaning her room; babysitting for her sister, Grace), and modeling (she’s in an upcoming Abercrombie and Fitch catalog).
But the 13-year old is already used to the actor’s life (she says things like, “David Letterman’s a great guy!”), despite the fact that her mom, Kelly Cunningham (with whom she lives), is not in the biz herself.
In fact, Cunningham never encouraged Emma to go in that direction. “But it’s what she wants, so I’m into it 100 percent,” she says. “But that’s with the understanding that she must go to college. Life’s a long road and she’s got to be prepared for it.”
While child star’s current schedule might be too much for some kids to handle, Emma was ready to make the time commitment required for acting in an ongoing TV series. “I grew up around sets,” she says, the way other kids say they grew up around a farm, or in the burbs. “I remember one time,” she continues, with a giggle, “when Aunt Julia was making ‘Conspiracy Theory.’ I said, ‘Hey, Mom, meet my friend Mel [Gibson]!’ Everyone was looking at me like I was crazy!”
But how does a kid avoid all the pitfalls so common to child stars as they get older? “She really has a very normal life,” Cunningham says. “I always use the example of child stars whose lives have turned out wonderfully. Look at Ron Howard, Jodie Foster or Kurt Russell. People are always ready to point out the messed-up actors, while these people have had long careers.”
Emma herself is quick to point out that neither her dad nor her aunt ever pushed her to become an actress.
In fact, when she spends time with “Aunt Julia,” they seldom talk shop; they like to cook and knit.
But what about growing up surrounded by all the star power?
Has it made Roberts unable to “get” Addie Singer? “No! I totally relate to her,” Emma says. “We both have vivid imaginations, but I think I’m more outgoing.” No kidding. “And sometimes embarrassing things happen to me, too,” she says. “When I was eight, I was jumping rope wearing over-sized army pants and – whew – they fell right off!”
While Addie aspires to be a star, Emma already is. The offers are pouring in. She’s recently finished “Grand Champion,” an indie film, and “Spy Mate,” a direct-to-DVD release, and will star in “Aquamarine,” a film based on the Alice Hoffman novel about two 12- year olds who discover a mermaid.
Exhausting schedule aside, Emma’s school work comes first. While other kids’ moms threaten to take the TV away if they don’t keep up their grades, Emma says her mom insists, “If you want to keep acting, you have to keep up your grades.” Now there’s a twist on an old favorite.
To watch clips of Unfabulous go to https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Unfabulous+tv+show
For an episode guide go to http://www.tv.com/Unfabulous/show/28220/summary.html
For an episode list go to http://epguides.com/Unfabulous/
For more on Unfabulous go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unfabulous
For a Website dedicated to Emma Roberts go to http://www.fabulous-emma.com/
To watch the opening credits go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvD6mISN_I8
� Date: Sat June 28, 2008 � Filesize: 117.6kb � Dimensions: 250 x 330 �
Keywords: Unfabulous: Cast Photo