Every year, bar LOST’s now January season premières, the TV-loving public waits with baited breath to see what the fall would bring. The finest of America’s new shows, after being hyped up over the summer, crash down on the schedules from September and October as eager viewers search for their latest obsession. Sadly, if you check your calendar, we’re in July.
After January’s new shows and the conclusion to last year’s big hitters earlier in the year, we’re now left with the summer schedule. New seasons of True Blood and Entourage are doing their best fill the gap but over a whole week, they’re struggling to make up for what is usually a strong line-up every night as winter draws in.
To stave off the need for fall fever, I’ll be working my way through shows I’ve missed over the years and only now have found the time to catch up on. In the coming weeks I’ll be catching up on How I Met Your Mother, The Wire and Freaks And Geeks, but first Judd Apatow’s second TV breakthrough…
Starring many of the actors now propping up Apatow’s ever successful film productions, Undeclared follows the life of Steven Karp, played by a remarkably young looking Jay Baruchel, during his first year at college, still undeclared on his major story. Experiencing the trials and tribulations of freshman life, Undeclared is suitably packed with the humour that has made Apatow such a big draw at the box office, but he’s suitably aided by Baruchel and the supporting cast.
After his work in Freaks And Geeks, which was also unjustifiably cancelled after one season like Undeclared, Seth Rogen plays Steven’s geeky dorm-mate Ron. Jason Segel also plays a minor character and along the way there are cameos from Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, Martin Starr and Kyle Gass.
Undeclared feels like it paved the way for current underrated show Greek, but this is certainly more of a cruder offering. Hitting audiences with its honesty, some of the situations Steven finds himself in will have you in tears as the show manages to still feel up to date.
Initially Undeclared struggled to find an audience on TV, and Fox cited poor ratings for it’s cancellation in 2002. Since it’s release on DVD, however, the show has found a cult following similar to Freak And Geeks, and is just the thing for a dingy summer’s day. Or to be honest, a bright summer’s day.