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Undeclared is a Fox sitcom that served as the follow-up to Judd Apatow’s earlier cult hit series, Freaks and Geeks. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Apatow is the genius that has written, directed, or produced some of the best comedies Hollywood has to offer. He brought us The Cable Guy, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Knocked Up, Superbad, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Step Brothers, Pineapple Express, Bridesmaids… the list goes on and on. Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared were some of his earliest projects and they laid a solid foundation for his career.

Undeclared is a half-hour sitcom about freshman Steven Karp’s (Jay Baruchel) first year at college. Seth Rogen, Charlie Hunnam, and Timm Sharp play his roommates. Carla Gallo, Monica Keena, and Tina Ellroy play the girls living in the dorm across the hall. The two groups band together and deal with all your typical college shenanigans like sex, dating, drinking, parents, partying, playing Truth or Dare, prank wars with fraternities and disgruntled R.A.s, and gaining the dreaded Freshman Fifteen. The comedic style is mostly loose and improvised, relying more on character wit than sight gags. There is no laugh track or studio audience. It’s not the game changer that Freaks and Geeks was, but it’s a funnier and sharper show.

It’s impossible to watch this show and not be reminded of Freaks and Geeks. Seth Rogen has a starring role in both shows, Jason Segel guest stars in a few episodes, and Busy Phillips, Martin Starr, Samm Levine and other Freaks and Geeks alumni pop up occasionally. There are tons of other cameos and guest spots from actors and comedians that you know and love. I won’t mention them in hopes that you watch the show and get pleasantly surprised.

Unfortunately, Undeclared has another similarity with Freaks and Geeks. Both shows were cancelled before completing the first season. It’s sad because the series had so much potential and it ends way too quickly. There are only seventeen episodes, and each one is so funny and entertaining that you can’t help but binge-watch. Before you know it, you have no more episodes to watch and you’re let with a void in your heart and Netflix queue.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young


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Forgetting Sarah Marshall

There are comedies and there are Judd Apatow comedies. Comedies just try to make you laugh. Judd Apatow tries to make you laugh and cry and he usually succeeds. He makes dramadies. They are more reminiscent of real life; they are full of real situations that you can relate to, they just happen to much prettier and wittier people. In Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Jason Segel plays Peter Bretter, who decides that going to Hawaii is the best way to get over his ex-girlfriend. Of course she shows up at the same resort with her new boyfriend, and Peter must find a way to start forgetting Sarah Marshall.

It’s easy to forget about your hot ex-girlfriend when you get a hot new girlfriend. Mila Kunis plays Rachel, the hot new girlfriend. She’s a concierge at the hotel that Peter stays at. They strike up a friendship that eventually evolves into a relationship, but she is reluctant to get involved with a tourist.

Jason Segel is a great comedic actor. Mila Kunis is sexy and funny and brunette. Kristen Bell is sexy and funny and blonde. Russell Brand plays Sarah’s new boyfriend, famous rock star Aldous Snow. Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, and a whole bunch of other funny people also make cameos. The whole cast is solid, and they play off each other well.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall is about moving on from a doomed relationship. Through a bunch of random flashback depicting the highs and lows of their time together, you see how they just don’t mesh well. They are both the victim and the villain, and that happens a lot. Relationships don’t always work out, but that doesn’t mean one person is at fault.

There’s a running gag about Peter’s unfinished Dracula musical done with puppets. You hear a few songs and see a couple of scenes from the play. I hope that they make a full length Muppet Dracula movie. This flick just wetted my appetite. I want the real thing.

If you’ve never seen this movie, you should. I’m warning you know that there the movie is bookended by shlong. It’s not like Watchmen, it’s not an awkward CG blue shlong, but it’s there and it’s unnecessary and I don’t like that I’ve written this much about Jason Sigel’s cock.

There’s a half-assed sequel about Aldous Snow that changes his character around completely, but it doesn’t have anything to do with this movie. This movie is good. It’s relatable, there are lots of quotable lines, and it’s an honest comedy. You can tell that it was a passion project for Jason Segel. He did a great job and made a great movie. Kudos to him. I’ll always remember Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Critically Rated at 13/17

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