Undeclared

Thursday, October 4, 2001

I've come to the conclusion that Freaks and Geeks is the best television show ever. Hands down. I've watched every episode a half-dozen times, and it's still perfect. One short season, and they still managed to give all the characters at least one episode where we really got to learn about them. It gave us more characterization in one episode than on the entire run of Law & Order.

That having been said, I'm glad they cancelled it. Sure, at the time it seemed like an insanely bad idea and the ultimate example of network incompetence, but in retrospect, I'm not sure I could ever be satisfied with another season. The first season ends perfectly, and watching Daniel hang out with the geeks as Lyndsey closes her relationship with Nick and becomes a Deadhead with Kim is such a perfect way to leave this world that we were so lucky to watch for eighteen hours of our lives. I'm fairly convince there is simply no way they could have continued with that level of quality for another season.

As if to underscore that point, producer/writer Judd Apatow has assembled many of the crew and a few of the cast of Freaks and Geeksfor a half-hour sitcom about college life, entitled Undeclared. Given that each episode is half as long, he loses the "Freaks" end of the equation and just focuses in on a handful of geeks, which is probably fair, given that everyone is a geek freshman year of college. Jay Baruchel plays Steven, the king of the geeks, who, while admittedly a fine geek, just doesn't have that vulnerability that John Francis Daley, Samm Levine, and Martin Starr were able to project so admirably. Carla Gallo is fine as the girl who is having trouble with her boyfriend at home (played with amazing brilliance by another Freaks and Geeks refugee, Jason Segal), but nothing special.

I don't know. The show's funny. The writing is good. The acting is good (especially Monica Keena as the initially stressed-out, now apparently drug-hazed girl). It's a good show.

But it's not Freaks and Geeks.

I know I should move on, but it's hard, especially with regular appearances by F&G cast members. I'm hoping I'll grow to accept this show as it is, but, until then, it's just kind of disappointing.

Rating: B+ (It Has Some Big Shoes to Fill)

Reviewed by Padgett Arango
Contents
The Hills Have Eyes 2

Hostel Part II

Six Degrees

Shark

Jericho

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Justice

The Hills Have Eyes

Love Monkey

Out of Practice

Head Cases

Crunchwrap Supreme

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Batman Begins

Garden State

Hero

13 Going On 30

LAX

Starman

quirkyalone.net

Kill Bill, Vol. 2

Line of Fire

We Shall All Be Healed

Happy Family

Arrested Development

Love Actually

A Minute with Stan Hooper

Tarzan

Karen Sisco

Stop All the World Now

Cold Case

Skin

10-8

Joan of Arcadia

Eve

Luis

Lost In Translation

House of 1000 Corpses

Bubba Ho-Tep

Darkness Falls

Pirates of the Caribbean

The Amazing Race

Treasure Island

FearDotCom

Adaptation

To Hit Armor Class Zero

Without A Trace

8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter

Life With Bonnie

Jalapeņo Cheeseburger

The Mothman Prophecies

Happy Campers

The Man Who Wasn't There

Kiss of the Dragon

Josie & the Pussycats

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Dr. Pepper

Know By Heart

Waking Life

L.I.E.

Thirteen Ghosts

Earthlink presents Chang and Eng

New York and Country Bar

Change

Motivation and Water Tower Grammar

Crossing Philly

Makeout Club

Undeclared

The Gap

The Abolition of Work

3000 Miles to Graceland

Kolobos

Duets

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Diesel Sweeties

The Cold Six Thousand

The Grilled Stuft Burrito (Rebuttal)

60 Second Wipeout

The Patriot

Grilled Stuft Burrito

Cowgirls

Crystalline

Frankenfinger E.P.

One Force Down

Shake

Both Our Secrets

Happy Birthday Captain Columbus!

Fight Club

Whatever It Takes

Committed

That Skinny Motherfucker with the High Voice?

Joe Dirt

The Veggie Whopper

Taco Bell Nachos

Palmetto

Godzilla vs. Monster Zero

The Terror of Mechagodzilla

To The Center

Infiniti+Infiniti

American Psycho

The Del Shredder

What Lies Beneath

The Cheesy Gordita Crunch

Bring It On

Chill Factor

Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars

Bad Company

The Blair Witch Project

Hyacinths and Thistles

Lake of Dracula

We'll Have a Time

Home Depot

Snow Day

The Virgin Suicides