Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Pass The Clicker: Undeclared Was The Greatest Show Ever Of All Times

So many feelings.

Undeclared debuted on FOX the fall after I graduated from college, which in my opinion was the perfect time to be watching it. Unfortunately, that fall was also the time of the 9/11 attacks. By the time television was no longer a constant stream of news coverage and it actually aired, it was routinely being preempted for football games. These unforeseen factors obviously contributed to its ultimate demise, but that doesn't make it any less rage-inducing that we lost out on one of the greatest television shows of our time.

Yes, I really feel that strongly about it. HAVE YOU SEEN THIS SHOW? I mean, it is genius. EVERYONE is on this show. EVERYONE. It was the first thing that Judd Apatow did following the cancellation of yet another brilliant television show gone-too-soon, Freaks and Geeks. It featured the talents of Seth Rogen (who also wrote a few episodes), Charlie Hunnam, Timm Sharp, Carla Gallo, Monica Keena, Christina Payano, Loudon Wainwright III, Jason Segel, Busy Phillips, Martin Starr, Jenna Fischer, Tom Welling, Fred Willard, Ted Nugent (unaired, but still), Amy Poehler, Jarrett Grode (Perry Appreciation Life), Kyle Gass, David Krumholtz, Felicia Day, Samm Levine, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, the directing talents of Jay Chandrasekhar and Jon Favreau, and, you know, that kid...what was his name...


From the pilot episode, when I first fell in love.
Fun Fact: I own the pilot episode on VHS that was part of the network's promotional package. I bought it on ebay in 2003 for $16. I am telling you this to illustrate the magnitude of my love for this show.

Every time that I go back to watch some episodes, it always turns into a marathon, whether I intend it to or not. Because once you see that list of show titles? You remember why every single one of them is your favorite and you think, "Okay...I'll just watch until that one part..." and then that one part comes, but before that you remember like six other things that are amazing so you press on. And on. And on and on and on.

This boy and his hooded sweatshirts I CANNOT.

Last night, Steph and I had an internet date, and we watched three of our favorite episodes together: #102A "Oh, So You Have a Boyfriend?", #103 "Eric Visits," and #109 "Eric Visits Again." (We heart Jason Segel okay) I wish that I could cut and paste the entirety of our chat session here for you, but really, it's just a constant stream of quotes from the show, an alarming number of them identical in every way (including punctuation #best) and posted at the exact same time. Chat can't handle us.

"SEGEL BEAUTY MARKS" is what Steph typed during this scene.

The best best part of all has got to be the deleted scenes that accompany each episode on the DVD collection. Because a lot of the stuff that you see on the show was born out of improvisation, there are countless hours of extra footage that are just hilarious. Some of our favorite quotes come from these bonus scenes. I mean. "Don't say sanctum."

Whoever did wardrobe for this show is to be commended, because Steven Karp had the absolute best collection of terrible shirts in the history of the world. This example from #102A is one of my faves.

"Eric Visits" and "Eric Visits Again" must almost always be viewed together, simply because Jason Segel is amazing and hilarious and completely crazy in this role. Eric is clearly an unstable person, and watching him change from creepy-codependent to irrationally angry to big weeping pile of fail to actual nice guy that you kind of feel sorry for to irrationally angry again to suddenly lucid to nice guy again. Ranked in my top 10 characters of all time, and I'm totally being real about that, too.

"I could be that bouncing head." - Steven Karp

I felt it only appropriate to include this television show as part of 8 Jays a Week, as it was the first thing that I ever saw Jay in. And it's also one of my favorite television shows of all time. It's a benchmark by which I judge other people ("You didn't find it that funny? Oh...okay." Eat a dick and die. "Wait, did you just quote Undeclared just then?" BEST FRIENDS FOR ALL TIMES. ). If I catch an episode whilst flipping past IFC, I will watch. My friends and I quote it endlessly, and watch it when we get together. It never fails to make me happy, except when I get to that last episode and realize that that's the end. I weep for what could have been - they don't make collaborations of this caliber any more, where actors seamlessly transitioned into writers, and writers occasionally filled in as characters, and everyone was so obviously having the best experience of their lives. I hate that it had to end. I hate that television is even more evil now. I hate that stupid people love stupid shows that air in perpetuity, and genius things get killed and buried before they've even had a chance to reach their ultimate potential.

I mean honestly. Don't be a dickface. Go out and buy the damn DVD collection and watch it and thank me later. It ends here. #orDOESit


Number of episodes watched last night: 3

Number of times Steph and I typed the same exact thing at the same exact time: 39 (#soulsisters)

Most impressive of these things that we typed simultaneously: "There's a filet of fish smell in this car and it's making me sick - do you smell that?"

Detail we never noticed until last night: During "Eric Visits", when Lloyd and Ron are drunk and watching You've Got Mail, we always assumed that Ron was wearing a scarf. Steph was like, "Why is Ron wearing a scarf?" and then I looked a little harder and I was like, "OMG it's not a scarf, it's actually his button down shirt which he has wrapped around his neck." #themoreyouknow

Steph's series-wide observation: In every episode, at least one character is wearing a form-fitting baseball style teeshirt. It's a fact okay.

Steph's Fun Facts: 1. In "Eric Visits", Marshall actually gets bitten on the mouth by the ferret. It was not planned; 2. In "Oh, So You Have a Boyfriend?", Charlie Hunnam hated saying the line, "This beer is the devil's brew"; 3. In "Eric Visits Again", Eric breaks Steven's tooth when he punches him in the face. Jay actually has a broken tooth that has a cap over it, so he removed the cap for the scene. #method

Kristi's Fun Fact: Someone in production told writer Nick Stoller that Jay prefers not to wear jean shorts, so he wrote jean shorts into the episode "Eric Visits Again" because he thought it would be funny. And it is totally funny.

Rating, on a scale of one to ELEVEN: 10

Final Assessment: It was love at first sight, AND IT STILL HOLDS UP



  2. @Steph

    Because there is one thing that he has done that is better than this. Just one. But it's the eleveniest. (COMING SOON)