BY LAUREN NISBET
The core concept: Even though it only lasted one season, this half-hour comedy from Judd Apatow did a great job of capturing the awkwardness, excitement, anxiety, freedom and general dorkiness of being a college freshman. The show focuses on the antics of Steven Karp (Jay Baruchel), his roommates Lloyd (Charlie Hunnam), Ron (Seth Rogen), and Marshall (Timm Sharp), and his love interest Lizzie (Carla Gallo) and her roommate Rachel (Monica Keena).
How it leads to The End: In addition to appearing as a core cast member, This is the End director Rogen wrote a few episodes of Undeclared with Judd Apatow, whom he previously worked with on Freaks and Geeks — the classic coming-of-age series that first brought together the rag-tag group of comedians we look forward to seeing face the end of the world. Other Undeclared veterans appearing in the film include Jason Segel and Jay Baruchel.
Memorable scene: There are so many to choose from — Will Ferrell’s cameo as the aging, speed-addicted post-grad who makes money by writing undergrad papers, Jason Segel’s jealous rages as Lizzie’s ex-boyfriend, the infamous game of truth or dare. But I think the best has to be Steven and Lizzie’s awkwardly endearing encounter in the pilot, beginning with him attempting to remove her shoes during foreplay and ending in the loss of his virginity.
Survival kit status: While perhaps not an essential item, this series would make a great time capsule for post-apocalyptic generations to see the kind of comedic minds that entertained our world. Surprise appearances from Jenna Fischer, Amy Poehler, Ben Stiller and others, in addition to the general nostalgia brought on by seeing now-established actors in their awkward youth, would provide the kind of comforting humour that might come in handy in the dark times to come.
A media studies grad and pop culture junkie currently navigating the strange and mysterious world of corporate communications, Lauren spends most of her time buried under an ever-growing pile of TBR novels. Based in Toronto, she can be found at the local theatre every Tuesday for cheap movie night. Follow her on Twitter @laurenxnisbet