Undeclared: The Complete Series (review)

The creator of Freaks and Geeks moves from high school on to dissecting the vagaries of the higher-education experience with this smart and frequently painfully real dramedy about the freshman year of college. Each half-hour episode (actually about 22 minutes without commercials) is a gem of insightful, observant writing and perfectly pitched ensemble performances exploring the perplexities of learning how to be on your own for the first time in life, with numerous awkward forays into budding grownup sexuality. The entire short-lived series is here — 17 episodes, including the director’s cut of one and another that never aired — in a package that’s one of the most complete I’ve ever seen, with a coursebook’s worth of extras, including audio commentaries by cast and crew deleted scenes for every episode, auditions, the script for an episode for the second season that never happened, and much more. Fans of the series and newcomers alike will find something akin to a fascinating education in the making of network television.

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