Looking Back On.. Undergrads Cartoon
I was pretty still a kid but wanted to “grow up” so I’d watch MTV and I found an animated show that grabbed my attention, it was Undergrads and it dealt with a dude who just started his first year at college. I watched it every week until they stopped airing it and I didn’t think twice about it until a few years later when I was in High School and I caught the show late night on Comedy Central and there I got to watch the whole show. I was able to relate to the show a lot more and loved it. I bought the DVD a few years later after that watched it a couple of times more but what makes this such a cult classic?
The premise of the show is pretty basic with just some basic character tropes that oddly resemble those of Nickelodeon’s Doug go to college for the first time and have to deal with life after High School. For the most part it takes it on a fairly realistic yet cartoony approach that you can really relate to it and all the things they experience since you know exactly where they’re coming from even if exaggerated. Some of the humor is a bit aimed at the MTV audience but the character designs are great and so are most scripts which is surprising but very welcome. Life as a University student is portrayed well enough as I mentioned and grow to like the characters as they watch it.
As far as characters we have Nitz who is a total idiot and oblivious to the things around him but that was me back in the day, we all have a friend like Rocko to a certain degree with his drunk adventures, Cal is just a weird guy but man I totally have met people just like him. Gimpy the resident Nerd showed us a different more sadistic stereotype from the normal ones which was a nice change of pace. And I’m sure we’ve all met a Kimmy and Jessy in our lifes at some point during High School and College. The characters despite being stereotypes were more realistic than the average show and I feel even feature a rather realistic portrayal of crushes.
Since it was on MTV a rather good soundtrack was chosen for the show that fit with the themes of the episodes and show in general. I have to admit that this is even the only time that I’ve ever really enjoyed Good Charlotte as well so you know the cartoon was doing something right. The website used to be pretty good and had some “mini” flash episodes voiced by the original actors, well mostly the ones voiced by series creator Pete Williams who voiced most of them. It’s a shame these flash shorts seem to be forever lost now since they were just random flash animation on the site and I can’t find them anywhere.
The show has many Canadians who love it because there it constantly aired on Teletoon and it was that station that was willing to pony up some money for a revival but sadly after MySpace campaigns and FaceBook ones it just didn’t happen..well until recently with a successful Kickstarter. Counting how much time has passed and that the creator only ever finishing his first year at college I’m not sure how well I’d like a movie, after all the ending ends in a bittersweet open ended way that I learned to love despite wanting a revival before. Nonetheless I’m still excited for seeing more Undergrads even if it’s only one more movie.
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