Undergrads

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Undergrads
UndergradsTitle.jpg
Created byPete Williams
StarringPete Williams
Susan Dalton
Jene Yeo
Yannick Bisson
Josh Cagan
Robert Tinkler
Edward Glenn
Opening themeThe Click by Good Charlotte
Country of originUnited States
Canada
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13 (list of episodes)
Production
Producer(s)David McGrath
Running time22 minutes
Production company(s)MTV Animation
Click Productions
Decode Entertainment
Helix Animation
DistributorParamount Television
DHX Media[1]
Release
Original networkMTV (US)
Teletoon (Canada)
Original releaseApril 1 –
August 12, 2001
External links
Website

Undergrads is an American-Canadian adult animated sitcom centered on the lives of four college undergraduate freshmen. Originally broadcast on MTV in 2001, only thirteen episodes were created. It has since been shown on Comedy Central in the United States, Teletoon in Canada, and Trouble in the United Kingdom. The show was conceived by Pete Williams, when he dropped out of college at the age of 19. Williams does most of the voices on the show. The series was produced by David McGrath.

Overview[edit]

The show depicts what might be a typical first-year college experience. Characters in the show represent stereotypical college types; including the everyman (Nitz), the "frat boy" (Rocko), the "ladies' man" (Cal), the nerd (Gimpy), the cool girl (Jessie), and the "ditz" (Kimmy). Typical situations depicted in the show include student loans, bad cafeteria food, questioning of identity, fraternity rivalries, odd traditions, unpleasant RAs, money problems, peer pressure, and the "freshman fifteen". Few episodes depict the characters in class; the one exception is Rocko's ROTC class in the episode, Financial Aid.

The location in the show has never been named. It appears to be a typical North American college town. However, it has been hinted in several episodes that the show takes place in New England, and Pete Williams, the show's creator, attended a university in this region. Episode 2, Traditions, features the "Xposed Xpo," a naked run, and a classic tradition of the University of Vermont. In episode 12, Risk, there is a free Ben & Jerry's day, as well as a Spring Fling, another UVM tradition. In the episode Drunks, both Jessie and Nitz hold fake New York state driver's licenses. The episode Identity Crisis takes place at the start of the second semester and reveals bare trees and snow, conditions more likely to be found in northern states in January. However, in episode 1 Gimpy disguises Mump as a California Highway Patrol Officer to follow Rocko.

Characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

  • Parker "Nitz" Walsh (Voiced by Pete Williams) is the protagonist. He is shy and attends State U, a generic university. He often finds himself torn between hanging out with his old high school friends, the new friends he's made at college, and pining after his high school crush, Kimmy Burton. Nitz is based on series creator, Pete Williams.[2]
  • Rocko (Voiced by Pete Williams) is a boorish, alcoholic fratboy. He attends the local community college Central State Junior Community College and is a member of the Alpha Alpha fraternity, although he is viewed with contempt by his frat brothers. His only interests are alcohol and women, although most women do not reciprocate his clumsy advances. He openly despises Cal.
  • Calvin "Cal" Evans (Voiced by Pete Williams) is Nitz's roommate. Although he is not too bright, his good looks make him very popular with women. He speaks in a high-pitched voice and frequently drools, and often ends his sentences with the word "guy."
  • Justin "Gimpy" Taylor (Voiced by Pete Williams) is a nerd. He attends the tech institute Tekerson Tech and almost never leaves his room, primarily communicating with his friends via video conference. Gimpy uses the online alias "G Prime" and commands a group of fellow geeks to act as his minions. He is an extreme Star Wars fan.

Secondary characters[edit]

  • Jessie (Voiced by Jene Yeo) a friend of Nitz, also goes to State U. Jessie has a very laid back, punk-girl-type personality on campus. She often accompanies Nitz on his misadventures and often provides a level-headed and mature point of view. Although Nitz openly pines for Kimmy Burton throughout the show's run, Jessie develops a crush on Nitz to which he is oblivious. Jessie's frustration with Nitz eventually results in outright spite for Kimmy. The character is voiced by Jene Yeo, upon whom the character is based.[2]
  • Kimmy Burton (Voiced by Susan Quinn) is a red-headed girl Nitz has had a crush on since high school. Kimmy attends State U and tries to be involved with all of the on-campus activities. Spacey and self-centered, she is completely oblivious to Nitz's affections. Kimmy is romantically interested in Mark, another drama student at the college, but does not realize he is gay.
  • Mump (Voiced by Rob Tinkler) attends Tekerson Tech and is Gimpy's lead minion and sidekick. He is a short and overweight. Mump is fiercely protective of his friendship with Gimpy and often agrees with him regardless of whether he should or not. Mump is a member of ROTC.

Recurring characters[edit]

  • Doug (The Dougler) (Voiced by Pete Williams) is the resident assistant at the State U dorms where Nitz and Cal reside. He is depicted as a social relic from the 1960s, sporting an overall hippie-like motif. He always wears a bathrobe, which he tells Cal is an unofficial uniform for State U RAs. He is something of a social inept, with a forced way of speaking, refers to himself in the third person, and often denies himself opportunities to partake in unofficial student events and fun. Other students appear indifferent to him.
  • Craig (Voiced by James Kee) is the leader of Rocko's fraternity. He along most of the other fraternity brothers dislikes Rocko but often takes pity on him.
  • Charity (Voiced by Katie Griffin) is Jessie's air-head roommate. She is obsessed with her ex-boyfriend Jonah, who left her prior to the series' beginning. She briefly dates Rocko when he tries to use her to make his ex-girlfriend jealous.
  • SHE PRIME (Voiced by Sunday Muse) is a female hacker at Tekerson Tech. According to the episode guide on the series' official website, her name is Tabitha. After hacking Gimpy, the two of them begin a brief online relationship that ends badly due to Gimpy's self-sabotage. Although they never meet in person, SHE-Prime and Gimpy's dorm rooms are immediately next to one another. If the show were to have continued, she would have had a love/hate relationship with Gimpy.[citation needed]
  • Spud (Voiced by Peter Oldring) is a diehard Trekkie and Gimpy's rival. He was the original leader of Tekerson Tech's students, but was supplanted once Gimpy moved into the Tekerson residence.
  • Mark, (Voiced by Richie Favalaro) the drama guy. He attends State U and is found often by Kimmy's side. Both Kimmy and Nitz are oblivious to the fact Mark is gay (which he makes little attempt to hide).
  • Lance, Mark's boyfriend who also attends State U. He is more often than not mentioned by Mark than seen on screen, though he is seen briefly carrying a couch in Roommates and singing showtunes at the end of Screw Week.
  • Rob Brodie (Voiced by Josh A. Cagan) is one of Jessie's friends. He is a film student who is frequently caught over-hyping whatever he's involved with. He often introduces himself when entering a room, even to people he knows.
  • Kruger (Voiced by Yannick Bisson) is another of Jessie's friends. Kruger is a foul-mouthed smoker and a pessimist who often disagrees with everyone.
  • Dan (Voiced by Pete Williams) is a friend of Jessie's who has no speaking lines in the entire series - all he does is laugh.
  • Gimpy's Minions are a troupe of nerds and geeks led by Gimpy at Tekerson Tech, much like a private army. Mump is a nominal second-in-command to Gimpy. Aside from Gimpy and Mump themselves, none of this group are identified by name.
  • Rita (Voiced by Jenny Kim) is the tyrannical Resident Assistant of Gimpy's dorm at Tekerson Tech. She wears glasses, has her hair in a bun and wears an 'RA' armband. Her slippers are shaped like sharks. She dislikes Gimpy and frequently tries to foil his plans. She has a brief fling with Cal when Gimpy uses him to distract her.
  • Stoner Dave (Voiced by Yannick Bisson) is a stereotypical "stoner", recognizable by his black shirt, slouch and large nose.
  • Studious Dave (Voiced by Garnet Harding) is a bespectacled African-American student at State U who is obsessed with finding things that will look good on his application to Wharton.

Episodes[edit]

Note: All episodes were directed by Jerry Popowich

No.TitleWritten byOriginal air dateOriginal air date (Teletoon)[3]Prod.
code
1"Party"Josh A. CaganApril 22, 2001 (2001-04-22)June 30, 2001101
After arriving at college Nitz realises after a week he hasn't done anything so tries to cram a weeks college experiences into a day in order to have something to talk to Kimmy about.
2"Traditions"Scott SonnebornApril 29, 2001 (2001-04-29)July 1, 2001102
Tradition Week at the colleges. State U's eXposed eXpo means that during the first snow fall of the winter all of the freshman run naked through the college quad.
3"Virgins"Nahnatchka KhanMay 6, 2001 (2001-05-06)September 8, 2001103
Nitz is a virgin but thinks that Kimmy wants to have sex with him when she invites him to the clinic where she works.
4"New Friends"Andy RheingoldMay 13, 2001 (2001-05-13)September 9, 2001104
Nitz's friends forget about his birthday so he decides to start hanging out with Jessie and her friends. At the same time at Tekerson Tech, Gimpy has lost command of his band of minions and must fight Number One for control.
5"Drunks"Josh A. CaganJune 8, 2001 (2001-06-08)September 16, 2001109
Nitz who is underage tries to get into a bar so he can talk to Kimmy. Rocko vows never to drink again after hallucinating about a giant whiskey bottle.
6"Roommates"Julie Rottenberg, Elisa Zuritsky, Josh A. Cagan & Andy RheingoldJune 15, 2001 (2001-06-15)September 23, 2001110
After Cal begins to make Nitz go crazy he starts sleeping in Jessie's room, whose roommate has gone for the week. Nitz suddenly realises that he's attracted to Jessie but then tries too hard to get her. Gimpy falls in love with a girl hacker.
7"Jerks"Josh A. CaganJune 22, 2001 (2001-06-22)September 30, 2001107
Gimpy, unable to further tolerate Rita's tyranny, enlists Cal to woo her into submission. But the plan works a little too well. Kimmy tells Nitz that she is moving to England so he offers her his travel clock even though he doesn't have one. Rocko drags Nitz around town all night and then destroys the travel clock that Gimpy found for Nitz.
8"Rivalries"Brad Sonneborn & Scott SonnebornJune 29, 2001 (2001-06-29)October 7, 2001112
Nitz and Gimpy enter a trivia competition but end up competing against each other in an inter-college competition.
9"Financial Aid"Nahnatchka KhanJuly 6, 2001 (2001-07-06)October 14, 2001113
Nitz does not receive his financial aid check and so joins the local student action group. Rocko joins the local college ROTC.
10"Identity Crisis"Josh A. Cagan, Andy Rheingold & Pete WilliamsJuly 22, 2001 (2001-07-22)October 21, 2001105
After returning from winter break, nobody seems to remember Nitz so he locks himself in his room to create an identity. Rocko converts Cal into a version of Rocko.
11"Work Study"Scott SonnebornJuly 29, 2001 (2001-07-29)October 28, 2001111
Nitz receives a credit card from his parents but goes over his limit so must get a job. He ends up working at the library while Rocko, Cal and Gimpy manage to get large amounts of money without trying.
12"Risk"Andy Rheingold & Pete WilliamsAugust 5, 2001 (2001-08-05)November 4, 2001106
Gimpy finds his Risk board and invites the rest of the clique around for a game. But Nitz has promised Kimmy that he would help at the Spring Fling carnival. Gimpy schemes so that Nitz cannot leave and Nitz's absence causes a fire.
13"Screw Week"Josh A. Cagan, Andy Rheingold & Pete WilliamsAugust 12, 2001 (2001-08-12)November 11, 2001108
During the final week of college, Nitz tries desperately to attract Kimmy. Jessie becomes more annoyed with Nitz for ignoring her obvious attraction to him.

Cancellation and attempts at revival[edit]

Airing to extremely mixed reviews and failing to attract much of an audience, Undergrads was regarded as both a critical and financial failure. As such, it was canceled before the second season could be produced. The series was originally set to continue, with Teletoon and Decode Entertainment producing as they did for the first season. However, at the last minute, MTV discontinued its funding, which halted production. The show was taken to Comedy Central to see if they would renew the show, but this attempt failed.

Pete Williams stated that he was interested in reviving Undergrads, and Teletoon and Decode maintained for a time that they too were interested in continuing the series, but the funding did not present itself. In a blog post on January 27, 2006, Williams stated that he still wished to continue with the program.[4] Williams stated that Teletoon had put up half of the production cost for its second season, and urged fans to add Undergrads as a MySpace friend to encourage a possible second season. On July 18, 2006, Williams urged fans to bombard both Cartoon Network and Comedy Central with emails and letters asking them to revive Undergrads. Teletoon soon after agreed to a second season, subject to finding another major broadcaster to pick up the second season.

In a blog post on December 18, 2008, Williams stated that Teletoon had passed on a second season. Williams added that he had pitched them an entirely new animated concept entitled We Got Issues, in which he would reintroduce characters from Undergrads. The pitch never made it to development. Williams also expressed interest in "producing some kind of UG comic book or webisodes in lieu of a second season", and had been in talks with Decode Entertainment about the proposal.[5]

Williams and co-writers Andy Rheingold and Josh A. Cagan appeared together at a panel for the Calgary Expo in 2012.[6] They have stated they do not have any legal rights to the series and will continue to bring it back. The creators have since started an Official Facebook "Groupville"[7] in hopes of getting a second season green-lit. Fans have shown their support by posting fond memories of the show as well as "Bring Back Undergrads" videos, which are planned to be used for a viral campaign to spark interest in the continuation of the show. The first official "Bring Back UnderGRADS" video went live on YouTube on August 21, 2013.[8]

To help the revival of the show, on April 26, 2013, Williams started an official "Bring Back Undergrads" Facebook page[9] in hopes to "garner a healthy 'like' count to prove that the series still has a fan base."

Williams attended ConBravo in July 2013 where he answered fan questions about the creation of the show as well as the current status of bringing the show back.[10] During the panel he mentioned that the creators were "pretty close" on getting permission from MTV and DHX to continue the story. Williams added that they were currently unsure on if they would fund a full second season, do a one time movie answering the lingering questions left over from season one, or do a movie to "re-introduce UnderGRADS to a new audience and try to get the second season that way."

On the podcast My So Called 8-Bit Life Pete Williams, Josh A. Cagan and Andy Rheingold talked about being in talks with both companies, and how it was a long process to get even as close as they are to some sort of revival to the series. They were also quick to say that one of the biggest hurdles even if they were to get the permission to make more content would be the cost. Williams has also stated that he, Rheingold and Cagan are currently finishing up a treatment for a one-off Undergrads movie. Once approval is made by DHX and MTV, production on a script, followed by the movie, shall commence.

On June 3, 2018, it was announced on the "Bring Back Undergrads" Facebook page that Williams has secured film rights from MTV to make an Undergrads movie. Williams subsequently announced on July 6, 2018, via the same Facebook page, that a Kickstarter campaign would be launched to help fund an Undergrads movie. The campaign was successfully funded on October 27, 2018.

Music[edit]

The theme song, "The Click", is written and performed by the band Good Charlotte, who appear in the episode Risk. Much of the music featured in Undergrads include songs from various indie rock bands and Canadian artists, such as Vibrolux, Alkaline Trio, Knacker, Sam Roberts, Reggie and the Full Effect, Sloan, Planet Smashers, The Brodys, and The Rosenbergs, among others. The score of the show was composed and produced by Jono Grant. A list of bands and songs used in each episode can be found at the show's official website.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://content.dhxmedia.com/uploads/2018/10/DHX-Catalogue-2018-2019_Final_Med-Res.pdf
  2. ^ a b "Pete Williams, creator of underGRADS". Thedetour.ca. Retrieved 2014-03-10.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Television Program Logs". Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. 2016-03-02. Archived from the original on 2016-05-16.
  4. ^ "The Detour on TELETOON – underGRADS – Blog". 2006-04-23. Archived from the original on 2007-01-01. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
  5. ^ "Checking in...long overdue! - MySpace-blog | van UnderGRADS". Blogs.myspace.com. Archived from the original on 2009-02-07. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
  6. ^ Video on YouTube
  7. ^ "Facebook". Facebook. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  8. ^ Video on YouTube
  9. ^ "Bring Back Undergrads". Facebook. 2014-01-31. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  10. ^ Video on YouTube
  11. ^ "Undergrads : Episode Song Lists". Undergrads.tv. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-10.

External links[edit]