It wasn't intentional, but I spent a lot of the past year rewatching Judd Apatow's short-lived FOX comedy "Undeclared." I did a partial rewatch back in December when "Undeclared" came in at No. 21
on my list of TV
's Best of the Decade. And then Sepinwall and I did a full revisiting of the series during the summer as a way to fill podcasting time during the sluggish programming weeks.
I've also continued to do periodic catch-up marathons on ABC Family's "Greek," which I can never be bothered to watch when it's actually on TV, but which makes for surprisingly perfect in-flight iPhone viewing on cross-country journeys.
Although college-set TV shows and movies have always been less prevalent than their high school-set siblings, it's a genre I adore. I happily followed Rory Gilmore to Yale, made it through most of the run of "Saved by the Bell: The College Years," followed the West Beverly gang through their time at California University ("Go Condors!") and I haven't missed an episode of "Hellcats." Even if I accept "Animal House" as the genre's cinematic pinnacle, I can be perfectly happy watching solid ("Drumline"), so-so ("Revenge of the Nerds") or even sub-mediocre (Sorry, "PCU" and "Stomp the Yard" and too many others to count) entries in the genre.
It's hard to deny that high school is terrain that has been more diversely mined by storytellers than college. There are cliches aplenty in the high school genre, but perhaps because there are more of them, it's easier to let certain fields go fallow before replanting the cliches and starting again. With college comedies, if you don't find a point-of-view or some sort of differentiating factor, all you're doing is dredging from a very shallow well of cliches.
That brings me to TBS
' "Glory Daze
," which premieres on Tuesday (Aug. 16) night. It's not bad enough for me to get worked up about its ineptitude, but its creative laziness and unapologetically derivative trappings make it impossible to endorse.
Click through for more thoughts...