Beloved author, screenwriter and New Yorker Nora Ephron passed away suddenly nearly two weeks ago, and we wouldn’t be doing our job here at Jumped the Snark if we didn’t report on it nearly two weeks later. Like with a lot of celebrities and significant figures who left us this year – Richard Dawson excluded – we didn’t have the same deep personal relation to or affection for Nora Ephron that many others did (and still do). Did we respect and appreciate her work? Surely. But did we harbor a rapturous devotion to her romantic comedies? Not quite. When we think of Nora Ephron, we think of You’ve Got Mail. And when we think of You’ve Got Mail, we inevitably think of this scene from Undeclared, when a warm-keg-beer-filled Seth Rogen declares his love for the film.
And this soliloquy can perhaps be applied to Nora Ephron’s body of work, at the least to her film career. Later in life she became synonymous with “romantic comedies” which became synonymous with “rom-coms” which itself became synonymous with “melodramatic, insulting, mindless treacle,” which is not quite an appropriate usage of the transitive property. Yes, some – maybe even most – rom-coms are uninspired and vapid forms of low art designed to appeal to a specific demographic and not necessarily to be good, but not all rectangles are squares, and not all rom-coms are “typical American tripe.” Like with You’ve Got Mail, you may think you’re better than Nora Ephron, but you’re not.
Coincidentally, we just this afternoon read New York magazine’s tribute of sorts to Ephron, a reprinting of her inaugural “Women” column, and we found her writing witty, confident, fun, and, much like Greg Kinnear in You’ve Got Mail, very likable.
The bulk of our daily search terms continue to be Survivor: Redemption Island related – Phillip, Survivor Phillip, Former Federal Agent Phillip, Kristina boobs – so we’re going to work with the odd man out in the group, “jumped the snark.” And we’ve previously established that when our search term is “jumped the snark” it’s a wild-card day, we can post anything our little R2D2 Mr. Potato Head heart desires. And our little R2D2 Mr. Potato Head once again desires to honor the work of Judd Apatow.
This past weekend brought us the long-awaited Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared reunions at Los Angeles’ Paley Center (which you can read much more about here). It’s truly amazing to see these kids grown up, truly amazing that they’ve almost all gone on to successful careers as adults, and perhaps most truly amazing of all is that none of them have developed a serious drug problem (excluding an apparent affinity for the wacky tobaccky). We frequently mentionFreaks and Geeks on this blog, so we’re going to shine the spotlight on Undeclared this time around.
Here’s a clip from the series’ third episode, “Eric Visits,” which contains probably our favorite Undeclared exchange. At about the 30 second mark please enjoy Seth Rogen’s thoughts on a certain Tom Hanks romantic comedy.
Pleased and a little puzzled by today’s search term “”jenna fischer.”” Pleased because we think she’s just terrific, the modern-day Kelly Kapowski. And puzzled because the term appears with the quotation marks (hence the extra set above). We guess those out there in web-land just wanted to make sure they didn’t wind up with Jenna Elfman or Carrie Fischer. Fortunately, on this blog that’s very unlikely (well, much more likely now).
We’ve sung Fischer’s praises for years for her portrayal of the loveable, dorky Pam Beesley on The Office. And we’re thrilled that she’s gotten her first big movie role , as Owen Wilson’s understanding spouse in Hall Pass (unless you count her part in Walk Hard. Which we’re not). But tonight we’re going to highlight one of her lesser known early performances, one that significantly enhanced her position on the Judd Apatow Chart. We’re talking about her somewhat scandalous turn on Apatow’s Undeclared, a saucier side of Fischer we’re not used to seeing:
And while that was her most memorable appearance on the show it wasn’t her first, as she actually appears briefly in the pilot episode. Talk about starting off on the right foot.
One time about five years ago our friend texted us “Jenna Fischer on Undeclared. Ha.” To this day it’s still one of our most cherished texts.
Okay, so above the comparisons were mostly lies, but, as already been oft-said, British import The Inbetweeners is a like a sitcom version of Skins. It’s to Skins as Undeclared was to Freaks & Geeks. Which means it’s good, if a little lacking on dramatic depth. The quick cuts and camera work also evoke shades of Arrested Development, if Arrested Development took place in the UK, featured teenage boys, and dispensed with the self-referential gags and cutaway jokes. So, basically in no way like Arrested Development other than that it’s a one camera, handheld comedy. Oh, and it has a narrator.
The first two episodes aired Monday night on BBC America and they were fit! Below is my favorite scene from either show (stolen from PopCandy)
As my roommate so astutely pointed out, doesn’t series star Simon Bird look just like a young John Oliver. Uncanny!
Catch a new episode tonight in its regular 9:30pm time slot on whatever channel BBC America is on your cable provider. Don’t ask me to look it up for you. You have the internet.