infobox Television
show_name = Undergrads

caption = Undergrads logo
rating = TV-14
format = Animated comedy
runtime = 0:22 per episode
creator = Pete Williams

produced = David McGrath
starring=Pete Williams
Susan Dalton
Jene Yeo
Yannick Bisson
Josh Cagan
Robert Tinkler
country = United States
network = MTV (US)
Teletoon (Canada)
Adult Swim (Latin America)
first_aired = April 1, 2001
last_aired = August 12, 2001
num_episodes = 13
list_episodes = List of Undergrads episodes
imdb_id = 0292861

"Undergrads" is an animated television series centered around the lives of four college undergraduate freshmen. Originally broadcast on MTV during 2001, only thirteen episodes were created. It has developed a cult following on Comedy Central in the United States, Teletoon in Canada, and Trouble in the United Kingdom.

The show is a life, featuring elements that are typical (if not archetypal) of many students’ college experiences. Many characters in the show represent common college (and literary) character types; including the everyman (in Nitz), the "frat boy" (in Rocko), the (in Cal), the nerd (in Gimpy), the tomboy (in Jessie), and the (in Kimmy). Situations featured also tend to be typical of the college experience, through the good times and (unlike many representations of college life in entertainment) the bad times. These situations include student loans, bad cafeteria food, questioning of identity, fraternity rivalries, odd traditions, unpleasant RAs, money problems, peer pressure, and the freshman fifteen. Interestingly, almost no episodes show the characters in class, the one notable exception being Rocko's ROTC class in "Financial Aid."

The show was conceived by Pete Williams, when he dropped out of college at the age of 19. He does most of the voices on the show. The series was produced by David McGrath.


Main Characters

; Parker 'Nitz' Walsh: The main character, a loser with no self esteem. Almost all the episodes revolve around him in some way. He is shy and attends State U, a fictional generic university. He often finds himself at odds with his friends, wishing for more time to try and woo Kimmy, whom he has had a crush on since grade school, but fails every time. He does not remember how he got his nickname, as was revealed in the first episode. Nitz is based on series creator, Pete Williams. [cite web | url=http://www.thedetour.ca/blog/blog.php?blogID=undergradstv&showName=underGrads&entryID=6 | title=Pete Williams, creator of underGRADS ] He bears a strong resemblance to Pete Townshend of The Who, even though he is modeled after Pete Williams. Due to the many occasions of stupidity ruining his everyday life in small ways, he often says his signature, "Aww, crap."

; Rocko Gambiani: The fratboy. He attends the fictional local community college "Central State Junior Community College". He eventually manages to weasel his way into a fictional fraternity "Alpha Alpha", where he is markedly unpopular. His only interests are in alcohol and girls. The former obsession has even gone so far that Rocko has started hallucinating an imaginary talking bottle of liquor named "Bobby Whiskey" who talks to him and usually tells him to solve his problems by drinking. The latter of the two he has less proficience in, and nearly all of the women he come into contact with either mace him, kick him in the groin, or otherwise incapacitate him in some way. He doesn't like Cal very much; he often threatens or enacts physical violence towards him, and has a large phonebook-sized book of reasons he dislikes his friend entitled "The Things Cal Does That Makes Me Want To Kill Him Dead Dead Dead Dead Dead". His favorite phrases are "Wussies!" and "Sweet ass!"

; Cal Evans: The "ladies man". Tall, handsome, blonde, but not too bright, Cal has a knack for getting women to fall for him without any effort whatsoever. Cal is Nitz's roommate. He has a rather peculiar tendency to drool, makes a slurping noise while talking (both are an inside joke poking fun at the real-life Cal's retainer), and often ends his sentences with the word "guy". Cal repeatedly demonstrates that he lacks intelligence, displaying a rather humorous obliviousness to everything. He is easily recognized as a ladies man and frequent sexual participant due to his unusual casual clothes and happy look.

; Justin 'Gimpy' Taylor: The nerd. He attends the fictional Tekerson Tech and almost never leaves his room (Instead communicating with his friends via video conference). Also goes under the name "G Prime". Upon arriving at Tekerson, he quickly drew together a group of lesser geeks to do his bidding, replacing the previous alpha-nerd and ending his reign of Star Trek tyranny. He is an extreme Star Wars fan. He is also a fan of other media; he is a stated fan of both Spider-Man and "Wall Street", he has asserted his utmost respect for Dana Scully of The X-Files, and also is somewhat well-acquainted with Star Trek, despite his hatred of it. Gimpy often is a self-imposed social recluse, often describing women as "the enemy", although he does have an online girlfriend for a short time during the series. Out of the four, it is hinted that Nitz and Gimpy are the closest. His friendship with his legion of nerds creates a conflict between them and his old friendship with Nitz, Cal, and Rocko. Near the end of the series, Gimpy starts to show a bit of frustration at Nitz, whom he feels is shafting everyone else for Kimmy Burton, although they remain friends during the course of the series. His signature phrase is, "...the hell?"

econdary characters

; Jessie: Jessie also goes to State U. She becomes friends with Nitz on the first week of college. Jessie has a very laid back, punk-girl-type personality on campus. She often accompanies Nitz on his misadventures and analyzes many things about this strange time in everyone's life with a surprisingly level-headed and mature point of view. She has supposedly undergone a major makeover from high school, openly expressing herself more with her new college freedom. Nitz does not realise that she is attracted to him. Although Nitz states that he loves Kimmy from the start, Jessie tries for his affection anyway. Jessie is Nitz's partner in crime, so to speak, and is usually always there to help Nitz out by listening to his woes or helping him with his problems. She is arguably far more of an influence on his life than Kimmy, yet, despite signs of affection in return, Nitz remains dead set on Kimmy. As the series goes on, Jessie's frustration over Nitz's ignorance to her interest starts to increase, and begins to result in outright spite for Kimmy Burton. Eventually, Nitz's obsession with Kimmy becomes so great that he begins to unintentionally treat Jessie rather ly and even rudely when Jessie begins to give Nitz more hinting to her feelings. Eventually this frustration blows up into anger at Nitz leading to the series' cliffhanger ending. The character is voiced by Jene Yeo, who is, in fact, whom the character is based upon. [cite web | url=http://www.thedetour.ca/blog/blog.php?blogID=undergradstv&showName=underGrads&entryID=6 | title=Pete Williams, creator of underGRADS ]

; Kimmy Burton: The crush of Nitz. She went to the same high school as the four main characters and graduated the class ahead of them. Kimmy also attends State U. She tries to be involved with everything going on at school. She seems, like the case with Jessie to Nitz, to be totally oblivious to Nitz's crush on her. Although she is somewhat of an overachiever, it is revealed that her life is in shambles. Kimmy, like everyone else at college, is uncertain and nervous about her future, and she begins to see Nitz as something of a "shoulder to cry on". While this frustrates Nitz he seems excited at slowly coming closer to her. Kimmy, however, has an interest in Mark, another drama student at the college. But unbeknownst to either Nitz or herself, this student is actually a homosexual. This isn't revealed to them until the final episode, but it is mentioned in the Exposed Expo episode, and is quite obviously implied from the very first episodes to the audience. While Kimmy means well, she seems rather oblivious to the feelings of others.

; Mump: Gimpy's lead minion. Attends Tekerson Tech with Gimpy. He is a short, overweight, red-haired young man. A Nurse once stated that "He may be below average in height, but he's way above average in weight!". As well as being the lead minion in Gimpy's little troupe of Tekerson Tech geeks, Mump is shown as being something of Gimpy's sidekick as well. Although he is often nice enough, he seems to be rather fiercely protective of his friendship with Gimpy. He is at first, extremely jealous of Nitz and Gimpy's apparently very close friendship although this dissipates to friendly neutrality eventually. Mump was a former Trekkie before Gimpy came and inspired Mump to such a degree that he mimicked Gimpy's love of Star Wars as well. Although he's also a fan of Star Wars, he seems to be a fan more or less, just to get along with Gimpy. He often dotes on Gimpy and often agrees with him regardless of whether he should or not. He claims that there is a "b" in his name, and that the "b" is silent. This could be however, more mindless doting on Gimpy or a reference to his unsaid real name. Deep down inside, it is constantly hinted that Mump is somewhat insecure with himself, which would explain his rather fierce protection of the friendships he does maintain. Mump is obviously a nickname akin to the nicknames of the main 4, however his real name is never mentioned. Briefly suffers from a case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. He is a member of ROTC as revealed in "Financial Aid".

; The Duggler: The Resident assistant (RA) at the State University dorms where Nitz and Cal reside. In the first episode of the series, he reveals that his real name is Doug and "The Duggler" was a nickname given to him by his father. He is something of a social relic from the 1960s, and still sports an overall hippie-like motif. He always wears a bathrobe, which he reveals to Cal is something of an unofficial uniform for State U. RA's. He's something of a social inept, often denying himself to partake in unofficial student events and hijinks, as well as just plain fun. He seems in a constant state of denial about this, which gives one the impression he lives something of a sad and lonely life but won't admit it. Part of this denial is constantly convincing himself that he's having a good time away from the real fun, even if he apparently isn't. Often mentions that one does not have to "follow the crowd", so to speak. He has a rather forced, trendy way of talking and seems to be not very much cared for by the students. Often refers to himself in the third person including the "The Duggler".

Other characters

; Charity: Jessie's air-headed blonde roommate. She is constantly obsessed about her ex-boyfriend Jonah, who left her prior to the series' beginning. It was revealed in "Virgins" that he put a restraining order on her. At one point, her constant ramblings about him drove Jessie nearly insane, causing her to crash with Nitz for a little while. She also briefly dated Rocko, who pretended he was a virgin to get into her good graces.

; SHE PRIME (AKA Tabitha): A female hacker at Tekerson Tech who challenges Gimpy when hacking into his computer to make some embarrassing changes. On the official website in the Episode Guide this character is called Tabitha. He eventually confronts her and the two begin to form a bit of a relationship. Gimpy at first seems hesitant about this, due to his strict stance about girls being the enemy. However, he begins to find much in common with SHE PRIME, despite the fact the two have never met in person. They begin to spend even more time together online. However, Rocko brings up that Gimpy is often told what to do and is somewhat . To test this, Gimpy denies one of SHE PRIME's requests to which she becomes offended and threatens to destroy Gimpy's computer with a computer virus. This crisis is averted and the two are set against each other as rivals again. However, both seem to have a desire to know each other's identity. SHE PRIME has dyed purple hair wrapped in a bandana. Although she is quite the femme fatale online, in real life she seems somewhat shy and withdrawn. Although she has never met Gimpy, their dorm rooms are immediately next to one another.

; Spud: A rather unusual young man who is a diehard Trekkie. He even wears the yellow uniform as seen in the original series as normal attire. He originally led a vast majority of Tekerson Tech's students in a big Star Trek fan club. When Gimpy attends Tekerson, he asks Spud about the Prime Directive, the directive from the Star Trek universe, which states that it is forbidden to directly interfere or force beliefs on intelligent life that one has come into contact with. Gimpy merely states that since Spud is doing just that to the Tekerson students, he's breaking that very rule. Unable to grasp onto this paradox, Spud flees and Mump and the others stare in awe at how easily Gimpy "defeated" Spud. Gimpy attributes it to The Force, and goes on to get everyone hooked on Star Wars. Spud appears as the main antagonist in one episode (New Friends), by attempting revenge on Gimpy. He appears through brief cameo's later on. He often says the word or sound "Shmaa…" in all his sentences and has something of a creepy, mumbling way of talking.

; Mark: The drama guy/homosexual. Attends State U and is found often by Kimmy's side. Kimmy has a huge crush on Mark but is entirely oblivious to the fact that he is gay (a fact the viewer can detect almost immediately). Nitz feels threatened by Mark because he is ruining his chance to be close to Kimmy. Mark recognizes Nitz as "Kimmy's friend". He has a boyfriend named Lance.

; Lance: Mark's boyfriend. Attends State U. He is more often than not mentioned by Mark than seen though he is seen briefly carrying a couch in Roommates and singing showtunes at the end of Screw week.

; Jessie's friends: These are friends of Jessie. They hang out together quite often. Out of all the background characters, these three are the most defined. They form a friendship with Nitz along with Jessie's help when Cal, Gimpy, and Rocko forget about Nitz's birthday. He has second thoughts about how the new friendships are developing and returns to his high school friends. However, he remains good friends with this group, who are seen in numerous episodes after "New Friends".::Brodie: A film student whom has quite the makings of a future film critic. He represents the type of college kid with a one-track mind and perpetual obsession. He talks about movies constantly, and is often spouting trivia and personal opinions on movies. He often talks about movie news as well, quite enthusiastically. He seems to consider himself destined for greatness, and as a result can be rather naive and egotistical. He often introduces himself as, "Hi everyone, I'm Rob Brody," when entering a room, even to people he knows or is friends with. He is also somewhat notable for starting the famous shout in the last episode.::Kruger: A succinct description of Kruger is he's a foul-mouthed homophobic smoker. Every other word and sentence spoken by Kruger is censored. He often disagrees with everyone, and seems quite the pessimist. A scathingly cynical, gothic homophobic chain smoker, he says just what's on his mind all the time in rather less than diplomatic ways. His favourite word to say is "BLEEP" and in the rivalries episode its mentioned that he's good at trivia, but doesn't help Nitz defeat Gimpy.::Dan: He has literally no speaking lines in the entire series. All he does is laugh at various things. He laughs at others' misfortunes, jokes, anything. All he really does is laugh. As such, there's not a whole lot to explore about him. It's a possibility that he could have mental problems or that he frequently indulges in marijuana, although it's far more likely just a gag.

; Gimpy's Minions: A troupe of nerds and geeks led by Gimpy at Tekerson Tech. They are very much his minions, and do everything he commands much like a private army. Mump is the semi-leader of these "troops", or maybe a second-in-command to Gimpy. Whatever the case, aside from Gimpy and Mump themselves, none of this group's names are mentioned, although by appearance they appear somewhat often.

:There are many others in the troupe as well, although the characters above appear most often.

; Female minion: Gimpy often expresses that he has a large dislike for women, but he clearly has a some what Asian looking "female minion", she is often seen with the other minions, wearing glasses and a grey sweater. She is always pushed to the background and unlike a lot of the other minions who have dialogue, she in fact only ever talks once, admitting along with Gimpy's other minions, to being G-Prime. Most think this is purposley done so viewers won't often notice her, this may also be the reason why she is not seen with the other minions when they are following Gimpy's orders.

; Rita: The Resident Assistant (RA) in 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 tries to foil Gimpy's plans and attempts to unmask his identity as "G Prime". It's unclear if she's a student of the school as she refers to her residents as "students". She had a very brief fling with Cal in the episode "Jerks", which ended as abruptly as it had started.

; Dave: In the first episode, Dave was first seen when his frisbee flew and hit Nitz as he was looking for college experiences, later in the season he's been the runner of the post office in the episode "Financial Aid" and assistant at the library in "Work Study"


The place "Undergrads" takes place in is never completely mentioned. It looks much like one's typical college town. However, it has been hinted in numerous episodes lightly that the show takes place somewhere in California. For example, in episode 1 Gimpy disguises Mump as a CHP or California Highway Patrol Officer for assorted hijinks in a parody of the classic television show "CHiPs". It should be noted however, that Pete Williams, the show's creator, attended New York University and in episode five as the camera pans out an aerial shot of Lower Manhattan can be seen. Also, in the episode "Drunks", both Jessie and Nitz had fake New York State driver's licenses. The episode "Identity Crisis" takes place at the start of the second semester and shows bare trees and snow on the ground, conditions which are more likely to be found in New York City in January than in Southern California. Also, the song "Losing California" by the Canadian alternative band Sloan is played in the background while the group attend a bar in the episode "Drunks"—however this was most likely for the musical sound of the song and not the lyrical message, as with much of the music in "Undergrads" (such as Alkaline Trio's "Bloodied Up" used at the end of the episode "Financial Aid").


Cancellation and possible syndication

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 DHX Media producing as they did for the first season. However, at the last minute, MTV discontinued their funding, which halted production. The show was taken to Comedy Central to see if they would renew the show, but this attempt failed. "Undergrads" was placed in an extremely late Sunday night time slot.

While the show has a large number of detractors, its fans feel it is one of the few shows in general to show a realistic portrayal of Campus life with some exaggerations from the characters. Also, the last episode of Season one leaves on a cliffhanger that obviously was meant to lead to a second season. Pete Williams has stated that he would be very interested in reviving Undergrads, and Teletoon and Decode maintain that they too remain interested in continuing the series, but the funding has not presented itself. The show's originality and cult-status, as well as the relatively early (and some say unjust) cancellation have caused many to link it to the other MTV cartoon program "Clone High", which, like Undergrads, aired to broadly positive review but was cut due largely to poor airtime management and resultant underexposure.

Recently, Adult Swim in Latin America has aired "Undergrads". This has given many hope that Adult Swim will air the show in other countries as well within the near future. The hope is that this will give Undergrads much needed exposure to broader audiences, especially in the remaining part of North America.

In addition, Pete Williams, the shows creator still believes that there is indeed hope for the shows revival. In a blog post on January 27, 2006 he mentions that he wishes still to "to rally as much support for a SECOND SEASON as possible. Sure it's been almost 5 years since we wrapped production. Sure, everyone else involved with the show has moved on with their lives. But what can I say? I'm still not ready to put that final nail in the Undergrads coffin. I NEED to finish telling their story!"

Pete Williams has stated that Teletoon has put up half of the production cost for its second season. Pete urges fans to add 'undergrads' as a myspace friend to help continue and spread the news of a possible second season (see his blog for more details).

On June 5-9, 2006, nine of the thirteen episodes of "Undergrads" aired on MTV2 in the afternoon as part of their Sic'emAtion animation set.

As of Tuesday, July 18, 2006, Pete Williams has urged fans to bombard both the Cartoon Network and Comedy Central with emails to bring back Undergrads. Williams has also suggested the use of letters as the next contingency.

On Thursday, March 29, 2007, e-mails from Decode.tv were sent out urging fans to request more episodes. In April 2007, Teletoon conducted surveys discussing the possibility of resuming production of the show. In October 2007, Teletoon started answering the emails telling that, although the hope is not lost, they're not planning on continuing the series for now, and instead, they are working on another show with Pete Williams.

Music in Undergrads

The theme song, "The Click", is written and performed by the band Good Charlotte who also appear in the "Risk" episode. Good Charlotte actually recorded two versions of this song, the first as a b-side for the "Little Things" Single. The version heard on Undergrads is a remake, and has been added to the re-release of the Good Charlotte Album. The original version is much grittier and sounds like a club recording.Aside from Good Charlotte, Undergrads has songs from many other bands, few of which are repeated. The official site lists all of the bands and songs used in each episode.

All 13 episodes were released as a DVD set on August 5 2003.


External links

* [http://www.undergrads.tv "Undergrads" Official Website] Play games, watch clips and download Undergrads stuff!
* [http://www.myspace.com/nitzwalsh "Undergrads" Myspace] Run by creator, Pete Williams. Check it out for ways to help save the show.
* [http://keyframeonline.com/Animation/UnderGRADS/738/ "UnderGRADS"] at Keyframe - the Animation Resource
* [http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00006IGVK "Undergrads" on DVD at Amazon.com]

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