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The Daily Wildcat


    Students’ comedy series aims to recreate antics of college life


    Photo courtesy of Undergrad

    Creative writing juniors Dillon Olmanson, Bryce Villalpando and Brooke Hartnett (from left to right) act out a scene from “The American Dream,” the first episode from the group’s new sketch comedy web series “Undergrad.” The series is planned to debut an entire first season in January next year.

    In their new web series, “Undergrad,” creative writing juniors Dillon Olmanson, Brooke Hartnett and Bryce Villalpando have set out to highlight the hijinks of college life.

    The sketch improv web series follows the shenanigans of three friends in their time as undergraduates. Hilarity ensues as Bryce, Brooke and Dillon, who play themselves, struggle to deal with college life outside of classes.

    The idea for “Undergrad” came after Villalpando spent hours watching similar videos online and decided that she could make something similar.

    “I would sit in my bed and watch endless amounts of YouTube videos from sketch comedy groups, and I finally decided that I might as well just try and write some sketch comedy myself,” Villalpando said. “Luckily, Brooke and Dillon were on board.”

    Olmanson describes the three main characters of “Undergrad” as “exaggerated versions of ourselves,” adding that the characters in the show are part of a fictional improvisation troupe, “Second Wind.” By no coincidence, all three actors are real-life members of the UA’s student improv comedy troupe, The Charles Darwin Experience.

    Olmanson said he draws his inspiration from a variety of comedy mediums.

    “I really enjoy watching stand-up and sitcoms in my free time, and this is sort of an outlet that I can combine all those passions,” Olmanson said.

    The first episode of “Undergrad,” titled “The American Dream,” made its debut on Facebook in early June and has had an overwhelming reaction from online fans, who helped fund the $500 project via Kickstarter.

    The Internet is full of sketch comedy series, but Hartnett said “Undergrad” is unique for its humor geared specifically toward college students.

    “‘Undergrad’ is special because it focuses on a demographic that isn’t well-represented in the media at all, but a demographic that asks to be represented,” Hartnett said. “‘Undergrad’ is about that weird time in college — you’re just trying to figure out who your friends are and who you are and what you want to do with the rest of your life.”

    The process of making “Undergrad,” Hartnett said, like most projects of its kind, comes with a number of challenges.

    “It’s hard to find time to write the episodes, and even harder to get everyone together to film,” Hartnett said.

    Despite the difficulties, the stars of “Undergrad” said they’re glad to be doing what they’re doing.

    “My favorite part about making ‘Undergrad’ is that I get to work with my best friends,” Villalpando said. “It’s never stressful or annoying to make because it’s basically just all of us hanging out, being silly and attempting to be productive.”

    Olmanson said that an entire first season of “Undergrad” is currently in the works and is set to premiere next January.

    For updates, sneak peaks and access to the series pilot, follow “Undergrad” on Facebook.

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