For three years, Ned Bigby (Devon Werkheiser) from “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide” gave us tips for surviving the emotional roller coaster that is middle school. We learned how to handle “bullies, insane teachers and gross school lunches,” and even found out what to do if a rogue weasel breaks into school.
But what about after middle school? The show ended before Ned and his friends started high school, so we had to manage that obstacle all on our own. And for those who went to college? Same deal. Thankfully, Werkheiser is breathing new life into “Ned’s Declassified” with a brand new web series called “Devon’s Life Survival Guide.”
With the first two episodes launching Monday (Jan. 25), past and present fans of the show can finally add more Ned Bigby tips to their arsenal. “It feels like it’s been a long time coming, but I finally became conscious of it, maybe in September of 2015,” Werkheiser told MTV News on the phone.
The 24-year-old actor and musician said he kept getting requests about doing a high school or college survival guide, so he decided to revamp his YouTube channel for the series, making it “about universal life lessons and stuff that we’re all going through.”
The positive responses from fans during his Reddit AMA and from “Ned’s Declassified” articles written for MTV News also helped inspire Werkheiser to create the series. A huge part of what made the Nickelodeon show such a big hit was its overall message to young audiences. Werkheiser describes the heart of the show as, “No matter who you are, however weird you are or quote-on-quote cool you are, or whatever, it’s OK to be who you are. We’re all in this together and we’re gonna get through this.”
New episodes will debut every Monday on YouTube, with videos lasting 3-10 minutes each, depending on the topic. Werkheiser will divide the episodes up into seasons, aiming for 25 episodes in Season 1.
Werkheiser wants to use the beginning of the series to focus on having a conversation with the audience and building a community in the videos’ comments sections. He does plan on bringing some of his former cast members on the show, but not right away. “I wanted to make sure I could build a foundation of me doing it on my own to start, but I absolutely plan on seeing how I can incorporate the old ’Ned’s’ cast and other people as well,” he said. “I’m very excited to see how this thing grows and evolves.
“If I can help even one kid watching it get through something a little more gracefully, a little smoother, with a little more love, then that really excites me and then I know I’m doing something good in the world,” he added.
Sounds like Werkheiser really is the sweet, caring, funny Ned Bigby we all know and love. Like they say, life imitates art.