Retro-Tuesday: Freaks and Geeks Reviewed

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If you haven’t seen this show, you are missing out a lot. That’s not an exaggeration. The show briefly aired on NBC during 1999-2000. The network decided to pull the plug on it as they wanted an extra night of Dateline. Of many shows depicting adolescent youth, this one comes real close to reality. Creator Paul Feig and producer Judd Apatow, focused on a more grounded story. They even claimed it to be the Anti-Dawson’s Creek. The show is filled with humor, drama and everything a sitcom should have but it doesn’t aim to have that happy or perfect ending.

The story revolves around two siblings Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini) and Sam Weir (John Francis Daley) and their group of friends based in the 80’s. Through them the show attempts to depict a normal school life – talking about sci-fi movies, not being understood by their parents, getting their friends approval and want to fit in. Lindsey is a nerd and a goody-miss two shoes but with adolescence she constantly rebels against parents and looks for the approval and acceptance of her stoner friends (the Freaks). Sam is the definition of nerd, who is constantly torn between hanging out with his friends (the Geeks) and looking cool and popular in front of cheerleader he has a massive crush on. The show sadly faced its demise after 18 episodes (completing one season). The silver lining to this is at least the season ended – allowing the story to have some sort of end. Over those 18 episodes, we see the growth of these characters, played by extremely talented actors. This show was the springboard for many actors including James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel. In a recent interview, Judd Apatow told Vanity Fair

Whenever I see an opportunity to use any of the people from Freaks and Geeks, I do it. It’s a way of refusing to accept that the show was canceled. In my head, I can look at Knocked Up as just an episode of Seth’s character getting a girl pregnant. All of the movies relate in my mind in that way, as the continuous adventures of those characters.

In many movies and shows (not by Judd Apatow), the cast members make cameo appearances to help each other out. A version of their own Brat Pack.

The DVD boxed set is highly recommended. Filled with commentaries from key cast members, directors and writers. Plenty of outtakes, bloopers as well as audition tapes. Yes – audition tapes! I’m sure if they had run for more seasons, they would have managed to put even more on extra features 🙂 🙂 🙂

Watch the trailer here:

 

 

 

 

 

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