Last weekend mostly consisted of me chilling out at home after a fairly hectic and expensive couple of weeks and watching a Freaks and Geeks marathon. It was bliss.
I discovered Freaks and Geeks ten years after it was originally broadcast on TV. The show was cancelled after one season, ended up becoming a cult hit and is now available as a DVD boxset (unfortunately it’s only available as a US import). It’s also viewable on YouTube if you search hard enough.
The series was produced by Judd Apatow of Superbad and Knocked Up fame. It stars Linda Cardellini as Lindsay Weir and John Francis Daley as her brother Sam Weir (a friend of mine thinks that Sam Weir is my doppelganger, albeit male, twenty years younger, and brunette). Lindsay has just made the transition from being a star Mathlete and all around good girl to hanging out with the freaks, the biggest trouble makers in school. Sam has his own problems as he is picked on relentlessly in school and, together with his friends Bill and Neal, is considered a geek of the highest order.
Freaks and Geeks features great performances from Apatow regulars such as Seth Rogen, James Franco and Jason Segel and it’s fun to spot the cameos from actors as diverse as Ben Stiller, Jason Schwartzman and a very young Shia LaBeouf. The show was broadcast on NBC in 1999-2000 and was cancelled after only one season. While the last scene in the last episode is perfect and poignant, it obviously leaves a lot of questions about the characters which will of course remain unanswered.
There are some genuinely funny moments and great writing. Jason Segel’s character Nick, a slacker stoner with ambitions to be a rock drummer, is hilarious especially when he falls in love with Lindsay and subjects her to near-stalking and his rendition of “Lady” sung at her in a room full of candles. Ken, played by Seth Rogen, comes into his own towards the end of the series when he falls in love with “tuba girl” Amy who then reveals a problem that almost causes the funniest break-up of all time. The characters also have believably funny quirks such as Gordon Crisp suffering from trimethylaminuria and übergeek Bill loving Dallas.
Below are the geeks dicussing French kissing. Too cute.