A show for the freaks, the geeks, and anyone who loves fantastic television.
Freaks and Geeks is one teen show that really defined a portion of my life. I watched in high school and loved it before it was abruptly ripped from us (grr cancellation). I remember the excitement of the entire series being released on DVD. It was Easter weekend during my sophomore year of college and since I went out of state, I usually spent that weekend alone in a ghost town while everyone else went home. That weekend was perfection for me. I watched Freaks and Geeks nonstop the entire time while eating take-out. Every minute, every commentary, all the bonus features. Freaks and Geeks is perfect; a mix of comedy, drama, and the true awkwardness of high school.
Freaks and Geeks is a show that gets a ton of praise and hype, deservedly so.
I’m sure many of you have watched, but if you haven’t, Netflix Instant can help change that. Set in 1980-1981, Freaks and Geeks follows the Weir siblings and their clique of friends. Lindsay, a former mathlete, rebels from her academic background after the death of her grandmother. She begins to wear an army jacket around and edges her way into the “freaks.” Her brother Sam, a fourteen year old that looks about twelve, sticks with his geek best friends Neil and Bill (my absolute favorite). Tormented by dick bully Allen, the geeks lament their status at the bottom of the high school food chain, but at least know they have a solid group of friends.
And that’s what this show is about: the best friends you’ll have.
There’s already a tons of articles, reviews, and in-depth analysis of Freaks and Geeks (a must-read is The AV Club’s feature with series creator Paul Feig giving insight on every episode). For my Queuin’, I wanted to give you the three episodes that made me love the show. These are the three episodes that I will re-watch over and over on the DVDs or when the show’s on TV (sometimes on IFC). I love the episodes I chose because the storylines for both the freaks and the geeks make me laugh, cringe, and somehow time travel to a fictional television time and be their friend.
Now Freaks and Geeks is on Netflix Instant so we can all watch whenever we want and remember that even 1999, NBC sucked at keeping amazing television on-air.
After a Sober Students Improv performance to protest teen drinking, Lindsay throws a kegger to get in closer with the freaks (especially Daniel). Except the geeks swap out the beer for non-alcoholic beer, leading to a bunch of fake drunks and old men crashing. Geek Bill guards the real keg by sipping all the beer from a tiny plastic baseball cap while watching Dallas.
Best moment: “No thank you. I prefer to get high on life.” Dork Millie duets to “Jesus Is Just Alright” with freak Nick.
A cute new girl named Maureen enrolls at McKinley High and somehow the geeks claim her as their own. Knowing her hotness will soon get recruited to the popular crowd, Sam, Bill, and Neil wow her with a day of laughter, science, and all-you-can-eat ribs. The freaks want to attend an 18+ show at a local bar so they go about getting fake IDs from Millie’s skeevy cousin who has an odd love from Freifhoffer’s baked goods and an inappropriate crush on Lindsay. Along with the surprise that Daniel is actually 18 from being left behind, the freaks get humiliated at the bar when the lead singer of Feedback is none other than desperate-to-be-cool guidance counselor Mr. Rosso.
Best moment: Guest star Jason Schwartzman makes the worst fake IDs, trying to pass the teen off an Vietnamese-Canadians.
The season finale that became the series finale is one of my favorite finales ever. Lindsay and Kim befriend the school hippies and decide to spend the summer touring with Deadheads. Nick is entering disco dancing competitions at the local bowling alley with new girlfriend Sara, but clearly still pines for Lindsay when he knows she’s leaving. Daniel is sentenced to punishment as a member of the AV Club with the geeks and instead of clique polarity, new friendships blossom when Daniel joins the geeks for a night of Dungeons and Dragons. The geeks wonder if befriending Daniel makes him a geek or them cool guys; they opt for them moving up the ladder to being cool guys. Sure, it’s not meant to wrap up a whole series, but each character is given enough of a wrap-up with an open ending that the show could’ve returned or you could imagine what happened.
Best moment: Daniel’s confusion, and eventual enjoyment, of Dungeons and Dragons and his character Carlos the Dwarf.