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Monday, July 1, 2013

Freaks and Geeks

Yeah, one of us had never seen this (and the other one of us hadn't seen it in a really long time and didn't remember it very well). Can you believe that? So we watched all 18 episodes on Instant Netflix in the past two days. That should give you a hint as to where this post is going.

This is a great show for people who are out of high school. If you're in college or older, you can appreciate this show. Most high school and middle school students would be better off sticking to the shows aimed at them: Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, etc. Mature teens will like and relate to Freaks and Geeks though.

We were hooked very early on. This show is like a more mature version of The Wonder Years, only set in the '80s and focusing on two teens, a boy and a girl, rather than just one Kevin Arnold.   Another comparison: Did you ever wonder what My So-Called Life would have been like if it were funny?

We can't think of anything bad to say about this show except that the pacing and humor might be off for some people, but that comes down to personal taste, not quality. The music is great. It's all from around that era, and one episode features music entirely from The Who. We love The Who.

The cast is perfect and you'll see a lot of familiar faces that made it big later. James Franco, Seth Rogan, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones, Busy Phillips from Cougar Town, Leslie Mann, Lizzy Caplan, and Samaire Armstrong from The O.C. are all in it. What's more, they're all good in it.

We always appreciate when female characters are well-written and when sexist stereotypes are called out on a show through a mention, a joke, or a nod. This is the case here. The main female character, Lindsey, is just as likable, funny, and complex as her male costars.

Romance is not the main focus of the show in any way. Lindsey's life doesn't revolve around getting some guy or keeping a boyfriend. She's more interested in finding out who she is and experimenting. She's more consumed with her relationships with friends and family than guys.

Love stories appear on the show, but in a realistic way rather than a dumb, romanticized way. We did not immediately guess who Lindsay's main love interest would be. We expected it to be someone else, but her relationship with that guy stayed platonic in the first season.

We think Jason Segel stole the show with his portrayal of Nick, a sweet, dumb pothead who fears that he will have to go into the military if he doesn't get good at drums...and he's really bad at drums. We actually liked his song that Seth Rogan stopped him from performing!

This show is a classic for its realistic portrayal of high school students. Most of the cast members are either high-school aged or close to it. The scripts are witty and have an undertone of wry, realistic Judd Apatow humor. The show captures the awkwardness of being a high school geek boy and the confusion of being a high school girl.

The only complaint we have is that there isn't more of this show to watch. While there is some closure at the end of the season, there were many more potential storylines left untapped and a few relationships ended in a sort of limbo. Still, recommended.

Show grade: A


  1. I saw this whole show in a week. I'm actually a senior in high school and I really enjoyed it. I thought it was very funny and realistic. I agree with everything you said in the review. Nick was one of my favorite's as well. I generally don't like the main character's of shows, but I really did appreciate Lindsey.

  2. We don't have Netflix in Australia - so I had to rely on You Tube and only 7 or 8 episodes were available. I loved loved loved what I did get to see - the mum and dad had my laughing in stitches. And Sweets from Bones!!! how adorable a kid he was.

    finally - where have you been or where are you? miss your reviews.