Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Freaks & Geeks

With the huge explosion of all things Judd Apatow nowadays, I felt it was only right for me to try and check out his original television show, Freaks & Geeks.
The show was on NBC during the 1999-2000 television schedule, but unfortunately due to low viewership was canceled after only 12 episodes had aired. The show, however, did complete filming 18 episodes which are now available on DVD.

I have only watched three episodes so far, but I am pretty entertained.

The show is more of a dramedy, which is hard to believe coming from a guy like Apatow - but then again if you think 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up all had underlying messages, despite the outrageous comedy factor.

Anyway, Freaks & Geeks is about Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini) and her brother Sam (John Francis Daley).

From the pilot, we learn that Lindsay is starting to rebel after the death of her grandmother, whom she was really close. She was formally a mathlete, straight-A student, and best friends with Millie Kentner (Sarah Hagan), a very relgious girl.

She sort of veers from that path of life into trying to fit in with the "Freaks". These are the kids who would rather skip class, smoke and could care less about high school. The main "Freak" is Dan Desario (James Franco), whom it is obvious Lindsay has a bit of a thing for. He is followed by his two friends, Nick Andopolis (Jason Segel) and Ken Miller (Seth Rogen). A fourth "Freak", Kim Kelly (Busy Phillips), is Dan's on-and-off girlfriend, and gives Lindsay a bit of a hard time.

On the other side of things, Sam is a freshman in high school who is considered a "Geek". He hangs around with his two best friends, Neal Schweiber (Samm Levine) and Bill Haverchuck (Martin Starr). They are in between trying to figure out what is cool and not - and also trying to not get beaten up by Alan White (Chauncey Leopardi).

It's sort of amazing to see the amount of people getting their start in this show. Linda Cardellini now plays Sam Taggart on ER. James Franco has shot up the A-list movie star, especially with the role as Harry Osborne in Spiderman. Jason Segel, despite being part of the new Apatow Universe, is now a star on How I Met Your Mother. Seth Rogen is the king of the Apatow Universe now, and is bringing Martin Starr along with him in smaller roles. John Francis Daley now plays Dr. Lance Sweets on Bones. Samm Levine, however, is due to star in the new Quentin Tarantino movie.

Though I am only three episodes in, I am upset I didn't watch this show from the start. It's just another show that never truly got a chance in this day and age of neilson ratings. A lot of great shows have been canceled due to bad ratings, which usually comes from bad marketing.

Give this show a look if you happen to like the Apatow movies or any of the above people.

I am hoping to check out Apatow's second television try in Undeclared when I am finished. Another show that probably didn't get it's fair shake.


  1. I first saw partial episodes of F&G when I went over to YouTube & typed in JAMES FRANCO. I was instantly attracted to his Daniel Desario character! You being a guy probably won't understand that but MILLIONS of women do! With all the films Franco has done since JAMES DEAN, Spiderman, etc., he'll be working for A LONG TIME - in front of the camera AND behind it!

  2. You should check out a show on ABC Family called Greek. It just finished it's full second season, but I believe you can find season one on DVD (in some variation or another). I'm not sure when Season 2 is coming out. On DVD they're released in "Chapters," and Chapter One is only half of season 1 (because only half of season 1 was aired when it first started up).

    But it's a great show, and the characters on Freaks and Geeks reminded me of the characters on Greek. It's the same kind of dynamic... the two main characters are a brother and sister, the brother being the geek of the duo. There's a really religious friend...

    Anyway, it's a really good show, and highly addicting.