Friday, September 25, 2009

Freaks and Geeks: It was 10 years ago today...

My ex-partner Matt Zoller Seitz celebrates the 10th anniversary of the debut of "Freaks and Geeks" with a video essay about what made the show so great.

And, if you're feeling nostalgic, you can always read any or all of my "Freaks and Geeks" recaps from the summer of '07, which was the first time I did the summer DVD rewind thing.

17 comments:

DeeTV said...

Nice video montage. I'm ready to pull out my F&G DVDs and watch them yet again. I loved that show!

Also, nice to see something from Matt Z.S. I wondered what happened to him after he left the Star Ledger.

Doug S said...

Thanks - what amazing memories. I watched the dvd set last year and it still ranks as one of the best shows, ever. I watch Bones only for John Francis Daley, who grew up tall and is by far the best thing on that show.

ptid said...

One of the greatest shows ever !
i'm still following the apatow crew though...

The Engineer said...

I really cannot believe this show gets so much love. It was amusing, until the final episode, when we learned that apparently, it is impossible to both have friends, and to be a success at school. Why exactly is that considered a good message?

Karen said...

Awwww. That was lovely. I got all tear-y at the end, with the happy geeks and their rocket.

This show was sheer heaven. It may have been set in 1980, but this 1976 h.s. grad felt it like it was my own memories.

LA said...

I graduated H.S. in '81, so this beautiful show really hit home.

Nick Andropolis, call me!

Sean L said...

the first time I did the summer DVD rewind thing.

And how I first encountered your blog, which I have read religiously ever since.

I'd heard good things about F&G, checked it out and loved it. I found your blog looking for good reviews of the episodes.

I was just a bit younger than Sam in 1980, but somewhat oddly I related to Lindsay far more. I too was a maths geek who made a conscious decision to hang out with the freaks at 14, and my life has oscillated between those poles ever since.

Zac F. said...

I was only a year old in 1980, but I completely related to this show simply because of the situations. Each and every one of them felt authentic and real. The clothes, hairstyles, music, cars, etc. may be different now, but the teenage experience is still the same.

A decade later, Freaks and Geeks remains one of the best shows I've ever seen.

opticwalrus said...

It was actually 15 years ago. The show about a girl who drops her geeky friends to hang out with the freaks actually first aired in 1994, but back then it was know as "My So-Called Life." Now there's a show that was unfortunately cut short.

Anonymous said...

Glee is the modern version of Freaks and Geeks. It's also got that kind of humor and heartbreak that Freaks and Geeks. That whole pregnancy storyline was very Freaks and Geeks.

Dan Jardine said...

Engineer, if that is the message you got from this show, I fear you were using a different filter than I. The show was about as honest a portrayal of the challenges of teenage life as has ever appeared on US television. And a necessary part of being honest is showing the great breadth of pain and joy. Still, for the life of me I cannot see how you can argue that F & G argues that it is impossible to have friends and be successful at school. Lindsay may leave for a summer of trailing the Dead, but how exactly does that translate into a choice to fail at school? A lot of people who ended up doint just fine in school and life spent a week or two enjoying themselves in the summer. Something tells me that Lindsay would do just fine in the real world, if she were a real person.

Sean L said...

Following on from your comment Dan, and referring back to what for me are eery parallels between by teen experience and Lindsay's (for example I was drawn into a circle of 'freaks' by an only barely reciprocated infatuation with the hot girl of the group, only to later have my first serious relationship with her best friend. My Grateful Dead was Pink Floyd. Etc):

I still succeeded at school, getting great grades and ending up with a place at Oxford University. Of course my freakdom then had me leave Oxford out of loathing for its culture, and attend a different, more socially fulfilling, university. Where I got a good degree (although missing first-class by a hair's breadth). I now have a pretty successful, varied and rewarding career primarily working for myself on my own terms.

So changing social direction in my teens definitely had its effects, and my trajectory since hasn't been as unquestionably 'successful' as it might have been had I stayed just a geek, but my life is better for it, and I'm still pretty successful by most objective measures.

Of course that's my life not Lindsay's!

Otto Man said...

Just saw Inglorious Basterds at long last and couldn't get over the fact that one of the commandos was played by the short, pop-culture obsessed geek from F&G. Bizarre.

jlm6901 said...

So glad this was posted. Finally got around to watching the show for the first time. The old recaps helped enhance the experience. So amazing. So sad it only lasted one season.

Hoff said...

I'm sorry, Anon, I've given Glee many a chance, but I feel like not only does it not speak to a genuine high school experience, even via a heightened style, but it verges on misogynistic. The wife is lazy, lying and castrating; the Rachel character selfish and needy with only the most token attempts made to soften her; and the teen pregnancy episode you're speaking of has a character trying to trap her sweet, dumb boyfriend into supporting the baby fathered by his best friend. Freaks and Geeks would never, ever be so one-sided or so hateful.

PeterH said...

Being a new convert to the F&G religion, the show still lives very fresh in my mind - that was one of the laziest lowdowns of the show and its characters I've ever seen. How often did we see Nick even PLAY basketball, once, when he flirted with giving up pot? Wooden exposition, seriously?!

carson said...

wow i just downloaded the series after my film teacher showed us one of the episodes. Awesome show and cast. I loved all the characters and i hate that ill never know what happened to all of them. Bill is by far the best character on the show. I laughed at every line he had.."Remember that one time i made out with Vicky?"