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"From the beginning, we thought that everything about the show should be painfully, painstakingly real."
December 6, 2012 8:51 AM   Subscribe

My friends and I weren’t popular in high school, we weren’t dating all the time, and we were just trying to get through our lives. It was important to me to show that side. I wanted to leave a chronicle—to make people who had gone through it laugh, but also as a primer for kids going in, to say, “Here’s what you can expect. It’s horrifying but all you should really care about is getting through it. Get your friends, have your support group. And learn to be able to laugh at it.”
The Oral History of Freaks and Geeks

Freaks and Geeks Reunion Photos
Unseen images from the set

Previously: Paul Feig's episode-by-episode walkthrough of Freaks and Geeks (Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5)
posted by mokin (75 comments total) 66 users marked this as a favorite

 
There's also this Metafilter thread from when the show was still on the air.
posted by mokin at 8:51 AM on December 6, 2012


JUDD APATOW: We started a Web site, but NBC refused to let us put the address on any of our ads because they didn’t want people to know the Internet existed. They were worried about losing viewers to it.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:53 AM on December 6, 2012 [12 favorites]


This is timely for me because we're watching the show for the first time in my house. My wife has complained that the show is good, but too painful to watch because the social awkwardness is so terrifyingly true to life.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:59 AM on December 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


"Get your friends, have your support group."

Sigh.

I love this show, what little I've seen of it. It should have stayed on longer.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:04 AM on December 6, 2012


When this show hit the air I about dropped my bowl of cheerios, I didn't think I'd ever see my midwestern suburban high school experience actually represented so accurately on my tv in my life
posted by C.A.S. at 9:05 AM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, that pull-quote really, really hits home. Freaks & Geeks inspired me (along with a friend who also saw the episode that night) to start a D&D club in my high school. The friends with whom I ended up playing D&D with -- in someone's basement; trying to play in school was logistically ridiculous -- are my closest friends and D&D has been a major source of bonding between us all for over a decade now.
posted by griphus at 9:08 AM on December 6, 2012


Sam's arms: how did they get so beefy?

Millie: when did you become so fetching?

Neil Schweiber: you'll look like that till the bitter end.
posted by Beardman at 9:09 AM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


The best drama that's ever been on TV. Sorry, "Mad Men", I love ya, but the freaks and the geeks are the best.
posted by Fnarf at 9:10 AM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Spoiler: the Freaks look exactly the same and the Geeks look nothing like what you remember. Except for Neil. Neil will look like that when he's 100.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:15 AM on December 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Feig's books Superstud and Kick Me are also fantastic. He yanked so many stories for the show directly from his own experience.
posted by mean cheez at 9:16 AM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I didn't watch any episode of this show at all until this year. and then a whole bunch of movies from the recent past made more sense.

I Love You, Man, Knocked Up, Pineapple Express, Forgetting Sarah Marshall.. all Apatow movies that, when you look at the cast from this show, make more sense with some of their references and casting. Especially I Love You, Man, which really felt like Jason Segel's Freaks and Geeks character 15 years later.

My wife has complained that the show is good, but too painful to watch because the social awkwardness is so terrifyingly true to life.

oh so many times I cringed. especially during the family scenes at the Weir house. it brought up some really intense feelings about my own childhood.

I'm really kind of surprised Linda Cardellini hasn't done more. I know she's had a lot of work, but other than a role on ER, nothing seems high profile.

"SETH ROGEN: I dropped out of high school when I started doing the show. I told them I was doing correspondence school from Canada and just wrote Superbad all day."

haha
posted by ninjew at 9:16 AM on December 6, 2012


The F&G cast will be on the Family Feud during the February Sweeps...
posted by tomalak at 1:39 PM on February 10, 2000 [+] [!]


But YouTube professes ignorance. Damn it all.
posted by Iridic at 9:16 AM on December 6, 2012


to add to my comment above, that's kind of this recursive thing where Seth Rogen is on a show about someone else's high school life, which both makes him a star and inspires him to write a story about high school that is made into a movie that then makes a Jonah Hill and Michael Cera famous.
posted by ninjew at 9:22 AM on December 6, 2012


oh so many times I cringed. especially during the family scenes at the Weir house. it brought up some really intense feelings about my own childhood.

For whatever reason, I find those scenes hilarious (most because the Weir father is hilarious), but some of Lindsay's trying awkwardly to fit in scenes make me feel awful. I just want to scream "NO! Stop asking questions about what's going on! Just be cool."

Also, the show got a lot better once I stopped asking myself "Is Jason Segel high in this scene?" and just assumed he was. Actually, I've doing this retroactively to everything I've ever seen Jason Segel in and it's all gotten better.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:25 AM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm actually watching it again right now, for maybe the fourth or fifth time, and it never occurred to me before this time through that Jason Segel is high all the time. He certainly is, though.

It really is just amazingly good, all the way through. Sam walking into the high school in that Parisian night suit is one of the best things to ever be on television.
posted by something something at 9:29 AM on December 6, 2012


Every time I watch it, I think it was actually made in 1981.
posted by whuppy at 9:30 AM on December 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


This is by far my favorite show of all time, and while I'm very sad that it was canceled, I've come to think of it as a perfect 18 hour mini-series. I caught the end of the pilot episode when it aired, and thought "I really like this, but I will never be around on a Saturday night to watch it." I finally caught up with it the next year, when they re-ran the whole series on Fox Family. I bought up episodes on videotape from eBay to supplement my own videotaped copies, and was in absolute heaven when they announced the DVD set in 2004. I bought the yearbook edition and went to the release party at Tower Records where everyone there from the cast and creative team signed my copy.

I love everything Judd Apatow has done since then, but Paul Feig is the genius behind the show. So much of their hearts were poured into this. I grew up in Michigan, and went to high school ten years after the show was set, but all of the archetypes remained. It was a joy to see that time and place captured for posterity, in many ways it supplanted my own memories of high school. On preview, I agree with mean cheez, Paul Feig's two comic memoirs are wonderful supplemental material, and I recommend them to anyone that takes an interest in Freaks and Geeks.
posted by love is a murderer at 9:30 AM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Paging Harris to the thread....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:31 AM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Man, I love this show. The thing that drives me nuts is that I remember seeing it advertised before the pilot aired on NBC, and thinking that I wasn't going to watch it because there was no way it could be as good as it looked, and I didn't want to let network TV disappoint me.

I felt like an asshole when I made my way through the DVDs and remembered that.
posted by COBRA! at 9:32 AM on December 6, 2012


It still pains me deeply that we never knew what happened to Lindsay after she left to follow the Grateful Dead.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:34 AM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


PhoBWanKenobi: the plan was that she returns home with drug problems and her relationship with her parents is shattered. I can't imagine how painful that would have been to watch.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:36 AM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


What a great show. This post just reminded me that I should introduce my daughter to it.
She's in Grade 10 and I think she's having that exact internal battle...she won the Math award a few years ago but wants nothing to do with it; a bit quiet and trying to find her place on the cool scale, I think.
the plan was that she returns home with drug problems and her relationship with her parents is shattered.
Or maybe I shouldn't introduce her. Yikes.
posted by chococat at 9:38 AM on December 6, 2012


Well, I figured that. I suspect she was also supposed to end up with Daniel for awhile. But we never get to see it, to know how these kids end up by the time they graduate high school.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:39 AM on December 6, 2012


the plan was that she returns home with drug problems and her relationship with her parents is shattered.
Or maybe I shouldn't introduce her. Yikes.


As someone who was 16 when the show aired and pretty much thought she was Lindsay Weir (inherited army jacket and all), show it to her. We end up just fine in the end.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:40 AM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


omg, Millie is HOT now!
posted by ninjew at 9:42 AM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


DAN McDERMOTT: I remember getting the call that said, “Garth [Ancier, President of NBC Entertainment] doesn’t get the show. He went to boarding school and Princeton—he doesn’t understand public school.” And that was the first flag that went up.

[. . .]

JUDD APATOW: We were up against the 10th season of Cops. I thought, If we can’t beat the 10th season of Cops, we don’t deserve to be on the air. And, of course, Cops kicked our ass.

SETH ROGEN: You just have to conclude that people would rather watch shirtless dudes get tackled than a TV show about emotional shit that’s funny.
This right here is the shorthand version of why it took HBO and AMC and DVD box sets and Netflix to usher in the true golden age of TV drama. As long as it was still a lowest-common-denominator enterprise, you were going to get 90210 and Dawson's Creek instead of anything in the same county as realism.

Goddamn, it was a great show. And just a note-perfect ending. You know things are going to be so, so good for Lindsay for just a little while, but you also know it probably won't last. Because she is, after all, still in high school.
posted by gompa at 9:45 AM on December 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Just started watching it for the first time. It is great, but it continues to bother me that Busy Phillips isn't featured in the opening title sequence. Was she just cast later than everyone else, or what?

Avoiding the episode walkthrough for fear of spoilers, but thanks for this post.
posted by likeatoaster at 9:47 AM on December 6, 2012


omg, Millie is HOT now!

And Cindy is... not at all what I expected her to grow up to look like. But then, I wonder if Daniel, Ken and Nick would look at all surprising to me if James Franco, Seth Rogan and Jason Segal hadn't enjoyed near-constant exposure ever since the show went off the air.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:48 AM on December 6, 2012


Is it too late to hook Cardellini back up to the Apatow bandwagon?
posted by whuppy at 9:50 AM on December 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


liketoaster: agents and contracts, I believe. It all comes down to agents and contracts. In the second season, she surely would have been considered a lead. (see also: things like Janel Moloney and Dule Hill not getting added to the West Wing credits until season two or later.)
posted by Navelgazer at 9:53 AM on December 6, 2012


I actually got into the Grateful Dead because of the last episode. To me, all of their music seems saturated with an elegiac feeling for 1980.
posted by Beardman at 9:53 AM on December 6, 2012


Just started watching it for the first time. It is great, but it continues to bother me that Busy Phillips isn't featured in the opening title sequence. Was she just cast later than everyone else, or what?

She was originally cast to guest star in a few episodes but she was so great that they kept her on/kept writing her into the series.

I think the relationship between Lindsay and Kim is really raw and real--one of the only girl relationships like that I've ever seen on TV, and so, so honest.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:53 AM on December 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


more pix
posted by kliuless at 9:59 AM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Re: old MetaFilter thread—
Why is it that memories of events from the early 1990s make it seem like they happened just last week, whereas a thread from the early 2000s seems more like a 100-year old relic retrieved from a time capsule?
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:04 AM on December 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Just started watching it for the first time. It is great, but it continues to bother me that Busy Phillips isn't featured in the opening title sequence. Was she just cast later than everyone else, or what?

I believe this is addressed in the commentary tracks. If I recall correctly, her character was not supposed to have such a large part at all, but they loved what she did with her and made her a major character. They didn't have enough money to reshoot or add to the opening credits. She was OK with it.
posted by jsturgill at 10:08 AM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


omg, Millie is HOT now!

Millie was hot then. Christian girls gone bad are the HOTTEST.
posted by Fnarf at 10:17 AM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I remember my dad telling me about this great show that had a main character that reminded him of me. So I watched the show and thought to myself, "Holy shit - that is probably exactly what I would've been like if I'd gone to public school." And so began my love and devotion to Freaks and Geeks.

Someone needs to make a show about going to an all-girls Catholic school in the late 80s. On second thought, I don't need to relive that nightmare.
posted by MsVader at 10:25 AM on December 6, 2012


I think I got this from the DVD commentary - during the opening credits, just before Jason Segal's bit you can see him off to the left rubbing his eyes really hard, making himself look totally baked.
posted by schoolgirl report at 10:28 AM on December 6, 2012


I just love the fact that during this time period, James Franco was so serious and studious that the rest of the cast basically never saw him except for during takes.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:33 AM on December 6, 2012


Freaks and Geeks is awesome , so awesome , it is better than My So-Called Life

Sorry.
posted by Bwithh at 10:39 AM on December 6, 2012


Wow. So I love Freaks and Geeks, but I had no idea that Paul Feig was in the movie that, for one weekend in the sixth grade, my friends and I thought was the funniest thing we'd ever seen: Ski Patrol.

Why here he is in a terrible Youtube video of somebody's television, doing a zany dance. Comedy gold for a couple of eleven year olds.
posted by cottoncandybeard at 10:39 AM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think I may have actually reached the point of becoming a little bit sick of Freaks and Geeks, but only because I've watched every episode about 80 times.

If there is such a thing as a casting directors Hall of Fame, Allison Jones has earned her place in it. I'm trying to think of another show where virtually every major player went on to have these spectacularly successful careers either as major movie stars (Segel, Rogen, Franco) or at minimum as consistently employed actors doing generally great work (Cardellini - apparently a dark horse candidate for an Oscar nod this year, Philips, Daley, Starr).

It is a crime against humanity that Joe Flaherty has been rarely seen since F&G. Not only did he bring his obviously strong comedy chops to the program as the paranoid, overprotective dad, but his dramatic work was a revelation, particularly during the episode where Nick moves into the Weir house following a blowup with his own father.

He also had one of my favorite small moments on the show, which I'm assuming was improvised. His character is depressed after realizing his kids have reached the age where they would much prefer to spend their weekend nights out with their friends rather than at home having "Family Game Night". To make him feel better, his wife suggests that with the kids out of the house, it would be a good opportunity for them to have sex. Instead of heading for the bedroom, Flaherty instead walks into the living room and stands over the couch.

Another fun link for F&G enthusiasts: Tom Wilson interviews Samm Levine on his Big Pop Fun podcast (lots of F&G talk)
posted by The Gooch at 10:50 AM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


If there is such a thing as a casting directors Hall of Fame, Allison Jones has earned her place in it.

I actually did an FPP on her, years ago. Couldn't agree more.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:53 AM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy crap, Martin Starr turned into a hottie.
posted by Sokka shot first at 11:01 AM on December 6, 2012


Jason Segel does such a good job with that "big-hearted and well meaning but clumsy" bit that I feel like I can always relate to his characters in an awkward way. F&G is probably the best example of this, and it doesn't help that his character's first name is also mine.

What a great show.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:39 AM on December 6, 2012


Lance Sweets on Bones makes me feel like a dirty old lady because my brain is so used to John Francis Daley as a 14 year old boy.

But he grew up so nicely!
posted by elsietheeel at 11:45 AM on December 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


My wife and I discovered this show when they were replaying it on Fox Family (Fox Family!) in 2000. We used to tape it each week but after a couple episodes we would make a point of being home to watch it live because we loved it so much.

To us Jason Segel is and always will be "Nick from Freaks and Geeks."
posted by AgentRocket at 11:55 AM on December 6, 2012


I lent my DVDs to a friend who was laid up for a few weeks after surgery. He'd told me more than once that since he hadn't gone to high school in the US, he felt like he was missing out on an important window into the culture. I told him that Freaks and Geeks would be as close to living that experience as he could reasonably expect to get.

We watched a few episodes together while he was recovering, but then I had to leave him to watch the rest on his own. Periodically, over the course of a couple weeks, I would get messages from him: elated, sad, amused, anxious, begging me to tell him things would end up okay. His final message was just "Nooooooooooooooo! It's over!" It was funny to see a mirror of my own experience of watching the show.

It has taken a mighty effort of will just to stick to this thread, and not dig into the post. I've got stuff to do today, and once I get into that profile, I'm done.
posted by EvaDestruction at 12:40 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lance Sweets on Bones makes me feel like a dirty old lady because my brain is so used to John Francis Daley as a 14 year old boy.

Okay seriously how did I not notice that he is the same actor this is like the 'hold A to continue' thing.
posted by flaterik at 1:24 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Okay seriously how did I not notice that he is the same actor this is like the 'hold A to continue' thing.

But does it make you feel like a dirty old man?
posted by elsietheeel at 1:36 PM on December 6, 2012


Bulgaroktonos: "My wife has complained that the show is good, but too painful to watch because the social awkwardness is so terrifyingly true to life."

So true... I bought the DVDs on recommendations here and elsewhere, watched about one episode and then couldn't watch any more. Too much pain. Maybe I should try again.
posted by jiawen at 1:40 PM on December 6, 2012


Not dirty, but that's because of my lack of sexual attraction to males. Just... oblivious.
posted by flaterik at 1:58 PM on December 6, 2012


RUSS ALSOBROOK: It wasn’t wasted: we were trying to find these comedic nuggets of gold that might be scattered throughout a 10-minute take. At one point Eastman Kodak gave me a lot of swag because we’d shot a million feet of film.

Has anyone else ever used "swag" in this way?
posted by subdee at 2:25 PM on December 6, 2012


I just finished watching F&G on Netflix this morning. I've never felt such strong sadness at not being able to spend more time in characters' company. This post was a very welcome antidote.
posted by Conductor71 at 2:25 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love how all the rare and unseen photos look like how people want their Instagram photos to look.
posted by Kitteh at 2:41 PM on December 6, 2012


Has anyone else ever used "swag" in this way?

Yeah, that's an extremely common usage. Swag is allegedly an acronym for "stuff we all get", like the free shirts and pens and crap at trade shows.
posted by palomar at 2:45 PM on December 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Best cold open ever.

Also: I've watched the series so many times, and I still cry when Sam gets the Atari.
posted by gnomeloaf at 2:56 PM on December 6, 2012


Are there still plans to release the special edition, where the last 5 schmaltzy, after-school-special minutes of every episode is removed?
posted by lrobertjones at 3:43 PM on December 6, 2012


If you remove the last five minutes of "Tests and Breasts" I will cut you.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:56 PM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Freaks and Geeks is my favorite program in the whole world, and one of the few I've bought on DVD, because I want to turn all my friends onto it. I haven't had the chance to read the FPP because I want to give it lots of my time. But I can share with you these:

Empirical Observations From Showing Freaks And Geeks
  1. When encouraging faraway friends to watch F&G, the dropout rate from the first two episodes is incredibly high. Their excuses are consistent: the bullying and shame is so accurate that it's too painful to watch. For the addictive process to work, you have to have them over for a TV watching party and get through those episodes in person.
  2. The 90 second scene in which geeky Sam is taunted by a mean older girl (freak Kim Kelly) is the only time I've ever seen that dynamic represented on screen, but I can remember it happening again and again when I was young. Pretend "romance" was used so often as a joke that, in order to survive, you had to learn not to take it seriously. (When adults remember how they completely missed a romantic clue from someone back in high school, it often happened not because they didn't get the hint, but because they had seen that "hint" way too often when it wasn't intended.)
  3. Every time I've introduced friends to the first few episodes, they never want to leave afterwards -- they want to stay and talk about high school. And their first sentence usually is: "If I was back in high school now, I'd be able to do so much better." The show does a great job of reminding you how you just had NO CLUE what was going on, how many mind games you were trying (and failing) to handle. Why are all these people being so gratuitously mean? I wonder if we'd really be better at it now, or if we're overestimating our social skills as inferiors in a vicious environment.
  4. As we get to the later episodes, people start to disagree about the realism of certain story elements. The "Sam (The Geek) Gets Cindy (The Cheerleader)" plot is controversial -- it happens too soon, or it doesn't fit our experience (however much we wish it had). I think it does make sense, but it is set in the wrong year, because Apatow and Feig saw the show was going to be cancelled and began using ideas they had planned for later seasons. There really is a point in a girl's dating life when she tries out the "nice guy" boy who obviously dotes on her. For a short time during my junior year (my nerdy group all did our high school socialization in college), I was that boy several times in a row. In my experience it doesn't work out as well as you would imagine it should.
  5. At the end of the 18 episodes your friends will want to talk about what's going to happen to these characters! Pro tip: don't listen to the commentary track on this point, because Judd Apatow is a maroon. "We thought it would be hilarious if Lindsey became a drug addict!" "Bill Haverchuck joins the jocks." "Wouldn't it be great if Ken finally got a date, and it turns out she's a man? HA HA HA HA fag." (No wait that one actually happened, but it won a GLAAD award.) It's best to let the ending stand where it does, a perfect vision of summer freedom with none of the obvious consequences.
  6. Showing Freaks and Geeks to an actual teenager is eye-opening. Almost none of the things I just described will happen in that case. They enjoy it as a straight-up period piece with loveable characters.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 4:00 PM on December 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


My favorite Paul Feig quote ever, from an AV Club interview:

"I have to laugh, because over the years, people always go like, “Oh it’s too bad you didn’t have the last episode, because I wish I could have seen what happened to everybody, and finish up.” And I’m so happy with that last episode. I have no regrets. To me, we said goodbye to all the characters. They would have been different the next year, and then the year after that, they would have been different again."
posted by box at 4:10 PM on December 6, 2012


Oh god, Harvey Kilobit, I can barely watch that scene in #2. It never happened to me that way - the joke was usually that some girl liked me who didn't, or I'd get flowers from a secret admirer who never revealed herself and was probably some tormentor's fake - but it hits too close. Argh.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:06 PM on December 6, 2012


Harvey, you've just inspired me to rewatch it for the first time since I was 16. This should be . . . interesting.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:34 PM on December 6, 2012


As we get to the later episodes, people start to disagree about the realism of certain story elements. The "Sam (The Geek) Gets Cindy (The Cheerleader)" plot is controversial -- it happens too soon, or it doesn't fit our experience (however much we wish it had).

Although I could see the argument, I never had an issue with the believability of the "Sam Dates Cindy" storyline. There had been a good amount of rapport between the two characters throughout the series, so it's not like it came out of left field or anything. Plus, Sam was the least outwardly geeky of the geeks, so they didn't look unnatural as a couple.

If anything on the show felt like fantasy wish-fulfillment, it was the Mean Girl Vicky lets nerdy Bill Haverchuck make out with her bit. But the overall scene up to that point is so well-done that I give it a pass.
posted by The Gooch at 5:52 PM on December 6, 2012


subdee: "Has anyone else ever used "swag" in this way?"

Are you perhaps thinking of "schwag"?
posted by Red Loop at 6:42 PM on December 6, 2012


"Wouldn't it be great if Ken finally got a date, and it turns out she's a man? HA HA HA HA fag." (No wait that one actually happened, but it won a GLAAD award.)

Man, I love that episode, and think the GLAAD award was well-earned (inasmuch as I can say anything about that.) They took a realistic situation (straight boy starts questioning his sexuality and turns away from the girl he's crazy about when she had just opened up to him more than she could open up to others) and found the humor and drama in it, without ever being demeaning or cruel. And Seth Rogen and Jessica Campbell did great work in making the two of them seem like the most natural and healthy relationship in the show, just still one prone to the screw-ups of immaturity. Even the Ben Stiller stunt-casting can't ruin that episode for me (and in truth, that wasn't so awful, just not in keeping with the tone of the rest of the show.)
posted by Navelgazer at 6:55 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jessica Campbell. Man, whatever happened to her? She had two perfect roles, in this and in Election, and then we never heard from her again. It's a damn shame.

I hear Freaks and Geeks compared to My So-Called Life a lot, but the one episode I saw of the latter made me feel like perhaps it's just in the "shows about high school that aren't completely full of shit" category, nowhere near as subtle or as brilliant as F+G is. For me, that show stands alone. It's one of the best and truest pieces of cinema ever made.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:13 PM on December 6, 2012


Also, from the same Vanity Fair article, here's Paul Feig on what his ideas for a season two had been, and some of these sound completely amazing:
Sam’s future was going to be drama club. Because that was my experience in school: I got deep into drama club. That was the storyline I was most excited about, because I was going to portray what actually happened to me. I thought he’d be more on the stage crew than actually performing, just because that was kind of interesting, the guys that were keeping it together from behind the scenes. But my drama teacher, who was one of the biggest influences on my life creatively, was an alcoholic, and over the course of my sophomore through senior year, she got worse and worse and started depending on me. I’d get called away from class under the guise of an emergency, and it would be her on the phone saying, “You’ve got to come pick me up. I left my car at the bar last night.” So I was really excited to get that going, this weird kind of taking-care-of-an-adult relationship, while he’s still learning amazing stuff from her, this tortured drama-teacher soul. That bummed me out the most, not getting to play that story out.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:16 PM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Jessica Campbell. Man, whatever happened to her?

Indeed. Weird that they didn't even get her back with everyone else for the reunion shoot.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:49 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've always meant to watch this. Thanks for the post. Three episodes in and I love it. Picked up Feig's books too.
posted by Ephelump Jockey at 9:19 PM on December 6, 2012


Okay. Re-watching the show again, this time on Netflix, with my 2 daughters.
Just watched the pilot and then they wanted to watch episode 2. Got about 15 minutes in and our internet crapped out but I think they're hooked already. Halfway through the pilot my 15 yr old asked me, with a smile, if I was a "freek or a geek" in high school.
posted by chococat at 10:09 PM on December 6, 2012


Also, it's funny that this show from 2000 about high school life in the early '80's lives in my brain in the same neighbourhood as Square Pegs, which was a show from the early 80's about being in junior/high school, which I watched religiously while I was living through junior high in the early '80's.
posted by chococat at 10:17 PM on December 6, 2012


Halfway through the pilot my 15 yr old asked me, with a smile, if I was a "freek or a geek" in high school.

"Neither - I was the quarterback in the first shot."
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:52 AM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hear Freaks and Geeks compared to My So-Called Life a lot, but the one episode I saw of the latter made me feel like perhaps it's just in the "shows about high school that aren't completely full of shit" category, nowhere near as subtle or as brilliant as F+G is. For me, that show stands alone. It's one of the best and truest pieces of cinema ever made.

You should watch MSCL, Rory--all of it. It's just as emotionally true as F&G, though in another way. It's not merely good TV and in a few ways I'd say it feels truer to me than F&G, maybe because of the diversity or the inherent grittiness of it. And that's speaking as someone who LOVES F&G.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:59 AM on December 7, 2012


People who love Freaks and Geeks need to read Paul Feig's books, Kick Me and Superstud. They are two of the funniest books published in the English language.
posted by reenum at 12:01 PM on December 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


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