Questions and answers, but mainly questions.

Freaks & Geeks Finale

Kristin and I are mourning the end of a season. Last night we watched the final episode of “Freaks & Geeks.” The series lasted one glorious season. Sadly, it was cancelled just when things were getting really good.

Here’s Netflix’s synopsis (because I’m too lazy to write my own):

Set in a suburban Detroit high school in the early 1980s, this Emmy-nominated drama focuses on the lives of two groups of teens who don’t live in the fabricated, glossy world that most TV shows depict as “normal.” No, Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini) and her brother Sam (John Francis Daly) live in the reality of being less-than-popular that most Americans remember — or try to forget — about their high school years.

What I appreciate most about the show is the casting. Even the popular kids aren’t all that good looking. I mean – for the most part, they’re all teenagers in real life. This isn’t a bunch of 20 somethings playing kids. I think this contributed a lot to the integrity of the story.

My favorite episode is the one when Sam Weir gets locked out of the boys locker room wearing only a towel. The other boys fianlly open the door. Instead of letting him in, they steal his towel. Maybe one of the funniest streaking scenes ever filmed. Yes – my sense of humor is that base.

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9 responses

  1. danielle

    aww. i’ve always been curious about that show. i’m gonna watch if i can.

    January 22, 2006 at 2:03 pm

  2. Kristin

    Seriously, this is a great show. Maybe I’m just being sentimental because it’s over but I think it’s great to learn about friends/family/spouses/whoever you watch it with. There are great discussions about what you were like in high school, discussing the characters and it is sure to make you laugh ’til you wet your pants! Matt and I laughed so hard during the streaking episode that we woke Jaimes up!

    Watch Freaks and Geeks!

    January 23, 2006 at 12:02 pm

  3. Matt,
    I rented “The Bicycle Thief” last night. It’s so good. Man! Also, Have you seen “The Ladykillers”? The Coen brother’s version. I fell in love with the opening credit shots. It’s really good. And funny.

    January 23, 2006 at 12:50 pm

  4. I remember when that show was on and i remember it was real funny. why did they cancel it?

    January 23, 2006 at 7:20 pm

  5. rich

    “freaks and geeks” was one of the best teevee shows in history, as far as i’m concerned — very real, humanistic portrayals of very complex characters, which to my mind gave the humor a feeling of authenticity

    contrast this approach with most “successful” sitcoms, where the characters are usually reducible to one defining characteristic that explains all of their behaviors (e.g., here’s the dumb character, watch him do something dumb; here’s the materialistic character, watch her say something shallow; etc.) — most of the humor in these shows results from butting these one-dimensional characters up against each other (e.g., the dumb character says something dumb to the witty character who then cleverly puts down the dumb character, and so on) — the laughs are cheaper and more condescending (both to the characters and the intelligence of the audience)

    i wonder what it says about our culture that a show like “freaks and geeks” failed after a season or two…

    January 24, 2006 at 11:53 am

  6. i’m sure it says a lot of things about our culture. the first thing that jumps to my mind is that we are far too easily pleased. concerning our taste in entertainment, it’s as if we’re turning down cheesecake because we’re happy with sweet tarts. you can insert your food of choice. i know rich’s analogy would likely involve a cinnamon streusel roll.

    January 24, 2006 at 3:22 pm

  7. Kristin

    Totally agree with you Rich and Matt. Not trying to be shallow but Jaimes is all over the place right now.

    January 25, 2006 at 11:55 am

  8. rich

    (more ranting…)

    …or, more appropriately, compare the show to the other teen shows from the same period — how about the popular “dawson’s creek,” where pretty twentysomethings played teenagers, spoke absurdly “clever” dialogue, confronted soap opera situations, and too frequently played second fiddle to the writers’ heavy-handed didacticism (one episode taught me that if you go to a rave, inevitably you’ll end up connected to a respirator after slipping into a coma from ecstasy use)

    or what about any of the wb’s supernaturally-themed shows like “buffy” or “charmed” — okay, i get it, they’re witches, and they have cell phones and boyfriend problems — how hilarious, how postmodern! how irrelevant to a young person’s life experience!

    (clearly, as you can see, i have a bone to pick here…)

    what else we got? “gilmore girls”? now this one, in all fairness, has got better writing than most of them, but still way too clever with the dialogue — the characters don’t feel entirely real, so the situations and humor reflect that, not fully resonating beyond their witticisms — we’re constantly aware that we’re watching mouthpieces for the writers, not real people

    don’t even get me started on “the o.c.”

    (give me another day or two, and i’m sure i’ll find some more pent-up bitterness at the cancellation of “freaks and geeks” — more attacks on american programming are surely forthcoming…) :O)

    January 26, 2006 at 2:05 pm

  9. Kristin

    lol. TOTALLY!

    We were just talking about the vocab used on these teen shows with some friends at our small group the other night. How unrealistic! None of the characters even come close to being as deep and endearing as Bill, Sam or Lindsey. I think Bill was the best though. I love the confidence he has walking into the make out party. Don’t remember the lines though. Do you Matt? Then the episode when he was fighting to be the captain of the baseball/softball team?

    hmmm, I wonder if we could have a small discussion group about this sometime?

    January 26, 2006 at 2:48 pm

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