If you’re looking for a show to binge watch that doesn’t take over your entire life, put Game of Thrones on pause, toss away your walking dead box set and delay starting House of Cards; freaks and geeks is the ideal show for you. Although only boasting one series, running from 1999-2000, since its cancellation the show has continued to convert both old and young through DVD, sporadic showings on TV and now Netflix. The entire show is also available on YouTube so there’s no excuse not to give it a gander.
Freaks and Geeks marked the launch of Judd Apatow’s career (executive producer of the series) and subsequently the birth of a new generation of comedy, culminating in cult classics Anchorman, Step Brothers and Superbad. The series was also the first notable works of now A-listers James Franco, Seth Rogen, and Jason Segel, thus launching them into successful individual careers and collaborations (This is The End, Knocked Up).
Set in suburban Detroit circa 1980, the show follows 16-year-old loner Lindsey, played by Linda Cardellini (ER) as she transitions from straight A student to straight up stoner; Whilst younger brother Sam has to contend with high school bullies and pipe dream crushes. All this helps to frame the juvenile actions of Franco and co. in what is the real pull of the show.
Freaks and Geeks is everything ‘That 70s Show’ aimed for but failed to be; subtle, witty, authentic and now, cult. This endearing tone may be in part due to the transience of the series, having been cut in such untimely fashion. The subsequent retroactive morbidity is part of the show’s allure, being one of the very few shows that truly ended at its peak.
-By Adam Thompson