Mike and I go through phases where we'll get hooked on a TV series and watch it incessantly for a few weeks at a time. More often than not, we fall asleep watching it but we muddle our way through each episode as best we can. First it was Ed, the dramedy about lawyer-cum-bowling-alley-owner Ed Stevens who returns to his hometown on a whim and tries to capture the heart of his highschool crush Carol Vessey.
Then it was Pushing Daisies, another dramedy of sorts bolstered by stunning and beautiful special effects. Ned has a wonderful and mysterious power - he can bring someone back to life with the touch of his hand, but a second touch will kill said person forever more. When a private investigator discovers Ned's ability, he quickly enlists his help in solving murder cases - for it's much easier to solve a murder when you can talk to the deceased. When Ned's investigations involve his young childhood love Chuck, however, Ned decides to keep the girl alive and not give her the fatal second touch. The two try to carry on their love, but are hindered by their inability to touch and the necessity of keeping Chuck hidden so no one discovers Ned's secret. Though it sounds a bit silly, the show is unbelievably sweet and a true feast for the eyes.
Nowadays, we're hooked on Freaks and Geeks, a show that seems to have a cult following, despite it's short single season run. Until watching recently, I never realized how star-studded this show was - Judd Apatow was the show's executive producer and James Franco, Jason Segel, and Seth Rogen (among others) all had large roles.
But the show centers around Lindsay, played by Linda Cardelleni, and her brother Sam, portrayed by John Francis Daley. Lindsay is an ex-Mathlete now trying to make her way into a rebellious group of slacker "freaks." Franco, Segel, and Rogen are among the freaks, while Sam and his two best friends are the certified geeks. With parents who just don't understand a thing, bullies who make high school torturous, a misunderstood hippie guidance counselor trying to lend a helping hand, and all the pains of trying to fit in, puberty, crushes, and friendships in flux, this show offers a relatable look at adolescence.
The show is still a dramedy/sitcom in which wacky circumstances arise and melodrama occasionally ensue. But in contrast to the typical highly polished teen drama, Freaks and Geeks takes a more gritty, realistic approach in portraying the average high school experience which most TV shows gloss over. As the season progresses, the content of the show grows darker, covering issues such as parental infidelity and hospitalization as a result of bullying. Still entertaining and poignant, it is also apparent why this show may have become uncomfortable for some viewers. At times it becomes almost too realistic in its portrayal of those more grim events that come with the loss of innocence and the dawning of adulthood.
Nonetheless, there are still plenty of moments of levity and I have got to say that Jason Segel is absolutely lovable as Nick Andopolis in the show. Although he's in with the more rebellious crowd, Nick is as sweet as can be at heart and adorably naive at times. Segel's character has the perfect mix of boy-next-door appeal paired with youthful enthusiasm and blind innocence to make audiences root for him. His ill-fated ambitions of becoming a successful musician paired with his unrelenting adoration of Lindsay make for some great musical humor.
Though Mike and I are still working our way through the series, I've included a collection of some of my favorite clips that I've seen thus far.
Do you remember this show from it's short-lived heyday?