In the last episode of Freaks and Geeks, Mr. Rosso loans Lindsay the Grateful Dead’s album, American Beauty. A Deadhead in the cafeteria spies the record that Lindsay’s holding and says that American Beauty is so great that she wishes she never heard it…just so she could hear it for the first time.
That’s how I feel about Freaks and Geeks.
Just two short weeks ago, I had not watched a single episode of this 1999 cult hit. The Judd Apatow series has been lauded by many, including my friend Triple, who has been telling me for years that I’d love it.
And I’ve been telling her for years that I’m sure I would, and I would love it, and I promise I will watch it. Someday.
Triple’s known me for quite a while. So she wisely took matters into her own hands, getting together with Chelley to give me the entire series on DVD for my birthday.
With no excuses left, I went about watching Freaks and Geeks like I do with any tasty treat. I savored it bite by bite, taking time to fully appreciate the flavor and texture of each morsel.
Ummm, no. I devoured it. Gulped it down, forgetting to breathe or eat or sleep for the good part of two weekends.
And just like that, it’s over. I’ve watched the whole series, all 18 episodes. At first I thought about saying it’s like Wonder Years meets That 70s Show, but it’s really more than that. It was possibly the most realistic and evenly acted portrayal of high school I’ve seen. Kind of the anti-Dawson’s Creek. (Not that I didn’t love me some Dawson’s Creek, because ummm, I did.)
But now it was all gone, never to be seen again. Well, that’s not true. I can watch it any time I want. Plus, the DVD set has hours of extras – deleted scenes, interviews and commentaries. So I will actually be enjoying the antics of Lindsay, Sam and their friends for, quite possibly, years to come. In the meantime, brace yourself. I’ve received much wisdom from these 18 episodes, and it is my duty, nay, my honor to pass it along.
Not today, though. I don’t actually feel all that wise today. Maybe tomorrow.
For today, let me just say that I had no idea how many people had starred or appeared on this show! Even Ben Stiller appeared in the last episode. Here’s a quick list of the actors I recognized (and what I knew them from before F&G entered my life):
- John Francis Daley (now appearing as “Sweets” on Bones)
- Seth Rogen (well-known for his roles in several Apatow movies, including Knocked Up and Pineapple Express)
- Jason Segel (also known as “Marshall” from How I Met Your Mother)
- James Franco (mysteriously appearing in many films as a “pretty boy” or “hot guy,” including the Spider-Man series. I don’t get this one.)
- Busy Phillipps (has reprised her role as a prickly jerk in both TV – Dawson’s Creek – and movies – Made of Honor)
- Thomas F. Wilson (or, as he’ll forever be known to me, “Biff” from Back to the Future)
- Matt Czuchry (I fell in love with my husband all over again when he said, “Hey, it’s Logan from Gilmore Girls!” I was so proud.)
- Shia LaBeouf (since I’m not sure how to pronounce that name, I prefer to call him “that kid from Indiana Jones”)
- David Krumholtz (you can call him “the guy from Numbers” all you want, but I know he’s really the big elf from Tim Allen’s Santa Clause movies)
- Lizzy Caplan (from another short-lived sitcom, The Class, as well as Mean Girls) [Fun fact: In the last episode, Jason Segel accidentally called her by her real name (Liz) and not by her name on the show (Sara).]
- Rashida Jones (the actress who apparently wants to be called “Karen,” as that’s her name both in this show and on The Office)
[Note: If you’d like to learn more about this show and/or the DVD, I recommend going here for a better review than you’re ever going to get out of me.]
This post is part of Works for Me Wednesday (as in, this TV show certainly worked for me!). For more relevant life-enriching tips, head over to Rocks in My Dryer.
Of course, as you’ve already mentioned, I love this show. I wish I had never seen it for another reason, though. It really bothers me to think about all the great episodes that would’ve been if executives with no taste hadn’t canceled it after one season. It bothers me that I’ll never know what happened to the characters. It’s like being forced to stop reading a really good book right in the middle.
Linda Cardellini (sp?) or Lindsay is on ER. I don’t watch that show, but I always see her in the commercials. Busy is or was on ER, too, and from the commercials it looked like she played a sweet Christian girl (definitely not type-casting!)
Mad dog and I quote this show at least once a week in random conversation. Some of his favorites: “Prison is heaven compared to where those sex pistols are going to end up” and “That song is not about a man and his accordian”
We had a “Freaks and Geeks” marathon awhile back, too! Love it.
we LOVE freak and geeks, too. it is so funny! and i loved seeing so many familiar faces in it, too. i’m jealous you have the set–although i could also put them on my blockbuster queue again…
i love me some teen shows, but my all-time favorite is my so-called life. seen that?
Time well spent! I am so proud to have contributed at least one “you-have-to-watch-this-show” to previous conversations! Welcome to the club! I think I am inspired to netflix the entire series for re-watching purposes.
Haha, Triple! I can totally hear Mad Dog saying that about the sex pistols!! I read that Lindsay is on ER, but I’ve never noticed. I bet I will next time I see a commercial now.
Thanks for coming by, Nichole and Susannah! I actually didn’t watch My So-Called Life, either, but I know I’ll love it when I finally see it!!
Amy – it’s a big day for us, isn’t it? :)
I’ve never seen Freaks and Geeks, but now you’ve got me curious. I’ve heard a few people lately talk about how funny Curb Your Enthusiasm is. Tonight I watched only 5 min. and it was pretty funny. Have you seen it? And… yeah, I could see how that comment from your husband would be kind of a turn on! lol.
Oh dear, just wanted to say that I watched a few full episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm and now I’m not so sure about it. It’s still funny, but they use the F-bomb quite a bit and there is so much yelling. I had to take a break from it. Not sure if I can watch much more… just waaay too much yelling. Do people really talk that way to each other?
I’ve only watched a couple episodes of that, Brenda, b/c we don’t have HBO. If it has a lot of uncomfortable yelling, I probably wouldn’t like it, though…?!
tolkien once said that he didn’t want children to read ‘the lord of the rings’ not because he thought they wouldn’t like it, but because he didn’t want the newness to have been worn off by the time they were old enough to truly appreciate it. (except he said it more humbly than that.)
Oh, Mel, that’s how I feel about the Narnia Chronicles! I loved those books as a kid and read them over and over – but now that I’m an adult I really need to read them again (since I’ll get what they really mean).
I’m so glad you liked it so much! :D And I didn’t realize so many people had been in it (maybe because I haven’t seen all the episodes yet;) — especially Rashida Jones. I looked her up on IMDB after you said that, and she’s been in a lot! I always thought ‘The Office’ was her first role! :))
And I agree… those dumb executives! Give good shows a chance! Can’t they tell what shows are good? I think they need my help. I could tell them to keep shows like ‘Freaks and Geeks’ and scrap disasters like ‘The Bachelor.’
OK, I HAVE to get my hands on this! Still never seen it.
And also, that’s how I feel about Firefly, now! We’re totally rationing the 14 episodes.