Cult TV: Freaks and Geeks

Cast of Freaks and Geeks (SOURCE: Fox)The last decade of television has seen a lot of duds, the evil uprising of reality TV, and for some reason “The View” continues to remain on the air. But throughout that time some television programs have not only been quality, but have been borderline genius. Unfortunately for said shows, they mostly have a short life and get cut before they can meet their full potential. Despite to their remarkably short existence, they have been able to leave their mark on people smart enough to enjoy their entertainment value, thus giving them cult status. The first show on this list would be the short-lived but amazing NBC series “Freaks and Geeks.”

“Freaks and Geeks” ran from 1999-2000 during NBC’s pilot season. It was created by the amazing Paul Feig (“The Office,” “Arrested Development”) and produced by Judd Apatow (“The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up,” and “Funny People”) who could be one of the most brilliant comedic filmmakers of this lifetime. It had an all star cast before they were all stars, including Linda Cardellini who played the lead Lindsay Weir, and John Francis Daley who played her brother Sam. Some of today’s most popular actors were part of the tough crowd Lindsay started hanging out with, including Seth Rogan, Jason Segel and James Franco, yeah, I know… it’s hard to believe that those guys would be on the same screen, right?

The show was set in William McKinley High School during the 1980–1981 school year in the small fake town of Chippewa, Michigan. It was a place where everyone knew everyone’s business. As soon as something of out of the ordinary happened, not only did your parents know but their parents and your best friend’s parents knew also.

Now at first glance it seems like another horrid after-school special type of show dealing with changing bodies and abstinence, but it was just the opposite. The show dealt with real teen problems yet could appeal to a larger crowd than just the struggling teen. It’s a show where you could sit down with your parents and they would be laughing as much as you.

The show focused on Lindsay’s struggles growing up. She was always a geek growing up, head of the mathletes, straight A’s, that kind of thing. But she got bored with the monotony and decided to start rolling with a different crowd, the freaks.

One of the things I loved about this show, other than the that fact that it was freaking amazing, and had one of the best soundtracks for television ever, was that unlike most high school dramas, you really never saw the “cool kids” that much. It was almost like the clichés that you usually saw in a high school setting just weren’t valid, and the freaks and geeks were the real stars of the school.

In the case of “Freaks and Geeks” I feel it was a wrong time wrong place sort of deal. I mean NBC has put out some pretty good shows the past few years. If this show were to air now it would be the biggest hit since “Heroes,” but in the early millennium this gem of a show had to compete with some heavy hitters, “Friends,” “Will and Grace” and “Frasier” just to name a few. That time in television history was all about laugh tracks and attractive twentysomethings living in zany kooky world. It was a time when people wanted to escape from their lives. “Freaks and Geeks” is a show that makes you think about your current state and, in many cases, can give you the tools to better yourself.

I would advise everyone in the world to go out and buy this show on DVD right now! Trust me, you will love it.

Next week we will discuss the best show to be on TV ever … if you guessed “Real Chance of Love 2,” then put down this paper and never read it again! I do not like your kind. If you guessed “Arrested Development,” then we shall get married. We will discuss the evil FOX TV and how the show should still be on the air due to its pure awesomeness.