Philosophising about the 'S'-word: Watch… and learn
Freaks and Geeks is an American teen comedy-drama television series, created by Paul Feig, with Judd Apatow (Love) as executive producer, that aired on NBC during the 1999–2000 television season. Eighteen episodes were completed, but the series was canceled after only 12 had aired.
A fan-led campaign persuaded NBC to broadcast three more episodes in July 2000; the three remaining unaired episodes, for a total of 18, aired that September on the cable network Fox Family Channel. The complete series was later released on DVD and is available in North America on Netflix.
Freaks and Geeks has a cult following. The series appeared on Time magazine’s 2007 “100 Greatest Shows of All Time” list, and placed third on the magazine’s list of greatest television shows of the 2000s (decade). In 2007, Freaks and Geeks ranked #21 on TV Guide‘s Top Cult Shows Ever. In 2008, Entertainment Weekly ranked it the 13th-best series of the past 25 years. The same year, AOL TV named it the Best School Show of All Time. In 2013 TV Guide included it in its list of The 60 Greatest Dramas of All Time, and ranked it #1 on their list of 60 shows that were “Cancelled Too Soon”. It launched several of its young actors into successful television and film careers.
Teenage Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini) and her younger brother Sam (John Francis Daley) attend William McKinley High School during the 1980–1981 school year, in the town of Chippewa, Michigan, a fictional suburb of Detroit (named after Chippewa Valley High School, which series creator Paul Feig attended).
Lindsay’s friends constitute the “freaks” — Daniel Desario (James Franco), Ken Miller (Seth Rogen), Nick Andopolis (Jason Segel), Kim Kelly (Busy Philipps); and Sam’s friends constitute the “geeks” — Neal Schweiber (Samm Levine) and Bill Haverchuck (Martin Starr); of the title. The Weirs’ parents, Harold (Joe Flaherty) and Jean (Becky Ann Baker), are featured in every episode. Millie Kentner (Sarah Hagan), Lindsay’s nerdy, highly religious former best friend, is a recurring character, as is Cindy Sanders (Natasha Melnick), the attractive, popular cheerleader on whom Sam has a crush.
Lindsay finds herself attempting to transform her life as an academically proficient student, star “mathlete”, and young girl to a rebellious teenager who hangs out with troubled slackers. Her relationships with her new friends, and the friction they cause with her parents and with her own self-image, form one central strand of the show. The other follows Sam and his group of geeky friends as they navigate a different part of the social universe, and try to fit in.