Freaks and Geeks: The Best-Cancelled Television Show in History

After only 18 episodes, Freaks and Geeks, a series dedicated to the accurate portrayal of 1980’s Michigan, abruptly ended.

The writers of the series emphasized a need to create something in opposition to other shows made in the late 80’s and 90’s. Jake Kasdan, director of the Pilot episode, had his own approach to directing Freaks and Geeks. Kasdan’s artistic vision mirrored those of creator Judd Apatow and writer Paul Feig. Each episode was meant to feel like an independent film with a distinctive 70’s feel.

Kasdan speaks on the DVD Commentary about achieving a sense of “reality” by letting the “camera hang back and create this sense of an objective observer, that it’s just real and we’re watching it happen.” Dedication to this realistic portrayal of high school life in the 80’s is critical. The show acquired this level of authenticity due, in part, to its well-written characters. High school students were played by actors who were close to their character’s age in most cases and most have continued on to other successful projects.

However, large numbers of the television audience never got a chance to witness this authenticity first hand because NBC never pushed for Freaks and Geeks as it had done for series with far less merit and potential.

NBC slated the series for the television dead zone of Saturday night. “Freaks and Geeks, easily NBC’s best new show of the 1999-2000 season, had its fate sealed when the net skedded it on Saturdays–a timeslot so deadly that NBC [has] now completely abandoned the idea of serving up original programming on the night” (Adalian). After five episodes, the series was moved to Monday night. Ratings went up slightly but they never really found an audience due to the lack of support from the network and the fact that the show was stacked up against cultural phenomenon “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” NBC aired two more episodes a month later and then “burnt off three more episodes on a single Saturday night during the July doldrums” (Freilich). Three episodes never aired on NBC at all.

NBC’s marketing was horrible; many of the promos that were included on the DVD set had little to do with the show and did not appropriately display the talent of the cast. There was little emphasis on the music (which the show was famous for) and the scenes seemed deliberately staged. Two promos showed Bill in the baseball field attempting to catch a ball that falls far behind him. The second promo featured Sam watching a wind-blown Cindy Sanders approach him to borrow a chair from his empty table. The final promo was a scene where Daniel and Kim sat on Daniel’s car with very little chemistry or motivation. None of these scenes were in the show itself. NBC played it safe. They presented the freaks and geeks in stereotypical ways.

Freaks and Geeks was brilliantly realistic, sometimes to the point of being embarrassing to watch. It is that element combined with the enormous talent of the cast and crew that made the show into the cult classic it is. For those who didn’t catch it during its brief stay on television there is a 6-DVD set that includes a “fuck-ton of commentaries from writers, producers, directors, actors, and even some of the show’s characters. Bloopers, deleted scenes, alternate takes — pretty much everything a fan could ask for” (Freilich). Freaks and Geeks: the Complete Series also includes twenty-eight audio commentaries for only eighteen episodes. (All of which I have listened to!) *

The visual style of the show is amazing. “As we learn during the audio commentaries, Freaks and Geeks used a deliberately subdued and restricted palette. They wanted to replicate the typical look of NBC [television] shows from the late 70’s and early 80’s” (Jacobson). Creating the Midwest in California was difficult due to the way in which scenes look when shot outdoors. The crew used lighting tricks in order to achieve “Midwestern colours” which are grey and green tints, as opposed to “L.A. colours” which are tints of orange and brown.

The Freaks and Geeks soundtrack features: Styx, Van Halen, Deep Purple, Santana, Janis Joplin, Kiss, Cheap Trick, Ted Nugent, Rush, Cream, Billy Joel, Journey, The Moody Blues, Queen, Kansas, Joe Jackson, The Cars, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Boston, Mac Davis, Seals & Crofts, Bob Seger, Grateful Dead, The Who, and more. I grew up in the 80’s and early 90’s with parents who listened to classic rock so the first thing I noticed was the music, the incredible music. The episode “Dead Dogs and Gym Teachers” features seven songs by The Who, the only non-Who song being “Summer Breeze” by Seals and Crofts. Music highlights many key moments in the show and is one of the most crucial elements of the series.

I wanted to cover as much of the series as possible because there are so many great episodes, so I chose the ones I found myself watching repeatedly. Before I describe any in depth scenes I will cover the main characters of the series. The Freaks are: Daniel Desario (James Franco), his girlfriend Kim Kelly (Busy Philipps), Nick Andopolis (Jason Segel) and Ken Miller (Seth Rogen). Linda Cardellini plays Lindsey Weir, a smart girl who began to question her identity after witnessing the death of her grandmother. Lindsey is the main protagonist of the Freak side while her younger brother Sam is a freshman Geek who is into comedy and a pretty cheerleader named Cindy Sanders. The show is careful not to stereotype all geeks as brainy. Sam’s two best friends and fellow Geek sidekicks are Neal Schweiber (Samm Levine) and Bill Haverchuck (Martin Starr) and their interests range from ventriloquism to Dallas (as in Patrick Duffy Dallas). Lindsey’s parents Jean (Becky Ann Baker) and Harold (Joe Flaherty) are protective but understanding most of the time, and a hilarious addition to the show.

“Tricks and Treats” is not only about my favorite holiday but is the first on my list of episodes in chronological order. This episode does a great job of characterizing the main characters. It can be a little dark at times, though the lighter moments alleviate any long lasting feelings of depression (not true of the last episode the first time I watched it!) The focus of “Tricks and Treats” is Sam’s decision to go trick or treating after his teacher assigns the class a long difficult book to read over the holiday weekend. Sam’s friends struggle with the idea that they might be too old as high school freshmen to be trick or treating anymore. On the Freak side, Lindsey abandons handing out candy with her mom to go on a drive with her freak friends. While Lindsey is out smashing pumpkins Sam and the Geeks get dressed up to have one last night on the town (trick or treating anyway).

Sam dresses as Gort, the robot from The Day the Earth Stood Still, later a chain-smoking woman who gives the boys circus peanuts tells him he looks like a freakin’ tin man. Neal complains that his Groucho Marx* costume looks more like Hitler or Tom Selleck. Bill chooses Jamie Summers, the Bionic Woman, for his costume. He applies make-up, women’s clothing and a wig while getting into character in front of a mirror. Sam throws “Crime and Punishment” into his bedside table drawer, Neal finally asks his mother to help him with his mustache and Bill is interrupted on the phone by his after pretending to be the Bionic Woman. Bill even grabs his heavily padded chest proclaiming, “No these are not Bionic,these are all me.”

The song that plays in the background is “Gonna Raise Hell” by Cheap Trick. The song fits the scene so perfectly, in meaning and timing. The beat of the scene really makes it one of my favorite in the whole series. “Gonna Raise Hell” is also playing on the radio in the car the Freaks drive around in. This interesting juxtaposition suggests that the two groups are to be contrasted and compared.

On their trick or treat mission, the Geeks are joined by a sage-like sophomore named Harris dressed as a “guy with a knife through his head.” While they collect candy, the boys talk about what they heard strangers do to candy. The rumor of razor blades and needles in candy was not only an issue dealing with Halloween treats but also a turning point in American culture that taught children not to trust anyone, even their own neighbors.

Many of the best scenes center around the Geeks and more specifically Bill. My favorite scene of the series is in the episode “The Diary.” Bill, Neal and Sam dread gym class but playing baseball is the worst. This episode shows viewers a Geek’s worst nightmare, being picked last in gym class. The popular kids are all chosen, leaving Sam, Neal, Bill, and their overweight friend, Gordon Crisp. The music cue is hit right at the perfect moment. “No Language In Our Lungs” by XTC strikes a chord as the freshmen boys are “divvied up” between the two teams of jocks. This is a scene that transcends regular television. Bill was picked last, the song echoes his defeat. Martin Starr, the actor who played Bill was genius at funny bits but he had so much range as Bill that he easily became the best and most versatile character in the series. The combination of the slowed pace of the shot, the song that echoes the pangs of Bill’s rejection and Starr’s heart wrenching performance is what makes this series worth watching. An interesting side-note is “No Language In Our Lungs” was the alternate song choice, the creators decided against Roy Orbison’s “Only the Lonely” which would have worked beautifully as well.

The next episode on the list is “Chokin’ and Tokin’, which I chose because the show was cancelled after this episode hit the airwaves. This episode dealt with drug use. The creators of the show were not shy about confronting the issue head on without any overdramatic messages, which is what viewers usually see on shows about teens.

Lindsey and Nick had a history on the show but nothing really developed due to Nick’s reliance on Marijuana. When the town goes dry and Nick is forced to be sober for a week he and Lindsey get along really well. When Nick finally gets weed he asks Lindsey to smoke with him. The experience is less than satisfying for Lindsey, who had never smoked pot before. When Lindsey accuses Nick of being addicted, he throws the weed to her and tells her to do whatever she wants with it, proving that he can in fact live without it. Lindsey forgot she was supposed to baby-sit for her neighbors. She ends up getting stoned in her room. Lindsey’s “rolling a joint” montage was hilarious: too little, too much, then she gets it just right. Her father Harold Weir comes in to ask why she is at home and not babysitting for the Johnson’s. Lindsey panics at the prospect of babysitting alone and turns to her friend Millie, a smart and sweet girl who cares deeply for Lindsey. Millie agrees to help after clearly spotting that her friend is high.

Lindsey is shocked and wonders how Millie, who is so straight, would know about pot. Millie tells her “I know what high people look like; I went to a Seals and Crofts concert last summer.” Millie one of my favorite characters, she is a “Jesus freak” type but she is also funny and a good friend when Lindsey turns to her for advice. This episode is anti-drug in a way but it does not suggest that weed is completely horrible and that no one should ever try it. Smartly, it shows how it can make you less motivated but that trying it once doesn’t make you a bad person or mean you will be instantly addicted.

On the other end of the episode Bill, who is allergic to peanuts, nearly dies when the school bully Allan puts peanuts in his sandwich. This seems a strange fit with the first part of the storyline but as always the show hinted at humor even in serious situations. Neal and Sam even had a conversation in the hospital about what it might be like if Bill died and became a friendly ghost. Following that conversation there was also a moment of realization that Bill might not make it and that life is not a guarantee. After Bill recovers the Geeks end up in costume again, this time to go to a sci-fi convention to celebrate Bill not dying from his peanut allergy. Neal is dressed as Yoda, Sam as Luke Skywalker and Bill as Doctor Who.

“Dead Dogs and Gym Teachers” is a Bill centered episode and part of the reason I chose it. After playing a disappointing game of basketball in gym class Bill comes home to an empty house, and the audience sees his latchkey kid routine. Bill makes himself a grilled cheese sandwich, a piece of chocolate cake, and a glass of milk. Then we see Bill interacting with his “best friend, the TV set” (Sepinwall). The scene is scored to “I’m One” by the Who which fits Bill’s personality perfectly. “On the basketball court, Bill’s miserable; watching Garry Shandling tell jokes on ‘The Dinah Shore Show,’ he’s in bliss” (Sepinwall). This sequence was based on Judd Apatow’s own childhood, and it is clear that even among the other great moments in the show “it feels personal and intimate” (Sepinwall).

After Bill’s first experience in gym class he decided to prank call his gym teacher Mr. Fredricks (Thomas F. Wilson). In this episode, we learn that Bill’s mom (Claudia Christian) has been seeing Mr. Fredricks for some time and their relationship has gotten serious. The episode shows Starr’s range with Bill and we see a softer side to coach Fredricks, along with some hilarious moments between him and Bill. The best of these is the “morning after” scene that finds Bill eating Count Chocula in his kitchen as Fredricks comes out in his undies and drinks orange juice out of what he does not realize to be Bill’s personalized mug.

Last on the list is the last episode of the season and series, “Discos and Dragons.” I had to mention this episode because it shows Lindsey turning down a great academic opportunity to travel with “dead heads” to see the Grateful Dead on tour. Lindsey is given American Beauty to listen to by her hippie guidance counselor Mr. Rosso (another of my favorite characters in the show played perfectly by Dave “Gruber” Allen). The other storylines in “Discos in Dragons” find Daniel being forced into the AV club much to the dismay of Sam and the Geeks and Nick turning his back on rock and roll to be a disco dancer. Daniel starts to like the Geeks and even plays Dungeons and Dragons with them in what is said to be the most accurate portrayal of D&D on television. The disco issue gets at the heart of the show, because rock and roll was like religion. Listening to disco was sacrilegious, especially in the Midwest. The episode ties up many loose ends but does not feel rightly justified in its ending due to the show’s early cancellation.

Freaks and Geeks is such a bittersweet experience, before you know it you are completely involved with the characters and then it’s over. In many ways the show was ahead of its time even though it was set in the past. Not many shows can pull of humor, nostalgia and drama but Freaks and Geeks does. Each actor breaths life into his or her character, adding to an atmosphere that was constructed partly on accident but with a pure spirit of purpose. There is so much to say about this series but I will end with this, this show opened my mind about the possibilities of writing for television. Just turning one on these days is terrifying due to the artificiality of nearly every program. Freaks and Geeks is, perhaps, the most clever, innovative, and touching series ever to be canceled.

Works Cited

Adalian, Josef. “Freaks and Geeks–the Complete Series” Variety. August 23, 2004, v396

Freilich, Seth. “The Best Short-Lived Show of All Time: Freaks and Geeks”

Pajiba’s Guide to What’s Good for You.

Internet Movie Database Trivia:

Jacobson, Colin. “Freaks And Geeks: The Complete Series” (May 12, 2004)

Sepinwall, Alan. “Freaks and Geeks Rewind: Dead Dogs and Gym Teachers” What’s Alan Watching? (August 09, 2007)

DVD Commentaries
(1) Pilot episode: Judd Apatow, Paul Feig and Jake Kasdan (director)
(3) Tricks and Treats: John Francis Daley, Paul Feig, Samm Levine, Stephen Lea Sheppard, Martin Starr
(10) The Diary: Judd Apatow, Paul Feig, Rebecca Kirshner
(13) Chokin’ and Tokin’: Judd Apatow, Miguel Arteta (director)
(14) Dead Dogs and Gym Teachers: Judd Apatow, Claudia Christian, Sarah Hagan, Bob Nickman, Busy Phillips, Seth Rogan, Martin Starr, Tom Wilson
(18) Discos and Dragons: Judd Apatow, Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley, Paul Feig, Samm Levine, Stephen Lea Sheppard, Jason Segel

Special thanks to: my friend Samantha who showed me the Pilot and changed my life. This series/episode guide was written by blastedgoat. I don’t own the series/characters and express only my opinion!

UPDATE: Freaks and Geeks is now available on Netflix! Thanks to everyone who has read this article in the past few days, this week has been my best for stats ever! :D Now… Time to go watch some Freaks and Geeks and while you’re at it check out many of the cast in a “followup” series of sorts, Undeclared. Similar talent with a college plot cut short (not exactly the same vibe but well worth watching for seventeen episodes!)

*I mistakenly wrote Charlie Chaplin instead of Groucho Marx. Thanks to Chris Marchello for correcting my sleep-deprivation induced error :)

I point to my blog policy which says that this blog consists of old assignments and personal opinions which can be subject to correction over time. I thank all my readers and welcome any information that strengthens my writing.

I’m a college graduate with a BA in English. That doesn’t mean all the articles here are completely polished so use your best judgement when referencing BG materials. I do my best to make sure I don’t publish lies or include things that do not belong to me without the creator’s permission. If I include copyrighted or borrowed materials I strive to follow the guidelines of fair use. If this is not the case I will cite, remove or correct any material in question.

94 Responses to “Freaks and Geeks: The Best-Cancelled Television Show in History”

  1. 1 Jay

    The cancellation of this series is the biggest mistake maybe ever in a tv series run, a high quality show with very good script and production and not to even mention the soundtrack with classic music clips scattered throughout the show. This should have been given a chance to continue throughout another season to mature with a solid fan base and to build more character with the tv audience.
    This is another failure of NBC which has continued a history of dropping the ball every time on projects which could pull this network out of the vaults of time as the worst and last network in the which people watch. Who or whoever, if anyone, which makes this decisions at NBC to continue runs or series is a major factor in the demise of NBC as a real contender of network television, and has cost this network multi-millions of dollars in revenue and network status with their stupid and off the center and limited talent to continue support or foresight to build success in the television lineup. It’s actually a surprise they didn’t drop the ball of Seinfeld, NBC most successful series ever, however in the history of Seinfeld it indicates that NBC was actually bucking this series until it success was to much to disregard – by luck almost another failure at NBC!
    With Freaks and Geeks this is large void we have now with a grade A series which should have been allowed to continue and grow, with today’s mass industry of television it might have found a new slot with another and better network to grow, but in 2000 it just wasn’t to be. It’s too bad that FOX didn’t grab this series up, but that’s another issue.


  2. 2 jeansb

    Hate that as I type, I am watching the last episode of F & G!! I was born in 1967 and this show is the most awesome. The music is just the icing on the cake. I knew everyone of these characters in my own high school…they just had different names there. I wish I had know about this show to support when it was originally aired.


  3. 3 Sandra

    plus i mean if you are like me you are basically a copy of everyone on the show it really shows how high school feels like but yeah great show


  4. 4 Sandra

    I really didn’t even know that i was 1 when this show aired which makes me mad because this show is funny as hell and if i was older than i would have watched it but now i watch it on fx and it is a really good show


  5. 5 Jeb

    Beds to Big Without You! — any Police songs on the soundtrack? sounds like fans of the show go beyond Netflix to get the Audio commentary on DVD/(BluRay?)


  6. 6 Eric Harris

    fucking fluff dialog.

    no wonder it got cancelled.

    this is not how people talk on tv shows!

    and, I really doubt that’s how people talked in the 80’s.

    and, if anyone disagrees with me, just to let you know, I got a shotgun

    shell with your name on it.

    just try me, bitches.


    • 7 Eduardo

      Calm down fag


      • 8 Liam

        I don’t think homophobic slurs are the correct way to go about this I know it’s a forum so first instinct is to yell and act like Neanderthals but try making constructive dialog


    • 9 Eric is a fag

      Eat a dick Erdick! Internet badass!


    • 10 Tina

      What is wrong with you? Why are you so angry with the world and yourself? Grow up and threats are not very mature!!!


    • 11 Liam

      Ok well it’s obvious you are a fan of the second amindment and that’s why I don’t think this show is right for you I just don’t think that you are the audience that they were directing it towards but that is just my opinion on the matter


      • 12 grk77536

        You are just as bad as he is by painting with a broad brush. By the way, you spelled amendment wrong.


    • 13 McLane

      Right about one thing: this is not how people talk on tv shows. That’s why it was good. I was there for the eighties. Pretty accurate, I say. And bring your shotgun shell. I have an actual shotgun.


    • 14 Kathy Gaffney

      Obviously lil’ “man” – and I use that phrase VERY loosely – you’re such a young azz punk that you weren’t even conceived yet at that era to know how people spoke or interacted to begin with. So take your wanna-be dumb-azz ignorant juvenile commentary to your mamma’s basement where you belong & where you’ll inevitably be living the course of your bane existence. For those who have I.Q.’s higher than 60 – but of course: Freaks & Geeks rocks the planet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • 15 Amy

      Hey shut the fuck wtf do you know dumbass! Shoot this bitch!! Go suck a dick maybe that shut you up


  7. Thank for dropping by my f-stop fantasy blog and liking Sparkles.

    That’s quite a write-up. I’m not much of a TV watcher myself anymore, outside of a handful of so-called reality shows, most of which center around Las Vegas, and the Kansas City Royals baseball games. And I haven’t really been watching them (BB season is over) and I’m just kind of tired of TV.

    You have a lot of things going here and a lot of friends. Keep it up.


  8. 17 Ishu



  9. 18 Molly Hubbard

    I love this show I just watched the first series and I’m very disappointed it was cancelled! As a twelve year old I thought it was very funny and interesting abd I’m sure my friends would have thought the same. Too bad its to late to keep the show running its been 14 years… I can’t even sleep right now! I’m so curious what happens with Cindy and Sam! Do they get back together? Does Billy go out with Vickey? What the hell everyone loved the show!


  10. 19 freak and gleeks

    miss this show soooooooooo much


  11. 20 shoyaib hassan

    I really loved this show and after finding out that there wont be continuation for this show i am really really sad. At first i felt ashamed to watch this show in front of others as i thought others might think that i am retarded for being 28 and watching shows like this, but after knowing that ppl my age also like this show i dont feel ashamed at all.. thank you guys, you are the people who make me feel that i am not alone.. cheers.. :)


    • 21 McLane

      You felt bad for being 28 and liking the show? You are the target audience: in 2000 (when this aired) you were in high school. I assume you were, at least. I’m 30 and I sure as hell was still in high school back then.


  12. 22 Wilson

    Fuck NBC for depriving me of this show after only one season. I loved it ten years ago when i was 19 and still rewatch the episodes now that Im 29. A reunion set ten years later would be magical. Or terrible. But i would be willing to find out.


  13. 23 mel

    if only they kept it going underground web show or books even. i wasnt much of a reader back in high school but if they made books baised off of this show id have been!


  14. 24 referencegirl

    “Freaks and Geeks is such a bittersweet experience, before you know it you are completely involved with the characters and then it’s over.” Sums up my feelings exactly. Thank you for your genuine and well crafted article.


  15. 25 Nataly

    I was bumbed seeing the last episode & then nothing. I wanna know what happens next!


  16. 26 sady

    I loved the show i was sad when i noticed it was only 18episodes


  17. 27 Katherine

    Reunion show would be a hit!!!


    • 28 Katherine

      Reply if u agree


      • 29 McLane

        It’s a nice thought, but everyone is too old now. They could do a kind of “where are they now” thing, but I think it would kinda suck and ruin the magic. I do want to know what the hell happens next though.


      • 30 steven

        I agree I just got don’t with the series it was amazing and hilarious they deffinately shouldn’t have took it off air


  18. 31 dengel72

    Great article but your omission of rush from the band list is unforgivable, given its importance to Josh Seleg’s character Nick. Rush is a key plot point in several episodes. In fact, I am curious if Seleg is a big fan; in the episode where he stays with Lindsay’s family, they go so far as to joke regarding Neil Peart, and follow it up by the father telling nick about Buddy Rich (a great inspiration to Peart who plays on a Buddy Rich tribute album). In his much later role in “I LOVE YOU MAN”, Seleg and paul rudd revisit the ” peart worshiping drummer” character again.

    Just sayin’, they shouldnt be relegated to “a bunch of other” status :).


    • True! I love Jason and I love Rush! I had originally intended on doing more articles for the other episodes (and for each character) but it didn’t happen right away. My professor also wanted us to focus on certain areas of interpretation so much of the introductory material was cut from my final essay. However, I can’t believe I cut them! Apologies! Maybe I should continue with my analysis now that the show has gained even more popularity :)


  19. 33 Jewel

    Freaks and Geeks was such a great show. It still is. I wish they would have made more seasons. It makes me sad to think the show got cancelled. Better something than nothing right? Well, I love the show. Long live Freaks and Geeks. What a great article too. The way you summed up the experience of watching the show was perfect. There isn’t anything bad to say about this show. Love it. Love this article. Love Freaks and Geeks. <3


  20. Such an amazing show, I’m so upset they never really gave it a shot. :(


  21. 35 Marcos

    I’m literally crying right now, I can’t believe its over. Not only did the main cast have actors that went on to become huge celebs, but all the cameos from people like JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Leslie Mann, Jason Schwartzman, Rashida Jones, Lizzy Caplan, Ben Stiller, Kevin Corrigan, and Shia Labeouf.


  22. 37 Sydo

    One of the smartest/funniest shows. A great striking shot about teenage & for all this, I agree w/ response 1 (Neil Young’s quote in Out of the Blue) …


  23. It’s better to burnout than fade away! (Neil Young- 1979


  24. I’ve heard others rave about this show. I’ve never seen it.


  25. 40 mari mar

    I found this show on Netflix on Wednesday and I just kept going and going till I finished watching all 18 episodes in 3 days. I can’t believe they stopped the show :( I was browsing the web to find the rest of the episodes! Noooooooo! I am so sad now ….tears*


  26. 41 David

    My girlfriend and I totally love this show and are really sad that it’s almost over. Great write up about the show and nice to see all the other fans. Think we will find the DVD to get all the behind the scenes.


  27. 42 Toddyus

    I just finished episode 17. Watching the series for the first time and with one episode left I feel like someone I love was just diagnosed with a terminal illness. What a brilliant show.


  28. 43 Jay

    I loved this show in 1999 and even now when I’m thirty, I still love it. I catch it on IFC


  29. 44 Jeff

    Great article. I really enjoyed reading it.


  30. 45 Sarah

    That was an awesome article! I really love the in depth review. You’re right — this series was way ahead of its time. While I’m watching it, I keep thinking it was created a year ago.
    I loved the characters and I like what you wrote: “Freaks and Geeks is such a bittersweet experience, before you know it you are completely involved with the characters and then it’s over.”
    That sentence sums up my experience completely.
    Too bad NBC cancelled the show. It had so much potential. I wonder if Nick and Lindsay were supposed to get back with each other. In their last scene together, there seemed to be a sense of longing for each other.


  31. Your commentary is on target. It was only recently I stumbled on the series on Netflix. I especially love the realistic portrayal of late 70’s – early 80’s high school. In each character I could see someone with whom I went to school.

    Your article filled in the blanks for me because I had never heard of the show. Now I know why. It seems that NBC really blew it. Beautifully done!


    • What a great perspective I’m glad you stopped by! Netflix is making this show accessible to new viewers and it’s about time too… NBC and other networks tend to not know what they have when they have something great… Usually, it seems they aren’t even trying but once in a while you end up with something like Freaks and Geeks! Apatow still makes pretty good movies but this little one-season TV show started it all :D


  32. 48 brian

    love this show.
    great article too.
    i like the idea someone had about re-trying it with a new cast.
    just keep the story lines simple and let the actors speak for themselves.
    the show works so well because it doesn’t try too hard.
    it’s sincere, honest and honestly some of the most entertaining TV ever.


    • 49 Zinnie

      Sadly, you can never remake this regardless of how “simple” and “honest” you keep it. The actors made this show what it is…immortal. Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jason Segal, Linda Cardellini, and less notably Busy Phillps and Martin Starr with an honorable mention. These guys are heavy weights in the comedy/acting business who’s success surprised not only myself but them too. Unfortunately we just have to let freaks and geeks die at a young age like morrison, Joplin, Hendrix, Dean and so many others, while still remembering and embracing everything it stood for. I believe there would never/could never be another show like freaks in geeks with its balanced blens of humor, drama, and comic relief….it was simply to perfect.


  33. 50 cierra

    MAN!!!!! I sooo love this show. Nick and Lindsay are so meant for each other. I’m sooo angry that it ended, especially since it left us hanging on what was going to happen between those two. They should totally get all the old cast members to do like a reunion mini series when they’re in college so when can at least see what happened with all of them. Especially Nick and Lindsay! (Sorry i just really love those two!)


  34. 51 Zinnie

    Freaks and geeks I love you! It really is refreshing to see fellow F n G faithfuls like myself, there is nothing bad you could say about the show only that, as eluded to earlier, this show was infact LIGHT YEARS ahead of its time. If it came out now it would be a home run FOR SURE! This show (to me) seems almost mythological in a sense, like James Sean or Elvis Presley, it died in its prime so we can only remember and are left with its true awesomeness which means it never had the chance to fizzle out like som many other shows. Thats said, I too am scouring the Internet in hopes that the freaks and geeks legacy will indeed live on vicariously through blogs such as this. Words can’t express how amazing this show truly is/was , and to all you freaks and geeks out there who love this show as much as i do, we’re like onebbig happy freaky geeky family. Long live FREAKS AND GEEKS!


  35. 52 guy

    Best episodes:

    Noshing and Moshing
    Smooching and Mooching


  36. 53 Danielle

    Man what a shame freaks and geeks was cancelled really makes me think if people out there in TV land really do want originality or just more Jersey Shore crap! Sorry for being so blunt I guess I just want more then the 18 episodes I watched:( I liked it soo much it became my favorite thing to come home to, almost (pathetically) became my life, WHAT WILL I DO NOW!!! …..All well on to the next cult classics I have yet to hear about, any you recommend?
    O ya! and your article was great way to stick it to that ass who thought he was so much better then you with that 1 mistake, you showed him;)


    • You rock! Thanks for stopping by and keep loving Freaks and Geeks! Recently, I have been re-watching Dinosaurs, a show from the early 90s, that is surprisingly funny and well-written that tackles family issues. I am in search of other great shows and I will hopefully be writing more reviews soon :)


    • 55 danny

      check out ” Undeclared “


  37. 56 Sam Buford

    Love this show!!!!! Ahhhh I hate the world for canceling it:/


  38. 57 DearNdugu

    Excellent write-up about a phenomenal show. No other show in history has managed to capture the comedy, drama, and awkward nostalgia of growing up as effortlessly as Freaks and Geeks. Every episode is like a detailed entry in someone’s high school diary.

    Also, my quick argument in favor of purchasing the yearbook edition instead of just Netflixing it: It contains the script for an episode that was written and never shot! It’s called “The Bus.” I just read it in full and it’s excellent. For anyone wishing they could have just one more episode of Freaks and Geeks, buy the DVD set and read that script! (I would post it on here if I could, but it’s something you have to flip through and read on the DVD.)


    • That’s amazing about the script! I might have to upgrade. I’m sure the yearbook edition is worth it. I know I’ve watched and listened to all the extras included in the basic set a million times since buying it a few years ago. Thanks for the info :D


  39. 59 Lauren

    Wow. Just reading this make me want to watch the season over for the millionth time! Arrested Development and Pushing Daisies were also a great, but sadly cancelled shows. I don’t get why originally gets cancelled. :(

    Great post, though!


  40. 60 Eduardo

    man, i felt sooo empty and hollow when they canceled this show. i felt like i was left hanging at a high school prom by the girl i loved. and that girl was Lindsey(Linda Cardellini). if i ever win the lottery i will revamp this show!!!


    • I know what you mean, that last episode gets me every time! When I watch Freaks and Geeks I think of fond high school memories (along with terrible, embarrassing ones) and realize I’m getting old and that people change so much throughout school and beyond :)


    • 62 Freak

      What a geek.


  41. 63 Chris marchello

    You don’t even know all the episodes that well. I can see it in the very beginning when you talk about Neal’s costume. It not a Charlie Caplin costume its a Groucho Marx costume. If you going to write about how great a show is you should probably really know the details if you are going into depth about your “favorite” episode


    • By the same token if you’re going to criticize someone’s college paper from several years ago about a cancelled television show after finding one mistake in the beginning I wouldn’t make an error in your comment of only a few incomplete sentences: “If you going to write about how great a show is you should probably really know the details if you are going into depth about your “favorite” episode” You’re? No punctuation at the end? You also mistake It for It’s and its for it’s, tisk-tisk.

      However, I thank you for your correction and perhaps next time you will consider being thoughtful and helpful rather than dismissive and condescending. Thank you for the information I have credited you and amended the article just for you. I hope you feel special and tell all your friends about me :) Even if they leave angry comments or try to find more errors my blog will just get more correct and more hits!

      LOVE BG


      • 65 David

        Actually he says, going for Chaplin but can only see Hitler when he first puts on the smaller moustache, later he says he looks like Tom Selleck


  42. I just finished watching all 18 Eps of Freaks and Geeks, and I can honestly say it’s one of the greatest show’s I’ve watched. It’s really such a shame NBC ended it after only one season. It had such a great cast of actors too such as James Franco, Seth Rogan, Jason Segel, it was cool seeing John Francis Daley in Waiting, he was great in that.

    Anyways great article, it would be kinda cool if NBC revamped Freaks and Geeks with a fresh start and new lineup of cast members, but set it in the same kind of environment and characters. I’d watch that. I’m gonna watch this other show Undeclared and see if it’s any good.


    • Be careful some of the episodes are out of order on Netflix but if you want to see many members of the Freaks and Geeks cast you will be delighted! Some great new faces as well :) Thanks for your comment!


  43. 68 rox

    what car did nick drive on thge show


    • Not sure… I will have to watch again I can’t find it online. Thanks for stopping by!


      • 70 Peter

        It was a Maverick. I just finished the series, he mentions it in one episode. Great write-up by the way. Like i said, I just finished and now I am scouring the internet for things like your article to make me feel like it is still living on :) I already plan on buying the Yearbook Edition DVDs sometime soon. Man, I hate my 11 year old self for not watching this show when it was still on. I have never felt so indignant after finishing a series.


        • Thanks so much for answering our question. My thoughts go out to all those viewers who have their hearts broken every time the 18th episode ends. So glad everyone is enjoying my write-up. I’m considering writing more about this series it never seems to get old and I notice new things all the time!


  44. 72 mary

    Wow-this is crazy that I found others like me that loved that show-I’m watching Freaks and Geeks right now and thats why I was looking to see where I could buy the whole season on DVD~yea, the whole one season~sad,sad,sad!! I watched Freaks and Geeks all the time and I never understood why the show ended?? Its on the cable channel IFC now so if you get that channel you can watch it. Big mistake on NBC when they cancelled the show!! Thanks blastedgoat!! Peace to you all :)


  45. I am in awe. Extremely well-written article. Especially the last paragraph. Usually I don’t read articles thoroughly and just skim through for the necessary information. Not in this case. Read it from top to bottom. Thank you


    • No, thank you! I’m glad to share my love of Freaks and Geeks and glad that others want to listen. Your comment made my day :)


  46. 76 JZ

    it didn’t deserve to be cancelled. iv watched it for years and can’t bring myself to watch two episodes in the middle which i missed, afraid to let these characters disappear forever. im so nostalgic. haha.


    • 77 Peter

      Haha. I considered refusing to watch the last episode for a while. In the end, it’s worth it to watch all of them. You owe it to yourself. Also, this is a complex show with complex characters so each time you watch it is like a new experience, it still feels fresh.


  47. I think I’ll have to check this show out :)


  48. try my so colled life, it´s as good as frees and geeks (mean the best)


  49. I’m so sad there wasn’t at least a second season. Freaks and Geeks and Arrested Development were two shows that should never have been axed. The crap that is on tv now is just so terrible. At least most of these actors went on to have great careers, so that’s motivating.


    • Totally agree! Arrested Development was amazing once I saw it… The marketing for both shows was a bit odd and that might have been part of the problem. I just love seeing everyone in other things especially Seth Rogen, Martin Starr, James Franco, John Francis Daley… the list goes on and on :D Thanks for the comment!


  50. 84 joe

    best show everrrrr


  51. 85 MasterV

    I love this post. And this show launched a lot of acting careers to. Teen nick picked the show up that is where I watch it.


  52. Great post! i love it, please bookmark this page in digg or mixx so that everyone could find it easily. :) Thankee for sharing this information. You guys have made a striking website


  53. 87 JD

    you are sooo right about Martin Starr as Bill. Simply amazing actor.


  54. 88 tanya swan

    i lovedd this showwww its hard to find good shows to watch this day that are not all full of drama and stupid things this was an amazing show and its sad they had to let it go


  55. Love your site man keep up the good work


    • 90 Casey G.

      I love the music on that show. I am trying to figure out what music always plays in between scenes , it sound like a fading guitar or something


  56. Hey guys, this good wook!


  57. 92 Rayvin400

    Agree with all of this. Great show!


  58. 93 jeevan

    thank you
    great writeup

    i just finished watching the 17 episodes.
    Such a pity it didnt last long. Maybe thats what makes it so precious ;)

    really thinking about getting the year book collectors edition..that must be fun



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