Freaks and Geeks – 18 episodes and no Bad Reputation.

According to everyone, its a spot-on depiction of high school life, both in the 1980s and now, but whenever a list of “Best Shows Ever” comes up, dear Freaks is almost always forgotten. There are, of course, exceptions but it never gets the mention it deserves. It deservedly has a cult status, one that I’m now happily apart of, only slightly due to the fact that Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” hasn’t left my head for over a month now.

A lot of the ground-breaking for a series like Freaks and Geeks was done several years earlier in the acclaimed My So-Called Life, but NBC’s Judd Apatow and Paul Feig created drama-comedy following the different sects of the school done a lot more than 50+ episodes show accomplish in their entire run. They make a point, develop their characters and have fun with it. 18 episodes isn’t a lot, but so much is covered in both the Freaks and Geeks section of high school it might be more comparable to a cable series where every episode is necessary and every episode has payoff. The original BBC series of The Office is also a noteworthy comparison I feel. For The Office mirrors the awkwardness of hundreds of thousands of people who work in an office every day. Freaks and Geeks, does just that for those in High School. The fact its set in the 1980s is neither here nor there, especially since if you said they were ’90s fashion I would have totally bought it. (Only a couple of times I actually realised it was the ’80s – the records and the Atari).

It’s especially interesting to watch now seeing how the careers of all the main cast have developed. It’s fair enough to say Judd Apatow has treated his stars well, bringing Seth Rogen’s supporting character to another supporting character in his follow-up series Undeclared and finally making him the lead in 2007 film Knocked Up. Even those who aren’t followed up in Judd Apatow (and friends) productions, the people who matter noticed the importance of this show.


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