|Index||4 reviews in total|
Just like the previous episode, this one handles more deeper and
The geeks storyline stars the amazing Martin Starr as Bill, having his mother dating yet 'another' man. From what we understand is that she used to be quite the lady back in the day, she was most likely an erotic dancer and drug/alcohol addict. In this episode she reveals to Bill that she is dating Coach Fredricks. Bill is unhappy with this and tries to scare him away, but Coach aka Ben reveals to Ben that he loves his mother. I love the ending of the episode where Bill gives him a chance while watching the telly. Martin Starr did a fantastic job, he showed that he doesn't only excel at comedy but also at drama.
The freaks storyline features Lidnsay and Kim running over Millie's dog. This results into Millie wanting to be one of the freaks and wanting to go to a 'The Who' concert. Millie got to finally shine in this episode, but she changed her mind after being told by Kim who was responsible for Goliath's aka Millie's dog's death. One of my favorite parts of the episode was Nick and his song 'Lady L'. I tend to hate his character, but that song was pure brilliance.
overall, this episode deserves four and a half stars. Or five.
I like that they went with a Who theme for an episode of "Freaks and
Geeks", but that just goes for the songs. This is anything but a
'Dead Dogs and Gym Teachers' ably shows the anxieties from the points of view of both teenager and adult (Millie losing her cherished dog, Goliath, and the Weirs' fear of letting their daughter attend a hedonist rock concert).
But it's Bill's story that leaves the real impression. It opens with Bill sitting there in front of Garry Shandling's stand-up routine on TV, grilled cheese in hand, laughing himself silly. It's a tiny capsule of fleeting happiness, and within just a few moments, we get a vivid picture of this kid's life. He finds solace in solitude before being wrenched back into reality when Mom announces she's seeing Coach Fredericks. It's just soul crushing for Bill, a character who's thus far had a monopoly on the one-liners. You can't even blame Fredericks, either, because he's also trying to make the best of a bad situation (huge credit to Tom Wilson in this role). I've never gone through this kind of thing and have never had to lash out at a broken home situation over which I've no control, but Bill's pain hits you where it hurts.
It does help that the episode isn't without its moments of levity:
Kim: "We killed Millie's dog!"
Ken: "Like with your bare hands?"
And it ends the only way it possibly can: with a ray of fragile optimism. Bill and Fredericks wind up in front of the TV in front of "Dallas", with Bill offering to share his favorite TV show. Those two scenes that bookend this episode (both TV-related) might be my two very favorites of this series.
I mean, it just doesn't get any better than that.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A fantastic "Who themed" Freaks and Geeks episode, "Dead Dogs and Gym
Teachers" has something for everyone.
It includes the wonderfully geeky Martin Starr's Bill as a 1980 latchkey kid laughing and eating a grilled cheese while watching an early Garry Shandling routine on what looks like The Dinah Shore Show.
Later on, we see James Franco next to his rented "Magic Bus" at a freaks gathering spot for a pre-Who concert party, where Seth Rogen does his best "Pete Townshend circa 1965" impression and smashes Jason Segel's guitar. It was portrayed as the tour immediately after the ill-fated Cincy gig in late '79, when 11 fans were trampled to death in a massive door-rush, and The Who were every Middle-American parent's worst nightmare.
Earlier on, Kim & Lindsay had accidentally ran over and killed Millie's beloved pooch, and finally work up the nerve to tell her what really happened just as Mill's going to take that dreaded 1st gulp of evil beer. Millie's mom even shows up and unsuccessfully attempts to lure her daughter away from the concert goers who are obviously "on the pot". But kudos to Millie, as she's gonna' hang with her generation, and stay with the freaks and check out The Who!
This episode is a keeper...just to watch Martin Starr over and over
again. He comes home from school, makes a grilled cheese sandwich and
sits down to watch the Dinah Shore show with Gary Shandling...and just
dies laughing; you can't help laughing yourself silly just watching him
watching Shandling. Makes me miss both Haverchuck and Shandling.
The other story lines are also superb. The Lady L song, Millie trying to cut loose, Kim showing a little heart.
Joe Flaherty doesn't always have a lot to do, but it's a joy to watch him. He's one of oh-so-funny guys from SCTV. What a face. In this episode he listens to The Who and is horrified by the pornographic lyrics.
I'm a big fan of Freaks and Geeks and in this wasteland of current TV I'm glad I found this series on IFC
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