8.8/10
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201 user 36 critic

Freaks and Geeks 

Trailer
2:01 | Trailer
A high school mathlete starts hanging out with a group of burnouts while her younger brother navigates his freshman year.

Creator:

Paul Feig
Reviews
Popularity
422 ( 43)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
2000   1999  
Top Rated TV #59 | Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Linda Cardellini ...  Lindsay Weir 18 episodes, 1999-2000
John Francis Daley ...  Sam Weir 18 episodes, 1999-2000
James Franco ...  Daniel Desario 18 episodes, 1999-2000
Samm Levine ...  Neal Schweiber 18 episodes, 1999-2000
Seth Rogen ...  Ken Miller 18 episodes, 1999-2000
Jason Segel ...  Nick Andopolis 18 episodes, 1999-2000
Martin Starr ...  Bill Haverchuck 18 episodes, 1999-2000
Becky Ann Baker ...  Jean Weir 18 episodes, 1999-2000
Joe Flaherty ...  Harold Weir 18 episodes, 1999-2000
Busy Philipps ...  Kim Kelly 18 episodes, 1999-2000
Jerome Elston Scott Jerome Elston Scott ...  Jermaine / ... 17 episodes, 1999-2000
Steve Bannos ...  Frank Kowchevski 12 episodes, 1999-2000
Dave Allen ...  Jeff Rosso 11 episodes, 1999-2000
Sarah Hagan ...  Millie Kentner 11 episodes, 1999-2000
Jerry Messing ...  Gordon Crisp 11 episodes, 1999-2000
Natasha Melnick ...  Cindy Sanders 10 episodes, 1999-2000
Stephen Lea Sheppard ...  Harris Trinsky 10 episodes, 1999-2000
Chauncey Leopardi ...  Alan White 9 episodes, 1999-2000
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Storyline

It's the 1980s and at McKinley High, there's two different groups of teenagers, the Freaks with cool and charismatic Daniel Desario and tomboy Lindsay Weir and the Geeks with Lindsay's shy younger brother Sam, gentle Bill Haverchuck, and self-proclaimed ladies' man Neal Schweiber. The show chronicles the normal teen/adolescence problems any teenager goes through including acceptance, drugs, drinking, and bullying. Written by Corey Semple (Hairsprayer07)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Everything you remember from high school... that you choose to forget. [Fox Family tagline] See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Nick (Jason Segal) tries out for the rock band, Paul Feig plays the guitarist who asks Nick how many pieces he has in his drum kit. See more »

Goofs

The Allan White character has a modern-skin head haircut. This would be the correct haircut if he were a punk rock fan but he's portrayed as a wimpy bully who's been abused by his father. Boys of the time had the long-feathered hairstyle. See more »

Alternate Versions

There are many differences between the master copies of the show, and the versions that aired. Some scenes are added in the masters, and some of the music is changed. This may have been due to time problems with the network and copyright problems with music, but nothing is confirmed. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Felicity: Greeks and Geeks (2000) See more »

User Reviews

Perfect Television (only a network executive couldn't love it)
17 April 2004 | by liquidcelluloid-1See all my reviews

Network: NBC; Genre: Drama/Comedy; Content Rating: TV-PG (for language, drug use and adult content); Available: on DVD; Perspective: Modern Classic (star range: 1 - 5);

Season Reviewed: Completed Series (1 season)

There are few shows, currently on the air or in the entire pantheon of television, that are so obviously crafted with as much love as 'Freaks and Geeks'. Created by Paul Feig and produced by Judd Apatow, 'Freaks' crackles with an honest writing and flawless chemistry and creates it's own wonderful universe. To watch the show is to be awash in details and obvious care that was taken to make it.The high school series has never been so real.

'Freaks' follows a group of geeks and a group of burnouts at McKinley High School in 1980, both of which centering around the Weir siblings. Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini) is our heroine whose rebellion from the Mathlete life and into the world of the burn-outs (with the terrific James Franco, Jason Segel, Seth Rogen & Busy Philipps) creates a domino effect that the entire series spins on. Sam Weir (John Francis Daley) is an underdeveloped geek whose unrequited love of cheerleader Cindy Sanders (Natasha Melnick, perfectly cast) drives much of the geek story lines. Sam faces the torment and humiliation of daily life in high school with friends Neil and Bill (wildly underrated, star-making Samm Levine and Martin Starr, respectively). The show is a badge of honor for all involved.

The school is populated with a fully realized universe of supporting characters from Lindsey's church-going friend Millie to Dungeon master Harris to Mr. Rosso (David "Gruber" Alan, hilariously stealing any scenery not bolted down) - the school guidance counselor without any boundary for the inappropriate. . No more accurate depiction of the look and feel of high school (or the hell that was high school depending on your perspective) TV has ever seen.

Becky Ann Baker and Joe Flaherty make the perfect '50s era parents. Flaherty comes off the most over-the-top, but even that fits the vision. The dinner table scenes between the Weir family are so uncharacteristically happy and intentionally corny that it will surely be off-putting to the average cynical viewer. Years before "The Office" made embarrassment and viewer discomfort into a science, "Freaks and Geeks" was doing a similar thing, effectively making us really feel Sam and Lindsey's embarrassment over their parent's behavior. I particularly like the set design of the Weir house, and the show in general. "Freaks" is set in 1980 but designed with 50s, 60s and 70s paraphernalia. Unlike the many fast food period pieces now, - "That 70s Show", "The Wedding Singer", "American Dreams" - where the decade is treated like a "Saturday Night Live" sketch, the decade doesn't turn over to 1980 and suddenly everyone runs out and buys parachute pants and the Thriller album.

The self-professed anti-'Dawson's Creek', the series is almost as distinctive for what it isn't than for what it is. It isn't a flashy show with 20-something preps playing high school kids set to blaring Top 40 pop songs where the biggest problems among the characters include juggling two hot dates on the same night. In other shows - most overly concerned with what the consuming public thinks of them, the geeks and the burnouts are fringe groups usually given as much thought as the potted plant in the corner, or used as 1-joke stereotypes. 'Freaks and Geeks' is the first show to acknowledge that they may be more interesting. They don't participate in the high school caste system and they muse about never being able to get girls.

I love the way the show's camera lingers on faces and soaks up Cardellini's incredible expressions. It rests on the kids as they sit and talk about their favorite drummer or the TV show they watched last night just like everyone does. At an hour the show allows for those quite moments. Just as it takes time out to do elaborate mid-show set pieces like an action movie-like dodge ball sequence or a violent spat between Kim Kelly (Philips) and her parents. The series is packed with these unforgettable little moments - heart-breaking and screaming funny, sometimes all at once. In 18 episodes it says more than most shows ever do: the geeks watching their first porno, the freaks getting their first fake IDs, the family catastrophes in Niel and Bill's homes and the painfully real crush Sam has on Cindy. Their world doesn't always a happy ending and awkwardness and embarrassment rule the day.

The fact that 'Freaks and Geeks' wasn't given a chance to make it by NBC is a sad testament to how network executives box in their viewers to find a ratings silver bullet. No matter, these 18 episodes are self-containing and fully satisfying enough to get over the sting of the network apathy. I'll break a rule and do a little necessary promotion here. All this is captured in a DVD set this show deserves, with as much attention and love put into the extras (29 commentary tracks!) that was put into the show. It is the single best DVD I've ever seen.

Who knows if the show would have been able to keep it up as the kids grew up and the show had to be written around it. As it stands, this is like lightening captured in a bottle. That perfect mix of all the elements coming together to make a truly classic series. No matter what the future holds, "Freaks" has a reserved place in my heart. This is really one for the ages, people. No list of modern classics is complete without "Freaks and Geeks".

* * * * * / 5


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 September 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Freaks and Geeks See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD (remastered)
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