Our love letter to ‘Freaks and Geeks’


Photo courtesy of IMDb

“Freaks and Geeks” is arguably the best television series of all time, according to Tori and Lauren.

We’re here on a simple mission: to outrageously hype up “Freaks and Geeks,” the iconic 1999 Judd Apatow-produced sleeper hit that launched the careers of star-studded names like Linda Cardellini, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel and Martin Starr, to name just a few.

It’s quite unusual for a show confined to a single season to continually find new life the way this iconic nineties dramedy has, but when you watch, it makes sense.

Here are six reasons “Freaks and Geeks” is the most legendary television show ever created.

1. Every character is not only insanely loveable, but beautifully developed. (Lauren)

I don’t know about you, but I generally wither in annoyment and angst at at least one of the main characters in any given television show — but not this one. There’s not one bad character, and each of them has a storyline that’s explored and genuinely reflected in their personality.

Daniel Desario (James Franco) is the Dallas Winston-esque “bad boy” who’s heartbreakingly troubled at his core, Bill Haverchuck (Starr) is an absolute legend and loyal friend, Neal Scwheiber (Samm Levine) is weirdly wise and quick-witted, but having real issues at home, Sam Weir (John Francis Daley) is the most adorable, caring little king — and the list goes on. These characters are absolutely legendary.

2. That time Sam secretly replaced the Freaks’ keg with nonalcoholic beer. (Tori)

Photo courtesy of thiswastv.com

While the Freaks respond to their school’s program against underage drinking with a keg purchase and party plans, the show’s younger cast are affected a bit more. 

In his undying quest to be the most endearing little dude in all of television, Sam feels such worry for the safety of his big sister that he and his friends purchase a nonalcoholic keg and swap it for the real thing, with none of the party guests any the wiser. What are we supposed to do? Not deem this Emmy-worthy?

3. It contains potentially the most relatable depiction of a teenage girl on television. (Tori)

A portrayal of young people that leans both realistic and enjoyable on television is seemingly a tough balance to strike, especially with the tendency of writers to — shall we say — elevate the circumstances of character’s daily lives (I simply would drop out of East Highland High, Rue and company). There is something so endearingly on the nose about Lindsay Weir’s characterization that succeeds in this balance. 

Her aching desire to belong somewhere, to be someone, manifests itself in the most familiar of ways — she finds herself resentful of the traits, talents and people which have defined her up to now, forcing herself into discomfort and feigned apathy alongside this new group.

Photo courtesy of Rolling Stone

The beautiful thing is that as this façade comes crashing down, so does that shielding the other “freaks” she’d based this new personality upon, and we see her developing authenticity eliciting the same from her newfound friends. It’s such a refreshingly human take on teenage girls and their struggles — there’s a lot of beauty in the ordinary teenaged female experience, in all its complicated glory. I wish more shows took a page from this book.

4. That time Sam absolutely OWNED his Parisian nightsuit. (Lauren)

In an effort to impress his crush Cindy, Sam sports the most fabulous fit of all time — his baby blue Parisian nightsuit. This scene alone deserves indefinite praise. Go off prince.

5. The characters don’t have irrelevant beef to create drama. (Lauren)

You know when a character gets mad and leaves town on a bus because they saw their crush tucking a competitor girl’s hair behind her ear, and it wastes like 4,000 episodes? Yeah, that never happens on “Freaks and Geeks.” 

These characters genuinely care for each other, and any drama that comes about is realistic, not overdone and reasonably resolved. Oftentimes when I’m watching, I expect someone to throw down over something extremely normal (I guess that’s what I’m used to, thanks CW Network), but they never do.

6. That time Sam side-eyed his dad at the dinner table. (Tori)

Photo courtesy of Breonte Williams on Pinterest

Whether you’ve seen the show or not — you know the look I’m talking about. As far as I’m concerned, this moment solidified this sassy icon as both the greatest character and greatest meme of all time.