Monday, April 27, 2009

Before Knocked Up...

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Nearly ten years ago, Freaks and Geeks was televised. It lasted only a short period of time, but it seems that nearly everyone who watched television in the 99-00 season knows about the show. It aired only twelve episodes, with six more eventually showing on cable television in the off-season. The actors went on to work on Undeclared, and several of them later in Knocked Up. You'll probably recognize most of the characters from other shows as well (it's kinda neat that so many of them made it into future things!).

Freaks and Geeks centered on two teenagers in the early eighties, and their parents. The daughter and her friends were "freaks," while the son and his friends were "geeks." Lindsay (Linda Cardellini's character) was a former academic whiz who begins hanging out with a completely different crowd (but does make a return to mathletes. Beer makes its first appearance in the second episode. Sex ed is episode four. Fake IDs in the sixth episode. Drugs in episode 12. And there's a bunch of boring storylines... crushing on a cheerleader, issues with showering after gym class, parents out of town, and cheating in math class. But the father does cheat on the mother, so at least that's a little out-of-the-ordinary as far as storylines go.

But the characters were memorable, and I think they embodied the realism that the show strove for. Lindsay reminds me a lot of Angela from My So-Called Life, in that she kept questioning everything around her, and spent a great deal of time trying to figure out her niche. Daniel was very Dylan-esque from Beverly Hills, 90210. He was a burn-out who was charismatic. Plus, Daniel's character is older than the rest of the group, but in the same grade... similar to Luke Perry's age in comparison to some of the others in 90210.

Why did the show falter? Well, it was up against the new Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? gameshow. And it ran on Saturday nights. And NBC didn't do the best job at marketing, particularly to the target demographic. It's on DVD (not surprising, it is considered by many to be a "cult tv show," and Blockbusters seem to stock it.

This is a nice tribute to many moments in the show:
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This

No comments: