8.8/10
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206 user 37 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
597 ( 55)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
2000   1999  
Top Rated TV #62 | 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:

It's 1980 and this is what high school was like for the rest of us. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jesse Eisenberg was the second choice for the role of Sam Weir. See more »

Goofs

In the opening credits when Nick Andopolis has his school picture taken, he is wearing a black blazer over a T-shirt. When the black and white yearbook pictures are shown at the end of the opening credits, the blazer has disappeared and he is wearing only a long-sleeved shirt. See more »

Alternate Versions

For the DVD release, some music differs from the masters, revealing the creators' true intentions for what music they wanted to use in the show:
  • In the first episode, when we first meet the freaks, the music is the aired version's "Runnin' With the Devil".
  • In the episode "Noshing and Moshing", the song that plays during the final montage is also the aired version's "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You".
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 75th Golden Globe Awards (2018) See more »

User Reviews

 
Long live William McKinley High School, 1980! (minor spoilers)
3 April 2005 | by vertigo_14See all my reviews

I have just finished watching the Complete Series DVD collection of "Freaks and Geeks," one of the best high school television series on televisions that, thanks to idiotic network executives who continue to make the decisions that make network television more and more unbearable to watch, have truly missed out on a gem. And, thanks to a healthy fan network, I was able to enjoy every bit of the series (as short as it was) on DVD.

Freaks and Geeks was one of the most honest portrayals of high school life, pleasantly departing from the overrated attention given to other television series and films who consistently focus on the "untouchable" classes of the dreaded high school social caste system that we are all likely too familiar with. The assorted teen dramas, and the difficulty of just subsisting in the often passively rigid classes within the high school social scene. This television series presented things from two perspectives: a group of freshman friends marked as "The Geeks" and a group of older friends, underachievers known as "The Freaks." The Geeks often provided the comical element to the show, while the Freaks often explore more dramatic story lines such as problems with parents (a constant subplot), self-esteem, drugs, and more. Although the Geeks confronted their own share of problems, their youth and easygoing attitude often made the situation more light-hearted.

Other commentators have often posited the question (on the "Freaks and Geeks" board along with other short-lived television series) why shows like these never last long on television. While "Saved by the Bell" might have been the only show to be quite successful with it (though only after significant retooling of the original series, "Good Morning Mrs. Bliss would NBC even agree to pick up the show), my guess is that this show may have initially had a difficult time finding a loyal audience in the crucial early days of the show. There were issues of drug use and teenage sex which some might not have found ideal for the younger viewers of this show (people in their very early teens as this show tended to sometimes celebrate drug use...even though there was one episode that was clearly anti-drug). Five years ago was a different time, however. And shows like "The O.C." (on Fox) seems to get away with stories surrounding its "young" characters and attitudes towards casual sex. Sadly, however, the network, too, is to blame, as it shifted the show into unrecognizable time slots, airing a show that was ideal for young audiences at a time when they would least likely be watching television--Friday and Sunday evenings. I cannot say that this would be why other television series surrounding high school would also be canceled.

It might also be that the show was never given a fair chance. Some might have quickly judged it as a rip-off of "The Wonder Years" (John Daly and the Geek Gang--especially Neil and Harris--did look like characters you might find on that show, not to mention the high school looking just like that in The Wonder Years).

My other guess for the reason that shows like these are often short-lived is that they are too expensive to produce. "Freaks and Geeks," like "My So-Called Life" filled a lengthy time slot of fifty minutes or so. Filmed partially on location and partially on a set (like "Sqaure Pegs" and "My So-Called Life"), a show like this becomes very expensive to produce and, may unfortunately force some hasty decisions about how long a network would ride out slack ratings.

I still think NBC passed up a good thing, and possibly other networks if it was pitched to them once being canceled. It was a great show that tried to produce a very dynamic set of characters and stories and did well.

I would also like to say while I adored nearly every character on the show (except for Nick who's obsession with Lindsay transformed him into not only a bizarre, but a boring character), I thought Martin Starr was the best as the witty Bill Haverchuck (I love his Bionic Woman bit when he is getting his costume ready in the Halloween episode). Though I thought him to be needlessly bizarre in the beginning (particularly due to his gawky appearance), he turned out to be one of the best characters. He always tried his best to be a good friend to everyone and, he always had some of the funniest lines in th show (Joe Flaherty, as Sam's dad, also had a bunch of good one-liners). And, while he was not in the show but sporadically, I also loved 'Harris,' the Geek mentor who always seemed so confident about everything.

Long live Freaks and Geeks! May the television show's creators reconsider trying this one again (even if you have to start over with a new cast, since everyone has aged six years--as of this writing).


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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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