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)
The weathered and worn Pontiac Trans Am that Daniel Desario drives is a design that was available no earlier than 1979. Since the show takes place in 1980, it is highly unlikely that a high school student from a low-income family could afford what was then a fairly new car - and almost equally unlikely that it would look so aged within one year. See more »
Dad is right - I'm part of this family.
Hear that, Jean? I was right about something. Maybe we should take a picture of this moment.
See more »
The teen years are already hard to swallow without all the other
pressure of growing up. However, most shows don't represent this
properly--or they portray "beautiful people" as the troubled group.
and Geeks" blows that completely out of the water, and depicts the lives
two unique fringe groups--square geeks and lowly freaks, and their trials
and tribulations, as they work to gain acceptance from their unfair peers
an unfair environment--high school.
In 1980 suburban Michigan, Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini) is a perfect
student--a Mathlete, brilliant, promising. Her grandmother death floors
her, and sends Lindsay into a tailspin. She drops the Mathletes and
her bookish ways to become a freak--though she is still a smart one.
Meanwhile, her brother, Sam (John Francis Daley) is beginning his
year with his friends, Bill Haverchuck (Martin Starr) and Neal Schweiber
(Samm Levine), and the boys are immediately thrown into the geek group.
I am a 20-year old college sophomore, and when this show premired in
September 1999, I was a junior in high school. I was also unfortunate
to see this show during its initial run, because I was not home when it
aired. I remember "Freak and Geeks" being placed in death knell time
on Saturday and Monday nights, and saying to myself "NBC isn't giving
show a chance." It didnt--"Freaks and Geeks" was cancelled after only 4
months, and several episodes did not make it to air. I was largely
disappointed, because I had good intentions on watching this show, and
never home to do so. Much to my luck, ABC Family began airing the
so I taped one to watch. The first episode I saw, "Looks and Books," was
hysterical. Recently, I saw the episode with the tuba girl, and this
weekend I saw "Chokin' and Tokin'," where Lindsay smokes potent marijuana
that Nick gave her, and Bill accidentally eats a peanut that was jokingly
put on his sandwich during lunch. That was the best of the three I've
I attended high school between September 1997 and June 2001, and the
was majority (99%) white, and centrally located in suburban southern New
Jersey. My high school had several distinct groups in its structured
hiarchy: the jocks, the smart kids, the preps, the in-betweeners, the
and the freaks.
Our freaks were goths--they wore black, clamped dog chains around their
necks, wore fishnet shirts underneath t-shirts, dyed their hair weird
colors, and were controversial figures--they often wore black trenchcoats
and hated everyone who wasn't them. They were burnouts who took classes
the D-Wing, which was where all the woodshop, graphic arts, and special
education classes were. In other words, if you were a D-Winger, you
the best of students, and were placed there because you were not a
productive member of the student body.
Meanwhile, our geeks enrolled in computer science classes, and played
role-playing card games in lunch. The geeks were impatient with everyone
who didn't understand them, and they always worked as tutors. Basically,
refused to get tutoring for math because of them.
I, on the other hand, was not a geek nor a freak. I was an
got good grades but couldn't compete with the smart kids, well-dressed
not cool enough to be a prep, definitely not of geek appeal, and
of anything the freaks did (seriously, they used to stare at anyone who
wasn't them). I could relate to Lindsay--I was constantly looking for
acceptance, but I got by (I've been better off since I started college).
This show portrayed teen angst the way it was mean to be portrayed--among
the groups that feel the wrath of high school. Too many times have
and television shows depicted the angst among the beautiful, smart, rich
kids--what do they have to be angry about? It's the rest of us that
for acceptance. The in-betweeners worked just as hard as everyone else,
our individuality kept us out of the respectible groups.
When I first saw this show, I saw distinctions right away, and
to my own school years. I also saw something in Lindsay--I knew she's
out of the funk she was in once she grew up, and I knew she would do ok
herself. I liked the geeks because they always had something funny to
especially Sam, who was reduced to stammering "Oh, hi Cindy" every time
saw her. Neal was the one who tried to be cool, but his geekiness held
back. Bill, thankfully, didn't look like anybody I went to school with,
although that would have been funny. I also love the time period it
place in--1980. What's not to love about the '80s???
This is a brilliant that was never recognized. Thankfully, the reruns
resurrected, so those of us who missed it the first time can see it now.
I'm really liking this show, and I tape it every time its on (again, I
the reruns because "Saturday Night Live" is on, and nothing comes between
and "Saturday Night Live"). If you get the chance, and have ABC Family.
check this show out--it's 60 minutes of something we can all relate
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