They say you should always expect the unexpected. That way you're never surprised.
I love surprises.
Freaks & Geeks is a short 1-season TV series that focuses on two groups of American high school students. We have the freaks, centered on Lindsay Weir - a smart girl deciding to hang out with a bunch of 'deadbeats' after a traumatic experience involving the death of her grandmother - and the geeks, a bunch of nerdy boys revolving around Lindsay's little brother Sam.
When I first heard about this series, I was expecting it to be more a kids show - something a bit childish, maybe a show that would've aired on ABC after Arthur and Hey Arnold. What actually ended up playing was a fantastic line up of comedy filled episodes that had me physically laughing out loud until my stomach hurt.
This show does a fantastic job of providing a comedy-first production, getting you laughing at the top of your lungs, while simultaneously getting you involved in these characters lives and their struggles. I felt like I could personally relate to almost all of the characters at points throughout the series, whether it be Lindsay and her desire to do something different other than study maths, or Bill and his interest in TV shows no one else watches.
F&G does a fantastic job of weaving real world stories through its narrative around the comedy of the show. It is, in it's way, a show to the TV industry as the characters are to the school they attend - and that's what makes it so great. Where other shows will sensationalize the high school experience, Freaks & Geeks won't be afraid to show you the raw truth of what it's like to live in the real world. It says yeah, actually, high school is tough. People are annoying sometimes. Puberty sucks.
For several episodes, I was content to laugh and enjoy the narrative. It was a great example of a show that I could sit down and enjoy while playing through some challenges of Smash Bros - and then all of a sudden I found myself watching intently and not paying attention to my 3DS at all. It's that kind of show.
At only 18 episodes long, I was convinced it was a perfect TV show to watch while waiting for normal TV to resume after the Christmas break. What I got instead was a show that I want to go back and watch again immediately; a show filled with characters I fell in love with; a show that is now one of my favourite TV shows of all time.
While it is definitely terrible that this show got cancelled, in the long run I do believe it is better for it. The single season is like a snapshot of what could have been - but instead of having a great show that has ran it's course and is now simply dwindling in mediocrity due to popularity forcing its continuity, it stands as a shining example of what a great TV show can be.
As you may be able to tell from the header image, it was also a launching point for nearly every young actor in the series. The cast consists of big name actors James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel, as well as other lesser known actors and actresses Martin Starr (Silicon Valley), Busy Phillips (White Chicks) and Linda Cardellini (Scooby Doo). There were also fantastic cameo appearances throughout the 18 episodes, such as Shia Labeouf and Ben Stiller.
I was happily surprised by this TV show. I could relate to it, laugh with it, enjoy it for what it is.
If you're looking for a small TV show to smash out over a weekend or even simply watch each night for a few weeks, I highly recommend Freaks & Geeks. Hilarious comedy, real life drama, realistic characters, wonderful actors and a fantastic narrative will have you enraptured from minute one to the ending credits of Ep 18.
Even if after reading through this article you still aren't convinced, just watch this.
Best. Opening. Sequence. Ever.