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Freaks and Geeks Discussion

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Freaks and Geeks Discussion

Old 07-21-05, 01:33 PM
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I didn't see any of the episodes during the NBC airing.

But a year later, I saw all the episodes during the Fox Family Channel reruns. And I loved it.

I bought the 6 DVD set right after it came out.

And the thing is, I hardly ever buy TV shows on DVD. I have to be totally in love with a show to buy it. Besides this, I only own 4 other TV shows (My So-Called Life, Magnum P.I., Gilmore Girls, and Jonny Quest).

I think the fact that I was already such a huge fan of My So-Called Life probably had a big influence on my opinion of Freaks and Geeks. The two shows are similar in a lot of ways.

Plus, there's the fact that I was born in 1971, and it was nice to see such an accurate depiction of the early 1980s.

But the Atrai stuff was off. The Asteroids screen they showed was the arcade version, not the Atrai 2600 version. And some of the Atari cartridge boxes they showed in the store were the silver colored boxes, which did not actually appear until after 1981. Also, real geeks would be playing Adventure as their first game, not Asteroids.

The Tom Selleck reference in the Halloween episode wasn't accurate, because the first episode of Magnum P.I. did not air until December 1980.

The one line, "You should do with Alan what Han Solo did with Jabba the Hut - avoid him," was great, because it's a criticism of how Lucas ruined the mystery of Jabba the Hut when he later added him to Star Wars.

The music. Oh yeah. I recognized almost every song.

Too bad the series didn't last a few more years, so they could have used music by Scandal and the Waitresses. Maybe they even could have shown the geeks watching the TV show "Square Pegs."

Freaks and Geeks is an absoluely wonderful show!
Old 07-21-05, 01:37 PM
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I recall watching the pilot episode on NBC on a Saturday night back when I was in college. Hooked me in within minutes.
Old 07-21-05, 01:43 PM
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I was one of the few who dug F&G from its beginnings on NBC. I was crushed when it was cancelled. I signed the petition to get it on DVD, and when it was finally released, even though I had the regular 6-disc set I still bought the yearbook edition. Being from Michigan, I had even more of an affinity for the series, and it's easily my favorite show of all time. One of the highlights of my life was having the show's creator/exec prod Paul Feig come into our office last week to film an interview with me. He's on a book signing tour at the moment, so it all worked out.

Some of the story ideas he had for the second season were fantastic. It's a crying shame it didn't work out.
Old 07-21-05, 01:51 PM
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Another one here that caught it on DVD but never saw it while it was on TV. What a great show. Glad I own it on DVD. Ashame it didnt make it past it's first season.
Old 07-21-05, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by BJacks
Some of the story ideas he had for the second season were fantastic. It's a crying shame it didn't work out.
Are you allowed to tell us?
Old 07-21-05, 01:55 PM
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Well for one, I LOVE TV on DVD. It's my favorite thing to collect. I have over 60 TV DVD Box sets now. I kind of remembered the promos from tv and after reading glowing review after glowing review I then bought it (earlier this year) during a DDD sale.

It turned out to be one of the greatest shows I've ever had the pleasure of watching. At the end I just shook my head in disbelief that a show this great could've been cancelled after just one season. Absolutely unbelievable. Even though it had been off the air for several years I was pissed off after finishing the set.

I wish I head the Yearbook Edition.
Old 07-21-05, 02:04 PM
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I caught most of the NBC run but missed a bit towards the end. I was Lindsey's age in 1980 and, minor details aside (Where were everyone's backpacks? And, you did not wear them over both shoulders!), they really got the era right. It was fun to see, and a true shame that it was cancelled. I bought the set partly to show support for the show and the amazing job they did, and, of course, to see the eps I missed.
Old 07-21-05, 02:50 PM
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Netflix then bought it.
Old 07-21-05, 03:44 PM
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I never saw it during it's original run, then caught some of it when it aired on ABC Family channel (before there was a dvd set). I went to ebay looking for vhs recordings of the entire series, bought them for $50, which was a nightmare because they were unwatchable - recorded in super low quality on two tapes (and the guy wouldn't give me my money back). I found a petition online to get it released on dvd, signed up for that, and was very happy when I got an email that it was successful.
Old 07-21-05, 04:23 PM
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I saw it when it aired on tv originally,soon as i heard the premise for the show i had to check it out and the pilot was amazing so i was hooked.And of course i now on it on dvd and have watched it thru 3 times so far which is more than any of my other tv boxsets.
Old 07-21-05, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by grundle
Are you allowed to tell us?
Sure. He talked about their second season ideas in my interview with him last year:

BJACKS: Did you have any story ideas for a second season?

PAUL: Oh, yeah, there are definitely a lot of places we wanted these characters to go. Whether they would have or not, who knows? Because when you start writing everything changes and the characters take you different places. But I knew I wanted Neil to join swing choir, and I wanted Sam to get into drama club...but he wouldn't be good enough to be an actor so he'd be on the stage crew.

BJACKS: Did you have anything for Bill?

PAUL: Well, I know that Judd was really wanting Fredericks to marry Bill's mom, and Bill actually joins the basketball team, and kind of starts going that way. We all knew that these kids were going to start growing up. I remember the first time I met John Daley; the only reservation we had about him was "This kid's going to get good looking fast. He's going to turn into a big, good-looking kid; how are we going to deal with that?" So we were always prepared to just run with that, and not deny that but to make it part of the stories. And to have what happens in school, where one kid drifts away from his group; Sam thinking, "Well, can I still be friends with these guys?" So we really wanted to do a lot of inter-mixing with the groups, which we started doing a lot in the first season anyway. But to really surprise people. And it was always kind of the goal where every week you go like, "Oh, I didn't expect that!" Because that's what school was to me, constantly. Like every year you'd go back and you'd go, "God, this person has completely changed! Last year he was my best friend and now he's a complete burnout. And I'm actually scared of him now. I used to sleep over his house and watch him eat cottage cheese." So a lot of that kind of stuff.

And I personally wanted Kim Kelly to be pregnant for the entire second season. Because, you know, there's always the pregnant girl in school, especially back then. So I thought that would have been really interesting to do.
Old 07-21-05, 06:50 PM
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I remember cathing an NBC episode, there was a nerd ( Bill ) drinking beer out of a little baseball helmet, watching Dallas. The rest of the party was drinking near beer out of a keg. I was hooked. Then ABC Family picked it up, and I got to see all the eps I missed.
Old 07-21-05, 07:00 PM
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After noticing endless positive mentions of the show for years, I decided to blind buy the set last month when DDD had the 20% sale. I just finished watching the set last night and now I know why it received such accolades. As someone who was nine years old during that time, it brought back lots of memories. Do kids still have to cover their books with brown grocery bags? I thought the finale was an excellent way to go out, even though I hate the Grateful Dead It would have been interesting to see a second season, but I personally feel the series wouldn't have been as special if it lasted more than 2 or 3 seasons.
Old 07-21-05, 07:15 PM
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I saw part of the Halloween episode when it first aired, and "Gonna Raise Hell" by Cheap Trick was heard in the episode. That peaked my interest because I am a HUGE CT fan.

Then just before it came out on dvd, I read up on it a little bit and decided to get the 6-disc set as a blind buy. I watched every episode and loved it. Then a month or 2 later, I saw a deal on here that got me the 8-disc yearbook edition for $65 (normally $120).
Old 07-21-05, 09:04 PM
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I loved the show while it was on the air...and apparently there weren't too many people who caught it while it was on NBC. But NBC moved it around way too much.

I have to say that I've never seen people (producers/writers) seem to care so much about a show and make that public knowledge to their fans. These guys were on the website, telling fans that they're happy they supported the show and that they were hoping another network would pick them up. It's hard to believe that such a quality show can get dumped before it even reached it's potential, and nobody cares. Poorly handled by NBC.

I got the yearbook edition and it's great...one thing I am curious about though...although I love the show, I really wonder if the appeal and charm would've still been there when the geeks got older. I know Paul touched on this in an interview with Bjacks...but I truly wonder how interesting and believeable it would be to see sam, neil and bill all get older. Their voices would change, they'd get much taller, they may start growing muscles, facial hair, etc...they wouldn't look like geeks anymore. And TV is very big on visuals...you want your geeks to look like geeks and your freaks/burnouts to stereotypically looks like freaks and burnouts--even if there is a lot of character development (hence the geeks either all being short and scrawny or tall/lanky with coke bottle glasses). I wonder if it would've taken away from the show after a while...

I also wonder how it would've handled Lindsay graduating in two years from highschool. And what about when the geeks graduated in three years? Are we going to have "Freaks and Geeks: The College Years?" Or would they have to end the show after only four seasons?

I love the show, but these things have always interested me. Thoughts?
Old 07-21-05, 09:21 PM
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I saw no episodes during the initial run.

I saw no reruns, but heard good things.

My teenage son, who hates everything, said he saw a couple of episodes and thought it was good.

So I took a shot and got the 6-disc set during the recent DDD 20% sale.

We got around to starting to watch it the weekend before last with the family (couple of teenage kids and mom & dad).

We started out intending to watch 2 or 3 episodes, and instead by popular demand watched the first three discs (including deleted scenes).

We watched the other three discs in a second marathon last weekend, and will go back and check out the commentaries some time soon.

All of us absolutely loved the show.

I grew up going to a rural high school even though I lived close to a metropolitan area, and was exactly the age of the characters in that same era. Let me say, they nailed the feel of the time.

I guess if I had to assign myself a category, I was mostly a jock, and by its nature (and name!) that is one group the series barely touched on. But I was one of those jocks who kind of floated amongst all of the groups because I neither liked nor understood the social class structures and took every opportunity to ignore them. I took both shop courses and college prep math, was a football captain, a heavy metal drummer, national merit scholar, and the occasional "Mando Commando" (our name for detention, or mandatory after school study). I even managed a girlfriend now and then.

So I found plenty to identify with in nearly every character. I think that is probably true of most anyone younger than 50. By contrast, I grew up in Wisconsin, and That 70's Show is in basically the same place and time, but though I find it very funny I don't identify with much of the show (other than Red, who my boys swear I pattern my fathering skills after ).

I will say that the only bad thing I have to say about Freaks & Geeks is that unfortunately I really disliked the series conclusion.
Old 07-21-05, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by PacMan2006
I truly wonder how interesting and believeable it would be to see sam, neil and bill all get older. Their voices would change, they'd get much taller, they may start growing muscles, facial hair, etc...they wouldn't look like geeks anymore.
One, you don't have to look like a geek to be a geek. Two, the freshman geeks when I went to H.S. were still geeks when senior year rolled around. Nothing odd about that.

As for the show in general, I caught the premier, and the mascot episode, and maybe one or two others, but from what I remember it was on an odd night for me (always worked that night, or something like that), so I never devoted any time to it, if I was home and caught it, great. If not?, 'eh. I do remember thinking that it was good, and quite different to what else was on the tube.

I picked up the dvds as a Columbia House tv edition fulfilment earlier in the year after all the praise on this forum. I wasn't a F&G virgin, but I'd only seen maybe 4 of the 18 episodes and didn't want to spend $50 bones on a blind buy. Glad I did.
Old 07-21-05, 09:51 PM
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One, you don't have to look like a geek to be a geek. Two, the freshman geeks when I went to H.S. were still geeks when senior year rolled around. Nothing odd about that.
Obviously, but a big part of what made the show work--any show, really-- was that the characters were not only well crafted, but truly looked the part. Obviously nerds can be nerds at any age, but if Neil and Sam, etc, three years later, are taller, stronger guys with deeper voices, it doesn't come across well anymore.

Remember "The Wonder Years"...Paul Phiffer looked like such a nerd for the first four seasons...but at the start of the fifth season, he was MUCH taller...his voice was a little deeper, he no longer wore glasses...he wasn't so much a nerd anymore at all. The guy grew up. I'm not saying you outgrow your nerdiness, but part of the appeal of the show was not just that these geeks liked Star Wars and weren't good at getting girls, but that they LOOKED like guys you'd think would like Star Wars and couldn't get girls. I think, as an example, if they tried casting James Franco as a geek instead of as one of the freaks, it would take away from the show and the character immediately.
Old 07-21-05, 10:27 PM
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I watched most of what was aired during its all too erratic run. I think prior to the premier, NBC News had a brief bit on Judd Apatow and his struggles to sell a show (one of which became "Freaks and Geeks").

Anyway, based on the promos and tagline, "What high school was like for the rest of us," I tuned in. It really caught on nerve ending for me from the first episode -- the setting, the characters, the situations. Everything seemed so dead on in terms of what my high school years were like from about the same time period. It rekindled some nostalgic memories and memories I'd rather forget! And I strongly identified with Sam Weir, although I didn't necessarily suffer all of the same pitfalls as he did. Just most of them.

I thought highly enough of the show to get the DVD yearbook edition when it was released.
Old 07-21-05, 11:57 PM
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I watched it religiously when it aired on NBC. The show was basically about ME... 1980 was my freshman year at a midwestern high school (though I'm not telling if I was a freak or geek.) I was crushed when it was cancelled and kept following the rumors about a DVD release. When it finally happened, I was lucky enough to be near Los Angeles when the entire cast was signing at Tower Records. That set is now my most prized possesion.
Old 07-22-05, 04:22 AM
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I was a loyal NBC viewer of this show. Caught the pilot and LOVED it. Whenever I hear "Sail Away" now I automatically think of this show. Was crushed when it was canceled, but never caught the "bonus" episodes on ABC Family- didn't follow the schedule enough to know when the unaired one were finally aired. Then bought it and love it on DVD. I've watched the whole thing 3 times since buying it.
Old 07-22-05, 06:23 AM
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I watched it from its original run. A co-worker also enjoyed the show, so we'd talk about it at work.
Old 07-22-05, 06:32 AM
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Never watched it on when it was on TV. Bought it from DDD during their 20% off sale since everyone always had nice things to say about the show.

Very glad that I did.
Old 07-22-05, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by BJacks
Sure. He talked about their second season ideas in my interview with him last year:
Thanks!
Old 07-22-05, 10:55 AM
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I'm a bit curious; I wasn't exactly a child of the 80s (graduated in 2001), and it seems a lot of this appeal comes from the nostalgia of growing up and going to high school in that era. That said, I was called both a freak and a geek on many occasions ... would it still be worth my time to check the show out?

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