The TV show “Freaks and Geeks” is a true gem hidden behind TV’s biggest names like “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “Friends.” It only ran for one season, but still developed a cult following around the world. In 2012, Entertainment Weekly listed Freaks and Geeks at #16 in the “25 Best Cult TV Shows from the Past 25 Years”. This show actually means a lot to me and has helped me understand myself more.
The show is set during the 1980-81 school year at the William Mckinley High School. Lindsay Weir, a previously proficient student called a star “mathlete”, one day decides to transform her life. She starts hanging out with the school’s “freaks” that are troubled rebels and slackers. Lindsay, a goody-goody tries very hard to get approval from her new friends and gets into drinking and smoking. Lindsay’s new friendships create all sorts of problems for her, they cause friction between her and her parents, problems with self-image and love triangles. There’s a second storyline of Sam, Lindsay’s younger brother, and him trying to fit in during freshman year. Sam and his friends aka “nerds” are in a constant struggle for popularity and trying to fight off their bullies.
Freaks and Geeks really stuck with me because I was going through exactly what Lindsay was- an identity crisis. This was the first show aimed at teenagers that I could actually relate to. It wasn’t sugar coating high school, and it didn’t try to make characters “cool” and “relatable”, it showed raw and painful teenage problems. It helped me to realize that a lot of decisions I was making at the time were self-destructive. The show shows the mistakes almost every teenager makes with compassion and there’s a lesson to learn from each episode.
If you haven’t watched the show, I highly suggest finding some time to sit down and binge it. I guarantee that you will see yourself in one of the characters. Also, did I mention that James Franco is in it?