Last night I was at my Meetup meeting, and Cheryl totally called me out on not updating this blog. I tried to explain to her that I was involved in a silent Cold War with Caroline over who would break and update first. The fact that Caroline was unaware of this battle was unimportant. Looks like I am blinking first, so here is the first of the summer updates! I prefer to think of the summer as a time of rest, mostly because it is so freakin humid in DC that moving even just a little requires a Herculean effort. I have used this downtime to try to catch up with the shows that passed me by in years past and first such show is: Freaks and Geeks.
F&G is one of those shows that has a HUGE cult following. It aired on NBC for less than a season (18 episodes) and seemed to follow a very My So Called Life pattern. It dealt with trials of high school (from the perspective of two fringe groups; the freaks (stoners) and the geeks) and aired to great critical acclaim and crappy ratings. The show centered on a pair of siblings, Lindsey, who was the head of her school’s Math Team until she started hanging out with the freaks Daniel (James Franco from Spiderman), Nick (Jason Segel from How I Met Your Mother) and Kent (er, who was in this show and not much else), and her brother Sam who hung with the geeks. Sam’s posse was made up of Neil, an awesome Jewish kid, and Bill, your typical geek. Although I kinda love Bill the most because he dressed up as Doctor Who for the sci fi convention, complete with giant scarf.
The thing about this show, and I think it’s the thing that makes it the most awesome, is that it alternates between hilarious and utterly painful to watch. Why painful? Some things depicted (being picked last for gym class, public humiliation by the “popular” kids, getting egged on Halloween, etc.) are so true to life that I literally had to close my eyes. I just couldn’t take seeing people go through things that painful, and let’s face it, we all had experiences like that. So it’s one of those “if I wanted to see this I would remember my own high school experience I would look at my yearbook” and “OMG I can’t believe someone had that happen to them too!” type of things. Overall though, the show was hysterical and things like Bill dancing, Nick playing the drums, Ken hooking up with tuba player, and Lindsey getting stoned that one time, are far more common than the “hard to watch” moments.
Now, just a few random thoughts. 1) David Kumholtz is one episode, and I am obsessed with him so it automatically makes this show awesome; 2) Biff from Back to the Future plays the gym teacher, which is just so perfect I cannot even tell you; 3) the relationships between the characters are so realistic that you really understand and “get” them; 4) I never got James Franco before, but now I kinda understand what all the fuss is about.
So break out the Dungeons and Dragons, fire up the bong, and settle in to relive the 80s with F&G.
Favorite F&G quote (from Bill): “This one time I was late to physics, and everyone stared at me.” I cannot even tell you how much being late and having everyone watch me come in and take my seat was like, my biggest high school nightmare.