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Freaks and Geeks: 15 years later

By: Virginia Eader

When the show first aired, I was in 7th grade. I went to a small school in Kalama, Washington- where the elementary, middle and high school were all on the same campus. It was 1998, the year our high school football team won the state championship (this was a VERY big deal for our little town). And now, it’s hard to believe my first high-school reunion is this Saturday. Needless to say I’ve been reflecting back lately on my time in high school. Who was I? Who did I want to be? Where did I fit in? Freaks and Geeks attempts to answer these very questions.

Over the last several weeks I watched the entirety of the 18 episode show for the very first time. It’s sort of a mash-up of That 70’s Show and The Wonder Years with the added element of perhaps the most successful portrayal of three nerdy freshman boys struggling to fit in despite their true unapologetic geekiness.

I’m assuming that most of you HYN readers have seen the show, loved it, and will probably watch it again after reading this. But, if my assumptions are wrong, please do yourself a solid and add it to your Netflix queue- watch it quick- and then return to this post to continue reading below.

Presenting: Top 10 Freaks and Geeks Proud Geek Moments

10. When Sam and Neal make up a concoction of random things in the kitchen for Bill to drink.

Bill blindfolded

9. When Sam becomes the school mascot to try to impress the popular Cindy Sanders, the only freshman to make the varsity cheerleading squad.  (BTW, did anyone else notice that the original mascot was played by a very young Shai Labeouf)

8. When Sam tries to dress like a “super stud” and sports a “Parisian night suit” and feathered hair at school. Night Suite

7. When Bill has a severe allergic reaction to peanuts, resulting in Sam and Neal getting sympathy hugs from two popular girls in the waiting room of the hospital.

6. When Bill dresses up as the Bionic Woman for Halloween.

Bionic Woman

4. When (at the end of the peanut allergy episode) the geeks all get dressed up to go to the Sci Fi convention. Sci Fi Convention

3. Anytime Millie is on screen. I just love Millie! Especially this scene.

Millie

2. When Sam breaks up with Cindy Sanders because he realizes how extremely boring she is. (She didn’t even laugh at ‘The Jerk’.)

1. When the Geeks teach Freak, Daniel Desario (James Franco) Dungeons and Dragons. This may literally be the best nerd clip in television history.

James Franco

Last December Vanity Fair posted a series of photos from the Freaks and Geeks Reunion. Here’s to memories of high school- both great and horrible, freaky and geeky- on screen, and in real life.

virginia@haveyounerd.com 
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One thought on “Freaks and Geeks: 15 years later

  1. Hey friends. So, I realized an error in my post. The show actually first aired in late 1999, not 1998. Sorry for my lack of fact checking, but you get the point :)

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