Freaks and Geeks: Pilot
February 1, 2021 3:37 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

A group of high school students in 1980 faces various social struggles.
posted by box (7 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
What I like about this show is its kindness. Yes, there are some cringey parts, but it's never mean to these characters. It's mostly just about a bunch of good people trying to figure out who they are and do the right things.

I love how much everyone looks like teenagers. I love the Weir family. The parents genuinely love their children even if they don't understand them all the time and they genuinely love each other. Lindsay and Sam are one of the most realistic sets of siblings I've ever seen on TV -- they might come into conflict but they're always looking out for each other.

I've watched this again now that it's on Hulu and it's still truly a delight. It's about 15 years too early for my high school years, but it still rings very true.
posted by edencosmic at 5:50 PM on February 1 [2 favorites]


Haha I just wrapped this show up a couple nights ago. It's kind of shocking how it only got one season. Every episode is basically as good as the coming-of-age movie equivalent for whatever that episode's arc is.
posted by GoblinHoney at 6:52 PM on February 1


I remember listening to the commentary track on the DVD (it's been years since I heard it so hopefully I'm recalling accurately) but that there was a huge audience drop off during the pilot after the scene when Eli falls off the bleachers and breaks his arm. I think (but I'd have to research it) that the show just never managed to recover the audience numbers that had tuned in for the first hour.

And if I recall, the show later had some scheduling issues, like Firefly, that made it extremely difficult for fans to even watch the episodes. I was just starting college at the time and trying to keep up with the show was really difficult and I'm pretty sure I missed some episodes on first airing. I think if it had been released a few years later in the age of DVR/TiVo it would've had a better chance to survive. I definitely see it succeeding in the age of streaming.

Actually, while writing this comment I looked up the original airdates and yeah, this show never really got the weekly airings needed to get an audience. Dates gathered from wikipedia:

In 1999 the episodes were airing on Saturdays. Then in 2000 they switched to Mondays. And three episodes aired out of order and were shown on Tuesdays in the Fall of 2000 after the final episodes had aired in the Summer.

Pilot: 9/25/99
Beers and Weirs: 10/2/99
Tricks and Treats: 10/30/99
Kim Kelly is My Friend: 9/5/00 (aired out of order, on a Tuesday)
Tests and Breasts: 11/6/99
I'm with the Band: 11/13/99
Carded and Discarded: 1/10/00
Girlfriends and Boyfriends: 1/17/00
We've Got Spirit: 1/24/00
The Diary: 1/31/00
Looks and Books: 2/7/00
The Garage Door: 3/13/00
Chokin' and Tokin': 3/20/00
Dead Dogs and Gym Teachers: 10/10/00 (aired out of order, on a Tuesday)
Noshing and Moshing: 10/17/00 (aired out of order, on a Tuesday)
Smooshing and Mooching, The Little Things, and Discos and Dragons: 7/8/00 (let's just air the final three episodes all at once on a Saturday night in the middle of Summer and be done with it)
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 7:34 PM on February 1


Loved it. I missed it completely in the original broadcast, but it quickly became so legendary as to be practically mythical, and was not a disappointment when I finally got my hands on it. I've since had a lot of fun spotting the various actors in different places.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:19 PM on February 1


It sucks how much of an influence bad luck played, but I wouldn't be surprised if Apatow had network buzz about him that attracted cooks to the broth, because it also seems like maybe there was also just too much fiddling. I'm just pulling this out of my butt though, and I'm sure this would be well-trod history via google and the DVD commentaries. Suffice it to say I missed it on first-airing, too.

The first two episodes aired, then three weeks of baseball playoffs and the World Series, then a few more episodes, then some inconvenient retooling where it was pre-empted by Movies of the Week before THE PROFILER was moved into its slot and they tossed it over to Mondays for five more episodes.

Check the listings and we see that the ratings were really quite stable, often beating Ally McBeal, which notably was not canceled for a couple more years. However, after the New Year it was put up against King of Queens, which murdered everything else in its slot.
posted by rhizome at 12:27 PM on February 2


The Freaks and Geeks bible was posted here a while ago, and it's for sure interesting to see what changed and what stayed the same.
posted by box at 12:52 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


Love, love, love this show, and I'm trying not to burn through it too quickly on Hulu.

Off to read the show bible, which I evidently missed the first time it was posted.
posted by emelenjr at 6:02 AM on February 3


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