Freaks and Geeks

Thirteen years after its short-lived life on TV, I have rediscovered “Freaks and Geeks,” a fantastic series developed by Paul Feig (of “Bridesmaids” fame) and Judd Apatow, and starring then-unknowns James Franco, Jason Segel, Seth Rogen and Linda Cardellini, among others.

The show takes place in 1980 and is a trip down memory lane. Although I was a few years younger in 1980 than the fictional teens portrayed in the series, the high school politics and the relationships among the kids, the teachers and the parents are depicted in such a real and poignant way that the show feels as though it could have been a documentary about my high school.

On top of which, the soundtrack is to die for (at least most of it – I never liked heavy metal). The actors capture the awkwardness, naïveté and stupidity of teenagers everywhere. And you root for all of them, even the jerks. The writing is so spot on – there’s nothing like it on tv today.

The series lasted for one 18-episode season. And tonight I will be watching the last episode, wishing there was more. What I love about the series is that it captures an era when teens still talked to each other. When they had to communicate either face-to-face or by corded telephone. When the only video game was Atari and computers were oversized and rare. When people – kids and adults alike – weren’t so concerned about being politically correct.

Watching “Freaks and Geeks” should be mandatory for all teens today – they could learn an awful lot about life (and great music) and relationships from it.

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