Freaks and Geeks : Season 1

  • Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 25, 1999
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jun 13, 2013
    100
    This may be the first TV show since Pee-wee's Playhouse to treasure youth even as it embodies all of its contradictions, craziness, hopes, and fears (and I'd like to point out that Freaks is the only hour-long sitcom I've ever seen that sustains funniness for its full 60 minutes).
  2. Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    Reviewed by: John Levesque
    Feb 27, 2013
    100
    Freaks and Geeks may fail because it has no hope of drawing viewers to a crummy Saturday night time slot. But don't ever suggest it lacks soul. Or heart. Or brains. Freaks and Geeks is that wonderful rarity among television series, a show that simultaneously lampoons reality and embraces it. [25 Sept 1999, p.C1]
  3. Dallas Morning News
    Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Feb 27, 2013
    100
    Joe Flaherty, the former SCTV standout, chips in as a perfectly apt one-note pop who preaches that all of his former misbehaving classmates are now - "dead!" [25 Sept 1999, p.1C]
  4. Deseret News
    Reviewed by: Scott D. Pierce
    Feb 27, 2013
    100
    In addition to fresh, sharp writing, the casting in Freaks and Geeks is exceptional. [25 Sept 1999, p.E05]
  5. Arizona Republic
    Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Feb 21, 2013
    100
    The new fall season's best show...Here's how good: It will make you like a Styx song. Yes. It may even make you love it. It will definitely make you hum Come Sail Away, that awful anthem from one of corporate rock's biggest hack acts. Why? Because it is the dead solid perfect choice for the first episode's closing scene, a scene so painfully perfect you'll wish you were 16 again. [25 Sept 1999, p.1D]
  6. Baltimore Sun
    Reviewed by: Chris Kaltenbach
    Feb 20, 2013
    100
    Freaks and Geeks will certainly capture the heart of anyone who came of age in the late '70s and early '80s (it's set in 1980) and should ring true for anyone whose high school memories have not been totally sublimated...One of the few shows this season that's left me waiting anxiously for week two. [25 Sept 1999, p.1E]
  7. Orlando Sentinel
    Reviewed by: Hal Boedeker
    Feb 20, 2013
    100
    This quirky comedy-drama stands out as one of the real pleasures among the 35 new series...It is funny, but also tender and nostalgic. This is one homecoming dance you don't want to miss. [25 Sept 1999, p.E1]
  8. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Feb 17, 2013
    100
    The best new show of the season...It's less sentimental than "The Wonder Years" and not as concerned with its period setting. Unlike "My So-Called Life," which was real in a gloomy-doesn't-life-stink way, Freaks and Geeks finds abundant humor in the absurdity of the situations the characters face. [22 Sept 1999, p.C-1]
  9. New York Post
    Reviewed by: Michele Greppi
    Feb 17, 2013
    100
    A frisky little triumph of real spirit and a collaboration between creator-writer-supervising producer Paul Feig ("Life Sold Separately") and executive producer Judd Apatow ("The Larry Sanders Show"). You'll feel better about yourself, and television - if only you'll stay home on Saturdays to watch it. [25 Sept 1999, p.53]
  10. Boston Herald
    Reviewed by: Marisa Guthrie
    Feb 17, 2013
    100
    We've all been there. Which is why Freaks and Geeks works so well. Cloaked in grunginess, it's a totally unpretentious slice of high school life, a decidedly unmelodramatic drama devoid of "Dawson's Creek"-speak and sticky self-analysis. No one is wearing designer duds and the closing scene at the high school homecoming dance reveals that not one student possesses a shred of rhythm. [25 Sept 1999, p.25]
  11. Reviewed by: Terry Kelleher
    Jun 27, 2013
    91
    The young actors are natural and convincing, and the high school characters manage to be funny without too much Dawson's Creek glibness.
  12. Houston Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Ann Hodges
    Feb 27, 2013
    90
    Freaks and Geeks shows promise of touching the same common chord that The Wonder Years played so well for the classes of the '60s. [25 Sept 1999, p.7]
  13. Newsweek
    Reviewed by: Kendall Hamilton
    Feb 20, 2013
    90
    There's a touch of "The Wonder Years" here-but there's also a dash of "Welcome to the Dollhouse." As high-school shows go, Freaks and Geeks boasts a rare authenticity. [27 Sept, 1999, p.64]
  14. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Steve Johnson
    Feb 17, 2013
    90
    It is, with only a couple of exceptions, sharply observed, poignant and original, and even worthy of getting the family together to watch. [24 Sept 1999, p.Tempo 3]
  15. St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    Feb 17, 2013
    90
    Freaks and Geeks is a grittier "Wonder Years," while retaining some of that show's sweetness. The writing is sharp, and the young stars are vividly, awkwardly real. Spending an hour with them is almost worth going back to high school again. [24 Sept 1999, p.E10]
  16. Reviewed by: Joyce McMillan
    Feb 17, 2013
    90
    Emotionally, the pilot of “Freaks and Geeks” feels just about right — touching, but not sappy, amusingly off-kilter but not crude. Sure it’s nostalgic — former freaks and geeks are notorious wound lickers, the better to savor their post-high school triumphs. And this affectionate nostalgia, this assumption that viewers have been through what the characters are enduring and come out OK, is the show’s greatest strength and weakness. Freaks and Geeks depicts its ancient bygone era so well, it’s hard to imagine actual teenagers — freaks or geeks — tuning in.
  17. Washington Post
    Reviewed by: Tom Shales
    Feb 17, 2013
    90
    So much in the Freaks and Geeks premiere is shrewdly, tenderly and sagaciously observed that one wonders whether there'll be enough material left for additional episodes. Probably. [25 Sept 1999, p.C01]
  18. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Feb 17, 2013
    90
    In its own affectionate way, Freaks and Geeks puts a pimple into the TV-ized approach to adolescence. This delightfully observed 1980s-set dramedy is high school as many of us remember it, with Twinkie-pounding bullies and Army-jacket wearing druggies and pale nerds with speech impediments and "Star Trek" fixations. It's high school unplugged, a sort of "Dazed and Confused" for the small screen, and it is one of the fall season's most likable new shows. That NBC has thrown "Freaks and Geeks" into the wilds of Saturday night - it premieres tonight at 8 on Ch. 7 - is only further evidence of network nitwitness. [25 Sept 1999, p.C1]
  19. San Diego Union-Tribune
    Reviewed by: Robert P. Laurence
    Feb 27, 2013
    88
    Oddly affecting. [25 Sept 1999, p.E-7]
  20. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Feb 17, 2013
    88
    In mere minutes and with a few instantly evocative images, Freaks draws its characters more precisely than some shows do in a season. [24 Sept 1999, p.11E]
  21. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Feb 17, 2013
    80
    A tartly written number, (by Paul Feig) that is amusing and frequently hard-eyed in its look back at certain not so dear old school days. [27 Sept 1999, p.A32]
  22. New York Daily News
    Reviewed by: Eric Mink
    Feb 17, 2013
    80
    Freaks and Geeks is tapping into something primal: adolescents' hunger to begin to understand themselves and their world. Freaks and Geeks is too honest to offer answers. But it affirms the value and the universality of asking the questions. [24 Sept 1999, p.140]
  23. Chicago Sun-Times
    Reviewed by: Phil Rosenthal
    Feb 17, 2013
    75
    Like the kids it's about, this show deserves a better fate, however. (Saturday night at 7? Come on, NBC.) It's a dry-eyed but ultimately sweet program, and if you're home alone on a date night, it's for you. [24 Sept 1999, p.48]
  24. The New York Times
    Reviewed by: Caryn James
    Feb 17, 2013
    70
    Though it has a winning, low-keyed charm, Freaks and Geeks can't escape its sense of borrowed wonder. But at least it has some. [24 Sept 1999, p.E1]
  25. Los Angeles Times
    Reviewed by: Howard Rosenberg
    Feb 17, 2013
    70
    Speaks with a more authentic teen voice than other series in this genre, becoming an antidote for WB's "Dawson's Creek," whose articulate, sophisticated high schoolers are adults in youthful bodies...The downside is that situations and characters here are so overdrawn, little space remains for subtlety or nuance. [25 Sept 1999, p.F1]
  26. Kansas City Star
    Reviewed by: Aaron Barnhart
    Feb 17, 2013
    40
    Color me confused on the concept. Are 20-somethings supposed to like this show? Good luck with those archaic pop culture references (Molly Hatchet, Carter/Mondale). Teen-agers? Sure - let them see that high school was just as vicious 20 years ago...Freaks and Geeks recalls a time a lot of viewers would rather forget. [25 Sept 1999, p.E1]
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 132 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Dec 3, 2010
    10
    This is just am amazing tv show. Honestly, it is the best school-based tv show. The characters are realistic but at the same time un-boringThis is just am amazing tv show. Honestly, it is the best school-based tv show. The characters are realistic but at the same time un-boring and lovable. The show is just simply extremely funny. This show cant compare to any shows these day (for example glee). Not saying glee is bad, just that Freaks And Geeks is a lot easier to follow, a lot more comedic and is not overdone. Full Review »
  2. Feb 6, 2013
    8
    This is the Wonder Years with a bit of an edge. Full of actors that most 30 somethings know and enjoy, and produced by Judd Apatow this showThis is the Wonder Years with a bit of an edge. Full of actors that most 30 somethings know and enjoy, and produced by Judd Apatow this show was great fun. It is very disappointing that it didn't have more than an 18 episode run. Full Review »
  3. Mar 24, 2011
    10
    The best school television shows ever made by the hilarious director Judd Apatow. This show shouldn't be canceled when it did. All of theThe best school television shows ever made by the hilarious director Judd Apatow. This show shouldn't be canceled when it did. All of the characters are great. Full Review »