• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 25, 1999
  • Season #: 1
Freaks and Geeks Image

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 78 Ratings

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  • Starring: John Francis Daley, Linda Cardellini, Joe Flaherty
  • Summary: The universal experience of teenagehood as lived by the regular old freaks and geeks in a Michigan high school, circa 1980, is the subject of this wistful comedy-drama executive-produced by Emmy-winner Judd Apatow and series creator Paul Feig. Revolving around the lives of freak and geek siblings Lindsay and Sam Weir (Linda Cardellini, John Daley), the show includes the everyday fears, humiliations and little triumphs of adolescents past, present and, no doubt, future,too. For sophomore Lindsay, life is getting difficult. Jolted by the death of her grandmother, she dons her dad's old Army jacket and fights the one-girl battle of McKinley High. The allure of being a champion "mathlete" is losing its appeal, and her goals of college and career feel somehow irrelevant. She's alienated. Luckily, though, she's not really alone. Drifting away from her studious friends, she finds herself increasingly drawn to others like her, the "freaks" who ' refuse to accept the status quo. Among them are Daniel (James Franco), a friendly but also a dangerous guy who seems to like Lindsay, as does his bud Nick (Jason Segel), who dreams of stardom as a rock-and-roll drummer a la Led Zeppelin's Jon Bonham. Then there's Ken (Seth Rogen), an acerbic rebel, and Kim (Busy Philipps), a tough girl who doesn't go easy on Lindsay. Meanwhile, Lindsay's freshman brother Sam navigates high school like a mouse in a maze. Threatened at every turn, and attracted to an unattainable cheerleader, Sam faces his own set of obstacles. But he has good friends. Sure, they're "geeks," but so is Sam. There's Neal (Samm Levine), a wise-acre, sci-fi loving geek, and bespectacled Bill (Martin Starr), a classic looking nerd who's unfortunately not as brainy as he appears. On the homefront, Lindsay and Sam suffer through the good intentions of their overbearing mom (Becky Ann Baker) and their hardwired dad Joe Flaherty), who turns every teen issue into a matter of life and death. Unfortunately the show was canceled after only 12 episodes had aired, this was due to the poor ratings obtained. A fan-led campaign caused NBC to broadcast three more episodes in July 2000, but these would not be seen until September of that year when the cable channel Fox Family aired them in syndication. Expand
  • Genre(s): Comedy, Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jun 13, 2013
    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. Reviewed by: Hal Boedeker
    Feb 20, 2013
    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]
  3. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Feb 27, 2013
    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. Reviewed by: Tom Shales
    Feb 17, 2013
    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]
  5. Reviewed by: Steve Johnson
    Feb 17, 2013
    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]
  6. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Feb 17, 2013
    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]
  7. Reviewed by: Aaron Barnhart
    Feb 17, 2013
    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]

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Mar 24, 2011
    The 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. Expand
  2. Dec 3, 2010
    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-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. Expand
  3. Nov 20, 2012
    A strong contender for the best show about teenagers ever made.
  4. Nov 1, 2013
    This show was truly brilliant and truly realistic. It resonates with a great amount of parents and teens, with a very funny voice added in. This show started the careers of many famous faces, like Seth Rogen, James Franco, and Jason Segel. A hidden gem. On Netflix instant streaming Expand
  5. Nov 2, 2010
    Probably one of the best shows that was ever on TV. All the characters very realistic, the script was good and so were the plots. This show depicts a very real high school life Collapse
  6. Nov 7, 2013
    It's a shame this show didn't last more than one season. You've probably never heard of it, and I hadn't either until just a month ago when I started watching it. Its got stars before they were stars (Franco, Rogen, and others), managing to accurately capture a piece of the high school experience. This show is genuine, unique, and develops its characters expertly. It would be a shame to pass on this captivating series. Expand
  7. Feb 6, 2013
    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 show was great fun. It is very disappointing that it didn't have more than an 18 episode run. Expand

See all 11 User Reviews

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