High school series are a genre that never runs out. Only on Netflix have a few premiered this year that address the teen theme from different angles, such as This shit surpasses me , Never have I , the new seasons of Sex Education, Elite and Thirteen Reasons Why or Dare Me, included from USA Network. The tribulations of adolescents as they face situations of the adult world for the first time will never go out of style, and it is also a genre that has its own classics.
One of the brightest, and most influential, is Freaks and Geeks . Created by Paul Feig, and produced by Judd Apatow, the series only had one season on NBC in 1999/2000, with a very erratic and incomplete broadcast, but it was enough for it to immediately become a cult series. The reason? That while it was a nostalgic look at Feig’s own small-town adolescence in the early ’80s, it portrayed the conflicts of his characters in a very realistic way.
The entry of the series in the Amazon Prime Video catalog is a good way to approach the difficulties of the Weir brothers to enter a new stage in their lives . Lindsay, the eldest of hers, is much more affected by the death of her grandmother than she would like to admit, and she is putting aside her facet of good student to hang out with the high school jerks. Her little brother Sam, on the other hand, tries to make a name for himself by being a huge fan of role-playing games and knowing that he will never be one of the popular kids.Each of the two takes us to meet the freaks (the weird ones) and the geeks (the nerds) and to see how they are beyond the labels that others hang on them to, basically, be able to mess with them. Lindsay’s rebelliousness hides someone who has lost her anchor in the world and now doesn’t know how to move on, and many of her new friends have problems at home, or are pathologically shy. And then there’s Bill Haverchuck , who can’t be spoiled for his weekly viewing of Dallas or her Halloween costume as the Bionic Woman.
The naturalism with which the series showed its characters and the situations in which they found themselves was, perhaps, what condemned it to cancellation in 2000, but it is what has made it last. The quirky streak of humor that Feig and Apatow have developed in their respective film careers was already in that series, as was their keen ear for music and eye for casts who, from the start, seem like the only possible options. for their characters.
The cast of Freaks and Geeks was made up of semi-unknown young people who, in some cases, were the same age as the leads, or just a little older, and who would later be quite successful in Hollywood. James Franco may be the most obvious example (although there are also plenty of stories about how insufferable he was on that shoot), but with him were also Seth Rogen, Busy Phillips, Martin Starr, John Francis Daley (now more of a screenwriter), Jason Segel or Linda Cardellini . Among the supporting roles with smaller roles you could even see Jason Schwartzmann or Lizzy Caplan.They all fit perfectly into the world of William McKinley High (yes, like Glee ‘s) in a Detroit commuter town, a world where there were no dangerous secrets to uncover and no one realized they had superpowers. Lindsay, Sam and all the others were just trying to find their place leaving behind a stage where you think you know everything, like childhood, and entering another stage full of insecurities.
That’s why Freaks and Geeks has ended up being the definitive high school series, because it portrayed its characters honestly and tried to be realistic . Paul Feig was able to create it based on his own experiences, but there is no mythologizing nostalgia there and, nevertheless, it is very easy to empathize with them, and even see themselves reflected. And a series that is tuned Bad reputation , by Joan Jett, has, of course, things very clear.