Freaks and Geeks

Freaks and Geeks

Synopsis of TV Show

“I don’t give a damn about my bad reputation…”

The whole nostalgia thing had been done before—Happy Days, The Wonder Years, That 70’s Show—but never quite like this. For all their coming-of-age intent, these shows all put a “now” spin on a “then” time—an idealized childhood we all wished we had. Set in 1980, the hour-long dramedy Freaks and Geeks remembered what adolescence was really like—a wonderful, terrifying, embarrassing and mind-numbing experience that could only be appreciated by living through it now and trying to make sense of it all later.

Skinny high school freshman Sam Weir was a geek. His best friends Neil Schweiber (a Steve Martin wannabe) and Bill Haverchuck (the übergeek) were also geeks. They loved all things Star Wars, Monty Python and sci-fi, and the opposite sex was pretty much a closed door to them. Life wasn’t always fair, but it was about as good as the geek world gets.

Sam’s older sister Lindsay was a freak. She didn’t start out that way—she used to be an honor student and a mathlete—but the death of her grandmother and the start of her senior year of high school caught Lindsay in the throes of the classic teen rebellion drama. She found new friends in burnout slickster Daniel Desario, dim-witted drummer Nick Andopolis, bad girl Kim Kelly and sarcastic Ken Miller, and immediately her life began to change. She was still smart as a whip, but she suddenly realized there might be more to life than good grades and getting into a top college.

Trying to sort out the various messes of their kids’ adolescence were parents Harold and Jean Weir, good-hearted sorts who just didn’t quite seem to understand (or, at least, they couldn’t understand why their kids didn’t think they understood). They weren’t perfect, but they weren’t caricatures either. In fact, no one in the Freaks and Geeks universe ever was. As Lindsay struggled with the taboo experiences of fake I.D.’s and smoking pot, her circle of friends offered a few surprises of their own: Nick passed up a chance to score with Lindsay because he respected her too much, Ken showed a soft spot for a school tuba player, and so on.

On the geek front, the boys learned that good times with pretty girls weren’t meant to last. That attractive new girl in school may have been a kindred spirit, but once the popular kids got their hooks in, you might as well say goodbye. Likewise, once Sam finally got cute cheerleader Cindy Sanders to look at him as more than a friend, he discovered that the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing gets old after a while.

By the end of the show, nobody was exactly what he seemed to be at the start, and nobody’s future was shaping up according to plans. It was a fascinating, bittersweet, nostalgic, and very funny journey, but not everyone was willing to come along for the ride. Critics praised the show, but after starting out in a Saturday night “death slot,” Freaks and Geeks was never able to build the large audience it needed to stay afloat. Fans lobbied for the show, but NBC cancelled it after its debut season.

Luckily, the creator Paul Feig and executive producer Judd Apatow had planned for just such a possibility, and Freaks and Geeks brought things to a close (well, an open-ended close) with a surprising, but somehow fitting series finale. The characters all moved on to unknown futures, and Freaks and Geeks rambled on to syndication, taking its honest look at the awkwardness of adolescence to hopefully greener pastures.

Release History of Prime Time Show

9/25/99 - 7/8/00 NBC

TV Sub Categories


Television Network


Television Studio

Apatow Productions, DreamWorks SKG

TV Cast

Lindsay Weir  Linda Cardellini
Sam Weir  John Francis Daley
Daniel Desario   James Franco
Neal Schweiber  Samm Levine
Ken Miller  Seth Rogen
Nick Andopolis  Jason Segel
Bill Haverchuck  Martin Starr
Jean Weir Becky Ann Baker
Harold Weir  Joe Flaherty
Kim Kelly  Busy Philipps
Cindy Sanders   Natasha Melnick
Millie Kentner  Sarah Hagan
Jeffery Theodore Rosso  Dave (Gruber) Allen
Mr. Kowchevski Steve Bannos
Harris Trinsky  Stephen Lea Sheppard
Gordon Crisp  Jerry Messing
Alan White  Chauncey Leopardi
Coach Ben Fredricks  Thomas F. Wilson
Vicki Appleby  Joanna Garcia
Maureen Sampson  Kayla Ewell
Hector Lacovara   Trace Beaulieu
Sean Shaun Weiss
Mark  Mark Allan Staubach
Todd Schellinger  Riley Smith
Colin Jarrett Lennon
Amy Andrews  Jessica Campbell
Seidleman Ron Lester
Eli  Ben Foster
Humphries Michael Beardsley
Sara Lizzy Caplan
Dr. Vic Schweiber  Sam McMurray
Mrs. Schweiber  Amy Aquino
Gloria Haverchuck  Claudia Christian
Cookie Kelly  Ann Dowd
Mr. Andopolis  Kevin Tighe
Mr. Casper   Ron Marasco
Mike Stevens  Matthew McKane
DJ/Salesman  Joel Hodgson
Ernie Hahuth   Jason Lansing
Kevin  Marco Gould

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