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Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series
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"Freaks and Geeks" ran for only one television season, but arguably remains the most sought-after series yet to be released on DVD. Just 18 episodes were made, but its legend has exploded over time. Cast members have gone on to stardom, articles have continued to be written, internet activity abounds. Shout! Factory celebrates this incredible television series with the passionate treatment it deserves.
Created by writer-comedian Paul Feig and executive produced by Judd Apatow (The Larry Sanders Show), Freaks and Geeks followed the Weir siblings--former math whiz Lindsay (Linda Cardellini of the Scooby-Doo feature films and ER) and her younger brother Sam (John Francis Daley)--as they navigated the perils and pleasures of a Michigan high school circa 1980. What separated Freaks and Geeks from most other scholastic series was its brutal honesty--Lindsay and Sam, as well as their friends and parents, were given very human personas that showed failure, malice, indecision, and moments of great clarity. Likewise, the plotlines rarely offered pat solutions to the characters' conflicts--the show unfolded in a naturalistic manner, which was a welcome respite for viewers tired of flashy high school dramas. When combined with its smart dialogue and winning performances (the cast included SCTV veteran Joe Flaherty and Spider-Man star James Franco, as well as the sublime and criminally underrecognized Martin Starr and Seth Rogen as Sam's pal Bill and dry-witted Ken, respectively), the show became a haven for fans of quality television, if only for a brief period of time.
The six-disc boxed set provides over 40 hours of supplemental material, which should satiate even the most obsessive of fans. Twenty-nine separate commentaries from the show's creators, cast (and as some of their parents!), composer Mike Andrews, and fans are included, as are 60 deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes footage, and cast auditions. However, the most striking extra is the warmth that radiates from the commentary participants--their pleasure in taking part in such a quality program is palpable, and will undoubtedly be echoed by all who watch these discs. --Paul Gaita
- All 18 episodes on 6 DVDs including the director's cut of the pilot with never-before-seen footage
- Deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes footage, and outtakes
- 29 audio commentaries by the actors, writers, directors, network executives, parents of cast members, and obsessive fans
- 28-page booklet with an essay by "Freaks and Geeks" creator Paul Feig and a Q&A with producer/writer Judd Apatow
Top Customer Reviews
29 different commentary tracks (keep in mind there were only 18 episodes) borders on the obsessive, but if you're a geek, this is bliss. They got all the key cast members, including Linda Cardellini and James Franco, as well as writers, directors, television executives and even the parents of John Daley, Sarah Hagan and Martin Starr and some fans. There are some great bloopers and behind the scenes clips where people are completely out of character. And they also included the original audition tapes for the major characters, which are pretty interesting. If you go on the Freaks and Geeks website you can watch a couple clips including Samm Levine's famous impersonation of William Shatner that landed him a part on the show.
In addition to this DVD, they also have a collector's edition that comes with a yearbook and 2 more discs of extras. But that's a limited edition they stop selling in March 2004 and you can only get it through their website. Haven't seen that, but if it's anything like this set, it will rock.
They obviously put in a lot of work on the DVDs. I've seen other TV collections and they look like they've been thrown together. Here, every menu on every disc has a different image from a scene.Read more ›
For those of you who weren't lucky enough to watch F&G during its all-too-brief run, you'll soon have your chance to experience a true television gem on DVD. Freaks & Geeks ran sporadically on NBC during the 1999-2000 series, and then in reruns on the Fox (now ABC?) Family Channel. In short, it's the story of two siblings: Lindsay & Sam Weir, and their trials and tribulations as high school students in Michigan circa 1980. Lindsay is a junior and a former overachieving whiz-kid who undergoes a crisis of self after the death of her grandmother, and tries to find herself as a new member of a clique of underachieving stoners. Her brother Sam is a sensitive, nerdy guy trying to make his way through freshman year with a tight band of dorks and misfits.
As I write this, I realize that a brief summary doesn't begin to do justice to this multi-layered show. It's hysterically funny, poignant, often painful, and never tries to have the neatly tied-up generic sitcom ending. The secondary characters are as well realized as Sam & Lindsay, and really make the show special (including SCTV's Joe Flaherty as the ambivalent Mr. Weir, Samm Levine as Neil, and Martin Starr as Bill Haverchuck). There are so many moments on the show that I personally identified with, and I can't imagine anyone who was subjected to the tortures of high school life that wouldn't be able to at times. (Though it helps if you lived through the early 80's or can connect with references to the Jerk, Dallas, Dungeons & Dragons, and/or Neil Peart of Rush...). I could keep on going about the show, but I'll let you find out the rest for yourself. Now, to the DVD...Read more ›
Skip the yearbook and buy the standard edition. At $45 or so, it's a much better deal. It has loads of extras that will satisfy the most diehard fans. Keep in mind that discs 1-6 are EXACTLY THE SAME on both editions. There is a heckuva lot on these 6 discs: All 18 episodes, 29 full length commentaries (some episodes have more than 1), 69 deleted scenes (also with commentaries), 2 sets of bloopers, a behind the scenes video, audition tapes for Cardellini, Segel, Daley, Starr, Levine, Rogen, Phillips, (Sorry, Franco's audition doesn't appear on either set). The standard edition is loaded with extras.
The yearbook edition gives you everything on the standard edition, but only 2 more discs for all that additional money. And they are less desirable extras, like auditions of supporting cast members and poorly produced videos of 3 table readings where the sound is barely audible. They used all the best extras on the standard edition. I'll admit the 80 page yearbook is cool to look at, but 22 of the pages contain an episode guide which also appears in the booklet that comes with the standard edition.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best shows ever made. I can watch this over and over and it's great every time.Published 22 days ago by Katie C.
Great show, however the packaging sucks. The way the packaging is set up, it scratches the discs.Published 2 months ago by Lhieesy
I didn't catch Freaks and Geeks at the time it aired, but took a punt based on the reviews here and ordered it from Amazon, and was not disappointed. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Dave Mackie
This was one of my favorite TV shows of all time!
It is very sad that it got cancelled after only 1 season (!! Read more