Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series
DVD | Box Set
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Over 35,000 fans have demanded it, and so it has come. That’s how many rabid "Freaks and Geeks" fans have signed a petition via the Internet to plead for its release on DVD. "Freaks and Geeks," the Emmy® award-winning series about the trials and tribulations of high school outsiders in 1980 Michigan is finally coming out on DVD in its original form, with all the original music. And believe us – clearing over 130 music cues from the likes of The Who, Billy Joel, Bob Seger and their peers was no easy task.
"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.
The comedy/drama Freaks and Geeks limped through its sole season on NBC in 1999 before being expelled by the network--but not before earning critical acclaim and a devoted fan base that fought valiantly to keep it on the air. Now all 18 episodes have been released in this long-awaited boxed set, which allows longtime fans and first-timers alike to enjoy one of television's most poignant and funny programs about high school.
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 GaitaSee all Editorial Reviews
- 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
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It is very sad that it got cancelled after only 1 season (!!), because it was TOO realistic and reminded people too much of what high school was REALLY like.
And with actual teenagers portraying teenagers, unlike most other American TV shows and movies, where the 'teenagers' are 25-32......
Guess they would rather watch 756 cookie cutter identical cop/hospital/medical examiner/FBI agent shows with car chases, shoot-outs and exploding robot aliens.
Perhaps what appealed most to me about Freaks and Geeks was that it utilized much of my favorite music of the time - not what was most popular, but what I felt should have been. And all of the songs are incorporated only in ways which compliment the scenes or storyline.
Hearing "Whipping Post" play as Lindsay's walk down the school hallway turns into slow-mo sent chills down my spine. It was like Feig and Apatow somehow tapped into my head while I watched other shows and overheard me gripe about what music I would play "if only I had a show of my own..."
Freaks and Geeks also served as a foot-in-the-door for a few of the most popular actors now in film, including Busy Phillips, Jason Segel, Linda Cardellini, Seth Rogan, and James Franco, all who were unknown at the time. And keep an eye out for Ben Foster's brilliant portrayal of the mentally handicapped Eli.
Because I was also in high school during the era depicted, I recall much of the mentality, and can relate to it, however inane it may be. One example is a scene in which Nick and Daniel discuss just one of the many enigmas to befuddle stoners of the time:
Nick: "So, they're called Santana, right? But that guy who's singing... is not Santana."
Daniel: "No. Santana's the guitar player."
Nick: "Then how did he get them to name the band after him?"
Daniel: "I don't know, man. Maybe he's just a bad ass."
The primary appeal of Freaks and Geeks for most will certainly be the clever and hilarious dialogue. Having watched every episode several times now, it seems as if the dialogue gets progressively better. When the Mathletes argue over who should be on the team, and Mr. Kowchevski intercedes, "Ladies, this is just for tomorrow's scrimmage. This isn't the last chopper out of Saigon..."
...I crack up every time.
The episodes took me through emotional ups and downs. The kids would be goofy, but also dig into some pretty tough subjects. I really wish it had run more seasons.
It is set in 1981 in Michigan and covers some uncharted territory like pot smoking, fake IDs, dungeons and dragons, and other more well worn themes (fist kiss, cheating in school, getting picked on by bullies). However, one of the more inspiring aspect of the series was the music which combines the sublime (The Who, Faces, Joe Jackson, the Cars, etc...) with the dated (Van Halen, Styx, Journey, etc...), but completely appropriate in all cases. I love the scene where Sam asks a girl for a slow dance to Styx's "Come Sail Away" and it switches from a slow dance to a fast dance just as he gets on the dance floor-absolutely hilarious.