Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Freaks and Geeks Makes a Happy Father's Day

I was extremely happy this Father's Day to get the complete series of Freaks and Geeks. Sure, it ran for only a season, but was the funniest, most realistic coming-of-age show I've ever had the pleasure to watch. "Dramedy" doesn't begin to come close.

Let me put down a chunk of the letter from Paul Feig, the creator of the show:
For me, this journey started back in 1998, when I was driving around the country with a very low budget independent feature film I made called Life Sold Separately. As I was out on a long college tour with the film, driving around from state to state in the Midwest, I decided it was time to write something I'd been wanting to write for a while: a one-hour TV show about my experiences in high school while growing up in Michigan. I wanted it to be about the real people I knew, the people I had never seen portrayed accurately on TV or in movies. I wanted to write about the burnouts, or freaks, who were always getting in trouble an yet who seemed to be questioning the world around them more than the school system apparently wanted them to. And I wanted to write about my friends.

I'll be honest. My friends and I didn't consider ourselves to be geeks back then. We knew kids who were nerdy, who were the super smart kids who knew they were going to be valedictorians and eventually run the world, and yet we weren't really a part of that group. We simply weren't that smart. But we didn't exclude them from our group, since our group didn't exclude anyone. Because we never really were a group, at least not as far as we were concerned. We were basically awkward, slightly immature kids who didn't fit in to any other clique. Looking back, I guess that made us a group, which I then chose to call "geeks" when I started writing the script (and, hey, it rhymes with "freaks," right?).
By the way, Paul Feig has made quite a name for himself since Freaks and Geeks, and has had a hand in many projects including directing Arrested Development and The Office, and playing a bit part in an episode of Facts of Life.

If you've never had the chance to watch it, rent it--and then buy it.

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