As Judd Apatow Continues His Revenge, We Remember 'Freaks and Geeks'

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Freaks and Geeks’ may have only lasted for one season, but the show has had an enduring legacy, not least of all for producer Judd Apatow who has just called his whole career 'revenge' for its cancellation. With just 18 episodes (only 12 of which NBC aired), how can such a little show have made such a big impact?  Well you only have to look at the list of people who came together on the ‘Freaks and Geeks’ set to understand while we’re still talking about it 14 years later. James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel are just a few of the names who started their careers in the McKinley high cafeteria.

Judd ApatowJudd Apatow is still taking revenge for the cancellation of 'Freaks and Geeks'

Firstly if you’ve never seen or heard of ‘Freaks and Geeks’, you need to go and find a way to watch it, now. The short lived series, which originally aired on NBC between 1999 and 2000, has become a cult classic thanks to its fantastic script and timeless cast of characters, many of whom were played by now well known faces.

Created by Paul Feig, who would go on to direct ‘Bridesmaids’, ‘Freaks and Geeks’ followed the lives of two groups of high school teens in early 80s America, the ‘freaks’ and the ‘geeks’. The show focused on the Weir family, whose daughter Lindsay, once known for her excellent grades and good behaviour, had taken to wearing an army jacket and hanging out with the stoner crowd who listened to Led Zeppelin and attended Who concerts. As she tried to fit in with her new group, Lindsay would struggle with her conservative family and her old much less ‘cool’ friends. Then there was Lindsay’s brother Sam who is also trying to carve out his own image in high school away from the 'geek' label given to him and his comedy obsessed friends.

More: Shows that were cancelled after just one season.

Despite being set 20 years in the past, ‘Freaks and Geeks’ was a breathe of fresh air when it first aired in 1999. The retro setting highlighted the timeless nature of high school problems, whilst at the same keeping all its nostalgic cultural references. Also, a show set between 1980 and '81 is bound to have a fantastic soundtrack. Sadly though back in 2000 the ratings just weren’t there for it, and NBC plugged the plug after 12 episodes, sending the final six installments off to the Fox family channel. Maybe the show was just something everybody needed to find in their own time and now that many of the cast have become such big stars it’s easy to go back and find the show that started them off.

James Franco played Danny Desario in Freaks and GeeksJames Franco? That's Danny Desario to you

For those wondering who James Franco was before his Oscar nomination, well he was Daniel Desario, the freak heartthrob with a bullying girlfriend. What about Jason Segel, now known for ‘How I Met Your Mother’ as well as Apatow films ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ and ‘This is Forty’? He was Nick, Lindsay’s loveable but slightly dumb sometime boyfriend who had drumming aspirations beyond his talent. Then there’s frequent Apatow collaborator Seth Rogen who made his acting debut in the series as Ken, another freak who would eventually fall in love with a marching band member.

Which other stars appeared on 'Freaks and Geeks'?

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Tags: Judd Apatow - James Franco - Seth Rogen - Jason Segel


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