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May 20th, 2009

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10:21 am
I've watched six episodes of Freaks and Geeks in two days. I'm not sure if that qualifies as "temporarily living in 1980" but it sure feels like it.

I haven't seen the full series run ever, and the last episode I watched was a few years back before the DVD came out and bittorrenting was kinda new and my computer was so crummy it could barely play a 60-minute AVI file. Before then, I only caught it in 1999 during its very sporadic network run when it wasn't busy being pre-empted or getting cancelled.

I've picked up a lot more notes in the writing in the 10 years since I saw more than one episode. Back then, Mid-20s Me picked up on a nostalgia factor and the high school factor and the crush on a girl factor and the fitting-in factor. Now, Mid-30s Me is picking up on disappointment, adult regret, the realization that dreams will be crushed, and the lasting unease and uncertainty that comes with not knowing where the hell you're going anyway. That the show refuses to end any episode except the pilot with a typical "happy" ending helps underscore a lot of that.

Still, it's a wonderful show. It manages to make you laugh like hell one moment, then rip your heart out and stomp all over it the next, and after that, make you laugh like hell again, only this time with a stomped heart.

I got a few more episodes to go. Guess I know what I'll be doing with my week.

(8 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:May 20th, 2009 02:39 pm (UTC)


I adore that show.
[User Picture]
Date:May 20th, 2009 02:49 pm (UTC)
I've been Netflixing it this past week and a half (disc three comes today!) and agree with your assessment. I think the most impressive thing the show does is accurately capture the extent to which adult-level disappointment is a reality for teenagers. As someone who teaches high school, I think that by shorthanding adolescence as "hell" we forget just how vivid and raw both hopes and failures can feel at that age. It isn't hell; it's life.

That, and the show is funny as hell. The Dungeons & Dragons bit from the last episode actually aired always makes me smile.
[User Picture]
Date:May 20th, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC)
There must be something in the air. I just finished the first disk of season 1 and disks two and three are on their way. For me, it's got some of the same charm I found in "Dazed and Confused", that sense of chronological vertigo where you're simultaneously able to look at the characters as they are and as the people they're likely to become in 10-20 years.

(Doesn't the kid with the glasses remind you of Chris? :)

[User Picture]
Date:May 20th, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
You're in luck; Freaks and Geeks is the only show I know of where every single episode is drop-dead stellar. Have a good (heart-wrenching, hilarious) week!
[User Picture]
Date:May 20th, 2009 07:16 pm (UTC)
That show is so great. More than one episode made me cry. And I still quote the funny bits.

The young feller who played Bill had a part in the recent movie Adventureland, which I think also did a good job portraying nostalgia/adolescent tragi-comedy.
[User Picture]
Date:May 20th, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC)
when I rewatched My So-Called Life at 25 I totally picked up on all the stuff I didn't pick up on at 16, especially adult/marriage dynamics.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:May 22nd, 2009 11:48 pm (UTC)
I love that show so much.

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