Even if you’ve never heard of this show, I can guarantee you recognize the majority of the actors – Lina Cardinelli (Velma from those real life Scooby Doo movies), John Francis Daley (Dr. Sweets from Bones), James Franco (no explanation needed), Seth Rogan (what isn’t he in?), and Jason Segel (Marshall from How I Met Your Mother). Intrigued by this stellar cast? Good.
Although Freaks and Geeks is more of a dramedy than a sitcom, I couldn’t help but think about this show when reading about families in sitcoms and watching this week’s episodes because of all of the different family styles reflected in this show. The central family is the Weir family with Lindsay (Cardinelli) and Sam (Daley) as the children. The Weirs are a “typical” nuclear family of 4 in the 198os. The head “freak,” Daniel Desario (Franco) comes from a broken and abusive home. Nick (Segel) comes from a single parent household with an unsupportive dad. Each character comes from his or her own unique family background which shapes who they are.
Outside of the blood-related families, this show also represents the family-like relationships found in friend groups. There are essentially two groups in this show – the freaks and the geeks. In each, the characters find a sense of belonging and support. This is especially important in the “freaks” group because many members lack a solid family foundation at home.
Freaks and Geeks is one of my favorite shows for many reasons. It hilariously shows the awkwardness of the high school years while also highlighting serious topics such as abuse and teaching important life lessons. Even though this show only ran for one season, it’s a great one in my opinion. It’s on Netflix, so check it out!