Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Freaks And Geeks: The Complete Series (1999)

Honestly, they dress nothing like this... Yeesh

Drama Comedy Series

Starring: Linda Cardellini (Strangeland; "ER"), John Francis Daley

Created By: Paul Feig ("Arrested Development"; I Am David)

Overview: High School is tough enough without being a nerd or a burnout. Sadly, we throw in 1980 and there you have "Freaks and Geeks". This show focuses on a 14 year old near-dweeb, his 16 year old trying-to-be-outcast math-whiz sister, and their respective group of friends.

Acting: I thought the characters were a bit too 'caricature' in the beginning, I don't know if I got used to it or if the director softened the characters up a little, but I think that the acting is actually quite good as it nears its end. I love Bill. He's awesome. I just wish that sarcastic guy had a bigger part. At least they focus on him more in the end.
Rating: 8

Cinematography: The look is more mood-setting than high art, but given that's it's TV, we're lucky to get that. No, it wasn't special effects and coolness but the outfits and the houses, wow. Just looking at a room would sometimes crack you up.
Rating: 7

Script: Again, the first half of the series seems to be a focus on what you would expect with some witty comedic dialogue as you go along. I found that as we progressed in the series, people get deeper, and their characters even change a lot, the writing gets better. It's quite good.
Rating: 8

Plot: I thought the whole thing was a little cliché in the beginning. I mean kissing, pot, sneaking around the parents, all coming of age / gaining independence stuff that we've all seen, but in hindsight, we really haven't seen it as well as it's been done here. Near the end they loosen up and focus rather than appealing to the commonplace. Maybe that's why this was the only season... Points for the Dungeons and Dragons scenes. Best episode ever.
Rating: 8

Mood: I like where the show went far more than where it started, and I still find it strange that they tried way too hard to keep each show as stand alone, so much so that when something happens it's almost like it's ignored come next episode, which brought it down a bit. The whole wood paneling and the 80s denim cock-rock look however? Nice touch.
Rating: 8

It's Bill. He plays a thief... in D&D... and peanuts kill him.

Overall Rating: 78% (You'd Be A Freak Not To Like This)

Aftertaste: Admittedly, it took me a good long while to get into this show... I'm talking fourth disk out of six. I would have perhaps even given it back to the person who lent it to me if I hadn't heard how much people liked this. I gave it a full chance and you know, I regret that there's no season 2, because the show got better every episode.