Disc 1 of Freaks & Geeks was on “long wait” from Netflix foreeever, but I finally got it on Tuesday night. Holy crap, has it really been 10 years?! John Francis Daley is on Bones now, and honestly, he doesn’t look much different. Except he’s like 4 feet taller. Oh, and his voice is deeper.
The genius of this show was two-fold:
a) It portrays the little things about high school that you didn’t even know you remembered until you see them here. Like in the beginning of this clip, where Lindsay is (presumably) cutting class for the first time. She looks like she’s swallowed live bees, and she flees as if she expects a klaxon to go off and an army of truant officers to pour out of the front doors of the school.
Once you do it a few times, you realize nobody gives a flying fuck, and sometimes you don’t even bother to leave campus when you cut. But that first time (at least if you were a Good Kid Just Starting To Go Bad, like Lindsay Weir) was a nerve-rattler.
b) It never sugarcoated high school. When Sam Weir is threatened by a bully, his friends don’t heroically come to his rescue. They look away and basically try to blend into the wall, because they’re as weak and nerdly as he is. And when they do finally stand up for themselves, it pretty much ends in a draw: They get their asses kicked, but the bully flees on his bike, still snarling “You’re DEAD!” over his shoulder.
The show never ended on an After School Special note, with everyone standing around in a circle laughing gently, having learned their lesson. High school is nasty, brutish, and seems to go on forever.