Freaks and Geeks

July 18, 2018
By MadProphet SILVER, Tallahassee, Florida
MadProphet SILVER, Tallahassee, Florida
8 articles 0 photos 0 comments

This was one of my favorite television shows to watch while I was growing up. While it didn't gain much commercial success, it certainly earned its place in the hearts of those who watched it. I really appreciated the realism that this show brought to the genre of high school television, especially at a time when many other TV shows set in high school seemed to glamorize the high school experience.

The series follows two siblings, Sam and Lindsay Weir, as they venture through high school. Just as the title indicates, the show depicts two distinct social groups in high school that had received representation beforehand, but rarely at the same time. The show spans a variety of adventures with Lindsay Weir and her "freak" friends along with Sam Weir and his "geek" friends.

I really enjoyed the character of Lindsay Weir, she was emotionally complex yet inspiring at the same time. Lindsay is a high school sophomore who is at conflict with her sense of identity. After witnessing the death of her grandmother, Lindsay has an existential crisis and begins to exhibit a shift in character. Other characters comment Lindsay's change, some are taken aback, like Millie and Neal, while others are skeptical, like Kim and Ken. She is accepted by Daniel and Nick and eventually the other characters begin to accept that she has changed. It's revealed that Lindsay had romantic feelings for Daniel, but Daniel is already in a relationship with Kim. Nick reveals that he has feelings for Lindsay, and at first the audience is unsure if his feelings are requited, but it becomes clear that Lindsay only considers him to be a friend when she kisses Nick to comfort him from depression. Lindsay's conflicting sense of identity is an ongoing premise throughout the series, as she is presented to be a character transitioning from a geek to a freak.

Sam is another important character that I really connected with. Sam is a geek and the younger brother of Lindsay Weir. Along with his friends, Neal and Bill, Sam is mostly designated to light-hearted subplots about freshmen outcasts being exposed to the reality of high school. His story primarily revolves around his feelings for Cindy, his relationship with his sister and his friends.

There is conflict between certain characters within this show, Sam has an ongoing dilemma with his bully, Alan, who torments the freshmen geeks for most of the first season. Lindsay is at odds with Kim Wexler at the beginning of the first season, however the two become closer when Lindsay sees the disparity in Kim's home life. There is also tension between Nick and Lindsay as they struggle to understand how they feel for each other.

Despite the fact that this is a high school story, there is a lot of social commentary spread throughout the different episodes of the season. Ken struggles with his sexuality upon discovering that his girlfriend is intersex, Kim deals with the neglect and abuse that is associated with her impoverished upbringing and Neal deals with discovering that his father is having multiple affairs.

In conclusion, this television show subverts the traditional high school narrative by showing two alternate lifestyles while also displaying the qualities that these two titular social groups share in common. Overall, this show is intended to illustrate the realities and complexities of high school life while also delivering an entertaining story.

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