Freaks and Geeks

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Please step into this nightmare.

This week we officially pass the halfway point of the series, you guys.  In the first episode, ‘We’ve Got Spirit’, Sam dresses in a terrifying Viking costume featuring a tiny body and a gigantic freakshow head in order to play school mascot in order to, of course, get closer to Cindy the Perfect.  Maureen was just a temporary distraction from his One True Love, she of the gorgeous pink unicorn room and the bad habit of blaming innocent furniture for her noxious emissions. 

 As the episode starts, Vicki Appleby and another cheerleader are hanging a giant banner that reads, ‘ASSASINATE Lincoln!’ with a hilarious lack of irony.  When the school mascot falls and breaks his arm, the team needs someone to fill in.  Sam, in a bid to come to Cindy’s rescue and also be with her always and forever, decides to try out.  At the audition, we meet the broken mascot, a young (pre-Stevens, even!) Shia Lebeouf. 

I can't wait till I get to fuck Megan Fox.

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**Sorry this is so late, guys.  But look at it this way; TWO FnG posts in one week!  Part five will be posted on Friday per the usual schedule.

There’s some pretty good stuff in these two episodes, including awesome guest stars and the descent of Nick Andopolous into the creepiest boy at McKinley High, but we’ll get to that. 

The first episode, ‘Carded and Discarded’, features the introduction of a few awesome new faces to the FnG world.  First up is Kayla Ewell, otherwise known as Vickie from ‘The Vampire Diaries’, as Maureen, a new transfer student from Florida, and new object of desire for the geeks.  It hit me that it is CRAZY that she played a high school student in 1999(!) and is still playing one in 2011.  Hollywood is so kooky.  Also, bitch never had an awkward phase, because she was just as adorable back then as she is now.  And her hair has ALWAYS looked that good.  I, on the other hand, went through a grunge-y, goth-y period in grade ten and at one point sported long hair with just the back of my head shaved from the ears down.  And I wore my hair in a ponytail to show it off (it was a thing at the time, okay?).  So congratulations, Kayla Ewell, on twelve picture-perfect years.  I’m really happy for you. 

The geeks happen to be the first kids to talk to Maureen, and they become buds pretty quickly.  The guys cannot believe their luck.  A hot, fun girl is hanging out with them on purpose?  And she likes them?  And everyone at school is seeing it?  A classic Michael Scott win-win-win.  Until, of course, Vicki the cheerleader starts talking to her and they know that it’s only a matter of time before Maureen realizes she has the makings of an A-lister and leaves them to play with their rockets solo.  Obviously the only solution is to guard her like a prisoner and control who she interacts with – give her the ol’ Katie Holmes treatment, if you will.   

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Welcome back to part three in my DVD rewatch of ‘Freaks and Geeks’!  In the first episode, ‘Tests and Breasts’, Daniel Desario is in urgent danger of failing algebra.  I feel for him.  While our own SB is a math whiz (whether or not she has a secret mathlete past is something she’ll have to tell us, but I like to think ‘yes’), it was never my strong suit.  I did fine until I hit calculus, which had me suddenly feeling like Nell trying to understand Shakespeare.  I could often be found huddled in the corner, rocking back and forth and moaning ‘taaayyyy…inna winnnnnnn’ over and over.

Daniel steals the upcoming test, and tries to charm Lindsay into filling out the answers so he can swap it out in class.  Lindsay goes full optimist and says she’ll just ask his teacher for an extension so that she can get him caught up first – he likes her, so she’s sure he’ll be cool.  He’s not cool – he hates Daniel, thinks he’s a bum and tells Lindz not to let her hormones rule her life.  Lindsay’s outrage at Kowchevski’s disregard for Daniel as a math student, a man and a human being in general convinces her to help him.  Their mistake: they went for an A on the test, when they should have gone for a C+ to make it at least a little bit believable.

Kowchevski immediately figures out what’s going on, calls them on it and holds a disciplinary meeting with Mr. Rosso.  Before the meeting, Lindsay’s having reservations about denying the accusation.  But then, Desario gives a master performance in manipulation – he even manages to convince her AFTER she acknowledges what he’s doing.  Please, take a moment to bask in The Franco’s powers of persuasion:

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** Note: I said in the previous post that today I’d be covering ‘Tricks and Treats’ and ‘Tests and Breasts’, but I was looking at an inaccurate episode list – one that went in order of how the eps aired originally on NBC.  There was an episode that was intended to air after the Halloween one – ‘Kim Kelly is my Friend’, so that’s the order we’re going in.  So, the porn ep (and my high school porn watching story) will have to wait until next week.

Halloween time, my favorite holiday of the year.  Costumes, scary movies, candy, roving the streets with your friends, what’s not to like?  And sorry, but Halloween beats awkward family dinners at Christmas or Thanksgiving any day of the week.  Plus, any chance I have to color my hair blue or incorporate copious amounts of glitter into my day is welcomed with open arms.

The Weir kids were both in transition – stuck in that weird place where you’re not sure if you should go trick or treating, hand out candy, or party with your friends.  Sam and his friends decided to go for one more year of candy collection, cemented by the fact that their English teacher assigned ‘Crime and Punishment’ which seemed far too adult and boring for a bunch of kids.

I so remember that feeling – I’ve always been a voracious reader, but I’ve never been a huge fan of the ‘classics’ – Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Austen – anything from that broad category that I like to refer to as ‘olden times’.  Who wanted to pick up a book with a picture of a depressed old man in earth tones on the cover where every character had a weird, long name?  Gross.  I remember once getting kicked out of class for not reading The Stone Angel, which was about an elderly woman dying from cancer.  No thank you – I don’t need a push from the literary world towards depression – I can get there all by myself.

Lindsay turns down a double date with Nick, Daniel and Kim to fulfill her promise to hand out candy with her mom, but we all know it’s really because of Nick’s ‘bra before kiss’ fail the week before.  Lindsay don’t play that.  Of course, when she realizes that not only does her nerdy friend Millie have a boyfriend, but that she kept it a secret from Lindsay out of pity for her boyfriend-less ass, the date is on like Donkey Kong.  Fuck Mom and her lovingly homemade pumpkin cookies.  If even Millie is growing up, it’s time she did too.

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**This was supposed to be posted on Friday, but I was unexpectedly and unhappily without internet all weekend so it’s Freaky Monday instead.  The Friday schedule will be in effect though for part 2 and beyond. 

Just as a general FYI, on the off chance that there are people who are actually watching the show for the first time along with the posts, I won’t be spoiling future storylines here.  You can do so in the comments, just remember to put a big ‘ol SPOILER ALERT warning first.  Cool?  Cool. 

High school, you guys.  I think most people would agree that Charles Dickens’ opening line from ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ just about covers it:  it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  I can’t think of a time in my life that was filled with so much emotional intensity, drama, mortification, vomit, bad hair and awkward sexual experiences, and yet…it was also one of the best times of my life, and a period I look back on with both intense nostalgia and an almost crazy desire to relive it.  My biggest fantasy in life, I swear, is not getting horizontal with Timothy Olyphant (that’s a close second, though) – it’s that I wake up one morning in like a ’17 Again’ type situation, and have to relive high school with my current brain. But since none of the ancient Indian artifacts I’ve wished on at the stroke of midnight have worked, the next best thing is to live vicariously through television.  So, it’s no wonder that I love, love, LOVE Freaks and Geeks. 

There have been many, MANY shows about high school over the years, but there have been very few that actually got it right.  I loved 90210 and Dawson’s Creek like everyone else, but they were more like you wanted high school to be (Drama! Shopping! Endless stream of reciprocating love interests! BMWs!), rather than how it really was.  The only shows that felt authentic to me were FnG, The Wonder Years and My So-Called Life (this totally has to be another DVD Rewatch project, right?) – if I’m forgetting any, please don’t hesitate to yell at me in the comments, but no others come to mind. 

I didn’t watch FnG for the first time until I had been out of high school for almost ten years (I missed it when it was on tv) and it was kind of a shock, how visceral the experience felt.  I felt like I remembered having those same conversations, laughing at the same things, making the same mistakes as the kids at McKinley High – it was love at first watch. 

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Hey all!  Donald Glover/Childish Gambino is here to let you know that the Freaks and Geeks DVD Rewatch on OCTV is officially kickstarting this week.  No, he has nothing to do with the show, but how could I resist including this picture?  Plus, I know that OCTV readers need little to no reason to stare at his face, so, you’re welcome.

ANYWAY, the true purpose of this post is to let you all know that the rewatch is officially kickstarting this Friday.  That’s right y’all, it’s Freaky Fridays on OCTV!  I’m going to cover two episodes of the show per week, so obviously we’ll be starting with the pilot and ‘Beers and Weirs’.  Make sure you do your homework!  I knew a guy once who chose to goof off with his friends instead of doing his homework for a DVD rewatch project , and you know where he is now?  He’s dead!  Don’t be like that guy.  See you Friday!

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