Freaks & Geeks
I'm With The Band

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I'm With The Band

The episode opens with someone dropping dry ice into a bucket. I wasn't sure I had the right channel at first. If I hadn't recognized Nick and his big-ass drum kit, I might have thought I was watching a concert. Nick's in his basement with headphones on, playing along to Rush's "The Spirit of Radio." He's got lighting effects, he's got the dry ice, he's got showmanship and energy. But most importantly, he's got Geddy Lee to sing the lyrics while he lip-synchs -- it looks and sounds great. We see Nick's father come down the stairs, and the camera takes in the scene from the dad's point of view. Suddenly it's just a basement rec room again. Nick's drumming isn't gonna win big awards any time soon, and his singing makes the song almost unrecognizable. His father sighs and walks back upstairs. It's one of the most clever show openings I've ever seen. And it segues nicely into the Joan Jett song for the credits.

After a word from our sponsor, we see the geeks in gym class, looking spiffy as usual in their uniforms. Bill's sporting black socks with grungy white sneakers, and Sam tells him, "You look a little bit like my grandpa." Bill's comeback: "Oh, is your grandpa super-cool?" Biff the gym teacher tries to drum up some enthusiasm for the "President's Physical Fitness Tests." Oh, man, that must be an uphill battle. I used to live in terror of those tests myself. Biff says they will start with the rope climb. Neal says, "Yeah, that's gonna help us get into a good college." How grateful I am that Neal's right, because I was never able to climb more than about six inches on those beastly ropes. Then Biff drops his big bombshell: starting today, the boys are required to shower after every gym class. Sam looks terrified, even before Alan the bully asks, "Is Weir allowed to shower with us? He's a woman!" The rope-climbing begins, and I am surprised to see that Bill's actually good at something. Sam and Neal are holding the rope steady while Sam expresses his dismay at the prospect of getting naked in front of his peers. Bill interrupts to warn them not to look up his shorts. Neal comments that there's nothing to see, and Bill says, "There is something to see," in a way that only Bill could make funny. Sam goes back to declaring that he won't shower. Neal doesn't see why it would be such a big deal, so Sam goes on the defensive, telling Neal, "I think it's kind of weird that you wanna get naked in front of everybody." After Alan shouts an insult at Neal about circumcision, Neal concedes that the shower idea is a bit weird. Bill says he can't climb any further, and asks, "How do I get back down?"

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Freaks & Geeks

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