Freaks & Geeks

Episode Report Card
Cate: D | 6 USERS: A

This show helpfully categorizes everyone quite neatly before the opening credits even roll. We begin with a couple of supers to let us know exactly where and when we are: namely, "William McKinley High School, Michigan," "1980." There's a big, long panning sequence for an intro, beginning with football practice. On to the bleachers for a relationship discussion between a football player, Brett, and his cheerleader girlfriend, Ashley. She doesn't show up anywhere else in the show. Too bad, since she's one of the few characters sporting a 1980-ish feathery 'do. Ashley is wondering why Brett seems so distant these days, and if it's something she's done. She's espousing the virtues of communication to her lunkhead of a boyfriend, while he nervously hunts for the proper phrase to soothe her angst. Bingo: "Ashley, it's just that I...I love you so scares me!" She giggles with glee and starts making out with him, and I cringe sympathetically for the first time, less than one minute into the show.

Pan to the "Freaks" hanging out under the bleachers, while the music changes from pop to rock. Daniel is philosophizing about a Molly Hatchett T-shirt: "You know, the one with the executioner guy on it, the bloody axe, and under his foot's the severed head?" Well, I remember that one, Daniel, though I'm trying hard not to. Daniel says he tried to wear it to church but the "stupid priest" wouldn't let him in the door. His friend tells him he can't wear that kind of stuff in church, and Daniel asks, "Why not, man? It's church! You're supposed to forgive people there! So you hate my shirt. Forgive me; let me come in!" Nick says, "Hey, I believe in God, man. I've seen him. I've felt his power. He plays drums for Led Zeppelin, and his name is John Bonham, baby!"

The camera slips past Lindsay Weir standing alone by the bleachers all symbolically, because, you know, she's not really part of any of these groups yet, and we move on to the "Geeks": Sam Weir, Neal and Bill. The music changes again, to Kenny Loggins's "I'm Alright", and the Geeks are quoting lines from what I assume is Caddyshack. Allan and his gang of two bullies approach, and Allan tries to pick a fight with Sam by insulting Bill Murray. When Sam says Bill Murray is cool, Allan responds in classic homophobic schoolyard fashion: "Oh, really? What is he, your boyfriend, Sam Queer?" Har-de-har-har, that one never gets stale!

Sam's friends edge away and try to look invisible while Allan threatens, "It's fightin' time, Weird." When Sam tells Allan to leave him alone, Allan responds with Insult Cliché #2: "I'm sorry, I don't speak Geek." That's followed with Insult Cliché #3: he's "always wanted to know what it's like to fight a girl." He could get his wish when Sam's sister Lindsay shows up and asks if he'd like to see what it's like to fight her. Allan's nervous comeback: "Uh...Weird's sister has to protect him?" Lindsay says she's just trying to figure out why Allan would need to "pick fights with guys who weigh less than a hundred pounds." Ouch.

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Freaks & Geeks




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