I binge-watched Freaks and Geeks while studying abroad in Dublin in 2004. When it was actually on the air I was IN high school, saw part of one episode and deemed it “too real” for me to handle AS a high school student. Which, I still stick by that assessment. I was not emotionally prepared to handle Freaks and Geeks in the 1999-2000 school year. I was too busy taking Chemistry and figuring out how to handle going to Prom.
But in 2004, I was ready. Luckily, by this point, I was already in love with Busy Phillips from Dawson’s Creek so I was on board with her immediately (and wanted all of her clothes) and I quickly fell in love with everyone else. I mean, this show has James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Linda Cardellini (who I knew as the murderess daughter from Legally Blonde, hello!), Martin Starr and everyone awesome.
This is the show that gave me a horrifying look at peanut allergies, taught me about people pretending to be drunk and was the second thing I watched around the same time that referenced Mathletes. So, in honor of Linda Cardellini’s appearance on the Sunday season premiere of Mad Men here are five ways Freaks and Geeks ruined my life:
1. Forced Me To Think About Whether I Was a “Freak” or a “Geek”
The unfortunate and boring answer is…I was probably neither.
I was really closest to Lindsay Weir in high school. I had normal (not Millie-level, though) friends, I was in the “smart” classes, I just focused on school. I never had anything that forced me to the “freaks” but I did date a guy who loved wearing tie dye in 2001 (and everything that implies) and played in a band and stuff so…that’s pretty close.
I wasn’t really a geek even though I’m sure now someone would love to call me that. If anything, I spent my free time with the other theater kids so if you call THAT geeky…which you probably would, then I could be a geek but not in the same way as on Freaks and Geeks.
So I guess I had geek and freak tendencies? IDK. I’m still not settled on this one.
2. Gave Me Another Great Dance Scene That Uses “Come Sail Away”
I had to write a paper in 2002 on a movie. I picked The Virgin Suicides and subsequently spent an entire week watching the movie on loop. (This caused a few concerned looks from my roommate but otherwise I escaped unscathed.)
There’s a scene at a school dance in The Virgin Suicides which involves the song “Come Sail Away” and is one of the greatest scenes ever. In the movie. In other movies. Ever.
But then I watched Freaks and Geeks and there’s ANOTHER awesome school dance scene involving this same song. Why is it such a perfect song for these scenes?
Someone luckily mashed these scenes up for us so just take a look.
3. I Only Describe Them As “Lindsay Weir” Jackets Now
Do you know how many times since 2004 I have thought “I want to be Lindsay Weir for Halloween?” A lot. But I assume no one will get it unless I have a whole cast with me and that’s such a hassle and I’ll do it later, okay?
But every time I see any sort of Army jacket I think “Lindsay Weir.”
I bought the awesome jacket in the main photo because I was like, “It’s Modern Day Lindsay Weir” and now it’s the only jacket I wear. Ever.
4. I Want Nick Andopolis to Sing “Lady E” For Me
There is nothing I find more awkward than the idea of someone singing directly to me and only me.
Okay, well I also am terrible at accepting compliments and opening presents in front of people. But being sung to is definitely up there as one of the most awkward things I could think to happen to me.
So when Nick Andopolis writes “Lady L” for Lindsay, it’s pretty horrifying to me.
Luckily, he doesn’t ever get to sing it to her. He just sings it to Seth Rogen.
But he DOES sing “Lady” by Styx to Lindsay and it is more horrifying than I think Lady L would have been.
The idea of sitting there and having to smile and endure that terrifies me to no end.
BUT – I love Nick Andopolis so much that I don’t care. Jason Segel can sing to me any day he wants. I will be your Lady E, Nick!
5. I Have an Obsession With Dungeons & Dragons
Besides “Kim Kelly Is My Friend” – which is awesome because it’s so depressing – “Discos and Dragons” is probably my favorite episode of Freaks and Geeks. Yes, it is the series finale. Yes, there were a lot of terrible things happening to the show behind the scenes that effected how this episode ended up playing out but I still love it.
And a very large part of that is the Daniel Desario (James Franco) storyline of him playing Dungeons & Dragons.
Dungeons & Dragons, like “Mathletes” was something I had heard about but didn’t have any experience with in my actual life. It’s a normal joke “geek”/”nerd” thing to play but my friends just made me play Settlers of Catan so I didn’t really have time for Dungeons & Dragons.
That is, until 2012. I don’t even remember how it happened but I found out some of my friends were playing D&D and I thought, “I’ll try it.” I’m into costumes and stuff so I was like “role playing sounds fun!” (that’s what she said!). Anyway, I tried to do my research and learn what was happening and I think we got together twice to do it.
It was pretty fun but I was so terrible at remembering anything. I’m some kind of witch? Wait, what powers do I have? Can I use this thing? Why is this one battle taking so long?
So, my love affair with D&D was short-lived. But fun.
I’m still waiting to play as Carlos the Dwarf one day, though.
(Main image via