Dig Into This Amazing Oral History of ‘Freaks and Geeks’

Chew on this: it’s been more than ten years (10!) since NBC abruptly cancelled the beloved 1999 dramedy ‘Freaks and Geeks‘ by creators Paul Feig and Judd Apatow.

Of all the shows people clamor to come back or have a reunion of sorts, shouldn’t ‘Freaks and Geeks’ be at the top of the list, considering how everyone on the show has gone on to fame and fortune?

Yes, this is the show that gave James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley, Martin Starr, Lizzy Caplan, Busy Phillips, Jason Schwartzman, David Krumholtz, and others their start in Hollywood.

Well, the January issue of Vanity Fair as a really great and long oral history of the show, including Feig dishing on what would have happened if there was a second season.

PAUL FEIG: My friends and I weren’t popular in high school, we weren’t dating all the time, and we were just trying to get through our lives. It was important to me to show that side. I wanted to leave a chronicle—to make people who had gone through it laugh, but also as a primer for kids going in, to say, “Here’s what you can expect. It’s horrifying but all you should really care about is getting through it. Get your friends, have your support group. And learn to be able to laugh at it.”

JUDD APATOW: The pilot had a very daring existential idea, which was that a young, really smart girl sits with her dying grandmother and asks her if she sees “the light,” and her grandma says no. And all the rules go out the window. The girl decides to have a more experimental high-school experience, because she doesn’t know if she believes anymore. I was always surprised that the network didn’t notice that that’s what our pilot was about.

PAUL FEIG: I also really wanted the show to be about the fear of sex. I got tired of every teenager being portrayed as horny and completely cool with sex, because that was not my experience.

JUDD APATOW: Paul felt like most kids are not trying to get sex, but trying to avoid that moment. You could split them into kids who are constantly trying to get older and kids that are desperately trying to hold on to their immaturity.

This is probably the most earnest, emotionally heart-felt, high school show ever made. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched those 18 episodes, but they are perfect in every way. Wouldn’t a twenty-year high school reunion make for a perfect movie or special?

Related: Take a gander at Gallery1988’s ‘A Tribute to Judd Apatow‘, an art show inspired by the Apatow’s TV shows and movies.

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