Judd Apatow is the king of the freaks. The writer, producer and director has built his career on telling stories of the underdog.
He favours the shlubby guy, the guy whose hairstyle doesn’t quite suit his face, the guy who’s largely unnoticed by the cute girl who lives down the street. Until the final, glorious scenes of comeuppance, that is.
It’s epitomized in films like Superbad, Knocked Up or The 40-Year-Old Virgin. On TV, there’s no better example than Freaks and Geeks.
Created by Paul Feig and executive-produced by him and Apatow, the one-season wonder still enjoys a small but passionate following, despite NBC cancelling it in 2000. And this Friday, MuchMore airs a six-hour marathon of it.
A period piece set in 1980, the hour-long dramedy followed two groups of suburban Michigan teens whose middle-rung status on the social ladder led to all manner of angst.
The freaks were so-called for ditching school, smoking pot and perpetrating acts of minor hooliganry. The geeks, meanwhile, sang the comedic praises of Steve Martin, attended sci-fi conventions and spent many a Friday night playing Dungeons & Dragons.
The show was a breeding ground for future stars, including headliners James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel and Busy Philipps. The guest stars were equally impressive, boasting Jason Schwartzman, David Krumholtz, Rashida Jones and Shia LaBeouf, among others.
While many young adult shows of the time peddled cutesy dialogue, overly groomed teens and high-waisted pants not unlike modern-day mom jeans, Freaks and Geeks was different.
The cinematography was darker. The stories were messier. The pain more heartbreaking; the joy more poignant. The characters were the kind of kids you grew up with — not like those perky background dancers in Britney Spears videos.
MuchMore, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Two to view:
n ABC goes Back to the Beginning With Christiane Amanpour. In the two-hour special, the CNN correspondent visits sites of importance to Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
9 p.m., ABC
n The Mob Doctor is on its way out, but Mob Wives is still in the game. The Staten Island-based reality series airs its Season 2 reunion episode, in which Renee discusses Junior’s informant status, and Ramona and Drita’s animosity comes to a head.
7 p.m., Slice
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