Friday, March 25, 2016

TV Series Review: "Freaks and Geeks" ~ Now Available as a Blu-Ray Collector's Edition from Shout! Factory

When I heard that Freaks and Geeks was coming out as a Blu-Ray Collector's Edition, I knew that I had to see it. So many people had told me they loved this short-lived series, but somehow I had missed it the first time around. The show consists of 18 episodes that were shown from 1999-2000, but it is actually set in 1980 in a fictional high school in Detroit, Michigan. Since I also attended high school in Michigan during that time, I knew I would really relate to the pop culture that's shown during the show, from the clothing and cars, to the hairstyles and clothing, as well as the music. Before I continue, here's a brief description of the series:

"Set in 1980 at the fictional McKinley High in Detroit, Freaks and Geeks focused on two groups of outsiders: the stoners, tough kids and bad girls; and the brains, nerds and squares. Although this Emmy award-winning series ran for only one season, it has remained a cult favorite and a benchmark of quality television. A funny and authentic portrait of high-school life with all of its horrors and triumphs, Freaks and Geeks resonates with anybody who has ever felt like they don't quite fit in."

I was amazed at all of the cast members who are now big stars, such as James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel. Linda Cardellini is perfectly cast as the main character of the show, Lindsay, who can't quite figure out which group she fits into. Her younger brother, also played perfectly by John Francis Daley, is an undersized freshman at the same school who is frequently bullied due to his size, intelligence and innocence. I've currently viewed about half of the shows, and I absolutely love them. I will definitely finish up the series, as well as take a look at the special features on this Blu-ray Collector's Edition, which include:
  • All 18 episodes in both original aspect ratio (1.33:1) and widescreen (1.78:1).
  • A special features disc, complete with extras and audio commentaries from both The Complete Series DVD set (2004) and The Yearbook Edition set (2008), such as: Museum of Television & Radio Panel Discussion; Complete Script for a Never-Shot Episode; Three Full-Episode Table Reads; Deleted Scenes; Original Cast Audition Footage; Raw Footage; Mr. Rosso Live in Concert; Sober Students Improv Players; Tales of the Secret Service; NBC Promos and EPK; Behind the Scenes; Seven Minutes in Heaven; Graduation; Thanks, Goodbye.
  • New booklet packed with a letter and Q&A from creators Paul Feig and Judd Apatow, essays, and memorabilia.
Honestly, I don't normally take the time to check out the special features on Blu-rays, but I am going to make an exception this time because I can't get enough of these characters. They're all so quirky and yet recognizable if you've been to high school. You can really see these kids' struggles with typical teenage worries, such as puberty, parents, friends, popularity, their future, teachers, and more.

As a parent, I should caution that there are some mature themes, and I wouldn't recommend this series for children under age 12. One of my sons, in middle school, has been watching many of the episodes, and they have introduced several topics that we've discussed together, especially when it comes to making smart choices (which these characters, like most teenagers, don't always do). But despite their actions, we know that these are all essentially "good kids" who get lost sometimes, and we root for them to find their way and "survive" high school.

I could go on and on about how much I love this show, but I hope I've convinced you to pick up this series and discover it for yourself or relive it if you saw it many years ago. Freaks and Geeks is definitely worth another trip through adolescence with plenty of moments that will make you laugh, shed a tear and hit the replay button.




Disclosure: I received a complimentary sample of this product to facilitate my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own. This post contains my Amazon affiliate link.

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