There’s never going to be anything quite like Freaks and Geeks. We know that. But we can’t help but seek out other movies and TV shows to help fill the void that Freaks and Geeks has left behind.
After all, there are only so many times that we can rewatch the first (and only) season of the show and try to imagine how it would’ve continued had it not been cancelled. But that can be painful because we’ll never really know. Plus, if you binged the show like we did, it’s hard to not have anything to move on to when you’re finished.
And so, like a lot of you, we set out to find other TV shows and movies that touch on similar subjects or have a comparable sense of humor. With the help of our Freaks and Geeks super fans, we’ve compiled a list of the shows and movies that we’ve deemed the best for filling the void.
Here are the contenders for your next Freaks and Geeks-inspired binge session.
TV shows similar to ‘Freaks and Geeks’
Okay, so this one won’t do much for you in terms of a long-term commitment (seeing as this one only lasted a single season, just like Freaks and Geeks), but it’s a lot of fun. Freaks and Geeks fans will especially love this show because it continues on the tradition of super fun cameos. For instance, you may or may not see Amy Poehler and Howard from The Big Bang Theory. We also recommend this show because it’s a mini Freaks and Geeks reunion; quite a few members of the main cast in Undeclared were also in our beloved cult-classic.
‘My So-Called Life’
Like Freaks and Geeks, My So-Called Life centered upon realistic high school situations and the trials of finding yourself. Also, this show too was cancelled after one season. (We’re noticing a trend here…) If you really liked the way that Freaks and Geeks handled high school drama in a way that didn’t feel like an after-school special, you’ll enjoy this show for sure. It tackles difficult subjects like child abuse and homelessness in a way that doesn’t feel like you’re being hit over the head with a lesson. Plus, a young Jared Leto is in this show, so it’s obviously a must-see.
Though they are nothing alike, a lot of Freaks and Geeks fans also love the show Party Down. Party Down follows a handful of aspiring actors and directors (as well as just wandering souls) as they move to Los Angeles and work for a catering company while waiting for their big break. It features a lot of well-known actors, including Paul Rudd (who’s credited as a creator), Lizzy Caplan, Jane Lynch, Ryan Hansen (from Veronica Mars fame), and Freaks and Geeks‘ own Martin Starr (who played Bill). It’s super hilarious and definitely worth a watch.
We can’t say enough good things about Veronica Mars (even now that we’ve already dedicated a whole ReWatchable cycle to it). It’s a fantastic show that balances mysteries of the week, overarching mysteries and plotlines, and an interesting view of what it’s like to be a teenager. We’d say it was realistic, but seeing as none of us know what it’s like to live in really affluent communities, we can only guess. Freaks and Geeks fans will love this show for its banter and intelligence, as well as the fact that show-runner Rob Thomas cites Freaks and Geeks as being part of the inspiration for Veronica Mars.
The Inbetweeners is a British series that follows a group of boys on the verge of manhood. It shows them at their pimpliest and most awkward, giving a more realistic view of the teenage experience than other shows (especially in terms of having sex and all that). The best part about this show is how it has the boys fail at a lot of things. Miserably, actually. While the show may be a bit graphic or “TMI” at times, it’s definitely worth considering, especially if you gravitated towards the geeks more than the freaks in Freaks and Geeks.
Another British series, Fresh Meat follows a group of six university students who, having applied late for school, live in an off-campus house together rather than a typical dorm. It’s got its fill of humor and wittiness, as well as an interesting take on the college experience (especially since it features a group of guys and girls all living under one roof). In fact, the show touches on a lot of common issues for college students, including financials, jobs, partying, and grades. It’s not readily available in the U.S. (for instance, it’s not on Netflix), but you can find it currently streaming on Hulu and ShareTV.