You know how you can sometimes feel like you know everything you need to know about a show just from hanging out on Tumblr? That’s how I feel about Freaks and Geeks.
I can’t even begin to list off all of the different gifs, memes, and photos I’ve seen on my Tumblr dashboard that relate to Freaks and Geeks. At this point, even though I’ve never seen a single episode of the show, I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of what it’s about.
I mean, after all, Tumblr knows all, so learning about movies and shows through Tumblr is like learning from the ultimate pop culture guru. I may not have followed through on watching Doctor Who and confirming my Tumblr knowledge on that show (yet). But, since I’m on this round of Hypable’s ReWatchable podcast on Freaks and Geeks, I thought I’d write all of my Tumblr knowledge down beforehand so that I can come back to this at the end of the ReWatchable cycle and see just how right I am!
Everything I know about ‘Freaks and Geeks’
What I think it’s about
They’re just a bunch of awkward high school kids.
I think Freaks and Geeks is, at its core, a show about the difficulties and good parts of growing up. Seeing as it follows a group (or two) of friends, I think it’s all about leaning on each other, through the good times and the bad, and just figuring out your next steps. Because it’s easier to relate to awkward kids rather than popular cheerleaders and jocks, the show really focuses on the challenges kids on the outskirts of popularity face.
Since it’s a coming of age story (or so I assume), which means I expect that each episode covers a single issue: smoking, drinking, sex, dating, breakups… You know, the usual suspects. In other words, Freaks and Geeks was kind of like the original One Tree Hill. Am I right, or am I right? I mean, just look at the two pictures below and tell me they don’t look similar.
There are two groups of friends that the show follows, the older kids and the younger kids.
I’m going to take a stab in the dark and say that the older girl with the dark brown hair is the sister of John Francis Daley and that’s how the two groups are connected. Otherwise, I can’t see the groups overlapping much. The older crowd looks much more grunge and the younger crowd looks much more like Anthony Michael Hall’s friends in Sixteen Candles.
OOOOH! An idea just came to me: Maybe the older kids are the “freaks” and the younger kids are the “geeks.” I totally nailed it, didn’t I?
Alternate theory: The show follows two friend groups, one in the 1970s and one in the 1980s.
Okay, so I wouldn’t normally entertain a notion like this but the clothes and the backgrounds for the two friend groups are just so different. The younger kids look like they’re rejects from That 70’s Show and the older kids look like “normal” kids from the 80’s (not that I would really know what “normal” 80’s kids look like considering I was born in 1990).
I’m thinking that if the two dark-haired characters aren’t brother and sister, then this is the next most logical show structure. After all, following two groups of kids over two different decades would be interesting. Since people herald this show as relatable, it would make sense to me that it would show kids from two different decades going through the same things and facing the same pressures that we did growing up.
The amount of hair a character has relates to how ‘cool’ they are.
I mean, obviously the ladies are the coolest, right? That’s why their hair is so long? But seriously. From looking at the pictures, it seems like the characters that are supposed to be the most well-liked (or so I’m assuming because they’re played by actors who are now household names) have pretty sick flows. I’m looking at you, Seth Rogan, James Franco, and John Francis Daley! The pictures I see always show these guys as having a bit of swag, so I can only assume that their hair gives them status.
The girls are considered ‘freaks’ because of the amount of flannel they wear on a daily basis.
I have absolutely nothing against flannel, but I have a feeling that Freaks and Geeks does. It kind of feels like the images of the show give off a sort of She’s All That “she’s cool underneath it all” vibe when it comes to the girls. Also, from what I can gather, the show doesn’t take place in the ’90s but the dark-haired girl is rocking the grunge look pretty hard, so maybe that makes her the original hipster? Anyway, I just always see photos of the girls wearing plaid which I guess designates their status (although I’m totally pro-plaid and don’t understand why others aren’t).
Continue on to the next page to read more about how scary accurate my Freaks and Geeks Tumblr knowledge is!