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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series, great set
I can't believe they actually got this made with all of the original music! This was a great series that accurately portrayed the trials and tribulations of being an outcast during the high school years. Well written, and with a great cast, if you haven't seen this yet you owe it to yourself to check it out.
On a different note, I have to commend whoever designed...
Published on July 11 2004 by Alan

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars not bad
not that bad of a show. really love the 80s and it really hits the nail on the head with its story. would recommend it to anyone!
Published 11 months ago by Phylip Mason


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series, great set, July 11 2004
This review is from: Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series (DVD)
I can't believe they actually got this made with all of the original music! This was a great series that accurately portrayed the trials and tribulations of being an outcast during the high school years. Well written, and with a great cast, if you haven't seen this yet you owe it to yourself to check it out.
On a different note, I have to commend whoever designed the packaging for this set: many times when you buy a DVD set with 4 or more discs, the packaging folds out for you to access the discs. With 4 discs it can be awkward, but with, say, 7 discs, it's quite cumbersome. This set is different -- each disk is on its own "page" so to speak, so that getting the disc you want to watch is as simple as opening a book and turning to the right spot. It's also a lot more durable than the "fold out" style packaging.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Show That Did Everything Right, June 28 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series (DVD)
Life is never perfect, it's an inarguable fact. So how can a show be so utterly realistic and, at the same time, be absolutely perfect? I don't know the answer. Thankfully, the people behind Freaks and Geeks have put together an incredible DVD box set enabling thier viewers to ponder the inanswerable question over and over and over.
For some (myself included), High School was a dreadfully painful experience. And now, with the help of Freaks and Geeks, you can relive those awful High School experiences. This, to some reviewers on this posting, is a bad thing. But that's precisely the charm of this series. Finally, someone has gone out and depicted High School realistically. Our experiences are universal. Sometimes they're hilarious, often times they're unbelievably painful. But, they're always engaging. This series wasn't just about sitting back, shutting off your cerebral faculties and yukking it up for an hour. This show was about falling in love with characters you could understand, and following them through the all of their relatable experiences, good or bad.
I have explored and watched every available extra in this collection and I strongly recommend it to everyone who's lived or is currently living an average High School experience. If you were unconditionally popular, then skip this DVD collection, you won't understand it. You'll dislike or misjudge all of the characters and their motivations, just as you presumably did in High School. But, for everyone else, buy it as soon as is humanly possible.
Buy it firstly for the relatability of the show. But, if that isn't enough for you, buy it for the characters and the plotting. Storylines featured in this show are some of the most original, touching and realistic ever depicted on television or in film. Personal highlights include "Carded and Discarded" (The geeks befriend a new female student who's gradually being sucked into the popular crowd), "The Diary" (Mr. and Mrs. Weir read Lindsay's diary only to learn more about themselves more than their daughter).
And if that weren't enough, the entire cast was impeccably put together. I could watch the entire series without ever paying attention to anything but the acting, and I'd still be endlessly entertained. James franco's naturalism ("Tests and Breasts" is, in my opinion, his best episode), Martin Starr's assuredly brilliant readings (see him in "Dead Dogs and Gym Teachers"). Jason Segel's awkward adorability, the list goes on.
And the music... I can't wait for the soundtrack.
This is a show that did everything right. And yet, it was cancelled. Do yourself a favor and buy it on DVD. Then, once you've watched it all, show it to everyone you know.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes the underdogs win, June 26 2004
This review is from: Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series (DVD)
Freaks and Geeks, one of the best shows ever presented on television, is now available in a DVD package which sets a quality standard that will probably never be beat. There are hours of extras (including great deleted scenes and commentary tracks for every episode), and everyone involved in this effort should be congratulated. The show didn't last a full season on NBC and efforts to get another network to renew the series failed. This generally means total oblivion, but too many people cared about this show to let it disappear entirely. This DVD package represents a true victory (appropriate for a show about the underdogs of high school) and shows that quality will find an outlet if enough people appreciate it.
Freaks and Geeks presents the first truly accurate depiction of teenagers as I remember them from my own high school experience. The show is basically a complete 18 episode miniseries that chronicles one year (1980-81) at a Michigan high school. The perfect balance of comedy and serious moments gives a sense of watching real life rather than a TV show. Although the show has special relevance for my generation (I graduated in 1982), anyone who watches this show will see aspects of people they knew in high school. The actors and writers deserve a lot of credit for creating complex, nuanced characters. Anyone who remembers feeling awkward around the opposite sex, being made fun of by other kids, or feeling like an outcast can relate to the characters in this show. The show's message is that no matter how people are labeled, they remain individuals who can still surprise you. I never thought I would find myself sympathizing with the "Freak" crowd (which I pretty much avoided in high school), but this show demonstrates that everyone can be potentially sympathetic once you get to know them and find out what their life is really like.
I became hooked on Freaks and Geeks in the first 5 minutes of the original airing of the pilot episode; its cancellation a mere 6 months later was a stunning blow, but not a big surprise. The show was simply too honest for most viewers in its portrayal of teenagers as most often clueless and never knowing the right things to say or do (even the smart ones). Most teenagers would rather see themselves as ultra-hip, sexy, mature and spouting post-graduate level dialogue as portrayed in popular fantasies such as Dawson's Creek and 90210. As for adults, many prefer not to relive their high school years, and some may have been turned off by the show's title, especially if they never thought of themselves as either a "Freak" or a "Geek".
It's one of the very few shows I've seen that has perfect casting; the only other show that immediately comes to mind is Northern Exposure. Both shows have a diverse cast of quirky yet appealing and believable characters such that every new episode seemed like a reunion with old friends. Freaks and Geeks also contains a coming-of-age story and nostalgia for the past (the soundtrack filled with 70's rock hits is great) that is reminiscent of The Wonder Years. Unlike the Wonder Years (which was a good show in its early years), Freaks and Geeks never became formulaic or predictable.
Although the entire cast is terrific, my favorite characters are Nick Andopolis (played by Jason Segel) and Bill Haverchuck(played by Martin Starr). Nick is a stoner freak with potential (if he could just get his act together), and Bill is a kind-hearted geek who takes the daily humiliations of high school in stride with a little help from his friends. This description does not do justice to the nuanced performances that make these characters so memorable. They manage to be both hilarious and poignant at the same time, and you constantly find yourself rooting for them and all the other characters throughout their trials and tribulations.
Fortunately, the producers saw the cancellation coming. They prepared a perfect final episode that brings a nice sense of closure to the series, leaving many characters changed considerably from where they started at the beginning of the school year. I could go on, but I can't think of anything else to say that others haven't said already. If you like quality television, buy this DVD!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Funny and Brutal, July 1 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series (DVD)
I saw this show when it first ran on NBC and loved it. Due to NBC's constantly rescheduling the show, I missed a few episodes but I'm glad that it has all been captured on DVD. This is not your typical high school show because it is brutally honest about high school and family life and those relationships we have growing up. I like that the parents aren't typecast to be the usual dimwitted parents you usually see on TV (okay, Mr. Weir is cartoonish the first few episdoes--and pretty funny--but you do see a human side to him as the show goes on). With Mr. Schweiber, you see parents are human and have thier faults too. I'm glad the music was kept intact on these DVDs and the soundtrack alone is worth the buy. Music works great in depicting certain moods or events in the show. It kind of reminds me of a Cameron Crowe movie. This show could've taken the easy road with some episodes but the fact that it's creative in giving you the unexpected is what made it one of best shows on TV at the time. For example, in "Beers & Weirs," when the kids decide to throw a party when the parents are away, the episode isn't about them getting caught but instead it takes a much better twist. In short, don't hesitate--buy this DVD!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspired and Expired, June 27 2004
By 
Alex Nichols, author of Shadow Rock (San Francisco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series (DVD)
As a sporatic viewer of "Freaks and Geeks" during its brief 1999 run, I was delighted to recently sit down and watch all 18 episodes. What I remembered about the show was reinforced by a fresh viewing -- the writing is clever, the cast (even down to the smallest characters) remarkably good, the use of music inspired. The show reminds me a lot of "Welcome to the Dollhouse" in its unflinching look at the ugly dynamics of high school.
The DVD has some standout extras: an all girl commentary of "Smooching and Mooching," deleted scenes that show you how certain episodes might have gone (most just flesh out certain subplots), and a final commentary on "Discos and Dragons" that, along with the actual viewing of the episode, will bring tears to your eyes. Episodes like "Noshing and Moshing" take the show in a slightly different direction, and make you realize just how much potential this series had.
I hope this DVD collection will introduce the show to many who have only heard about it. It is a first rate effort.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Excellent Short Lived T.V. Show, June 27 2004
This review is from: Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series (DVD)
FREAKS AND GEEKS is a awesome tv show and the sad thing about Freaks And Geeks is that it didn't last very long and that's really sad cause it is a awesome show. I remember watch one of the episodes on its original run on NBC and as I was watching I was thinking wow, this is a awesome show, I can't wait till the next one. Unfourtly there wasn't a next one. What made me intrested in this show was the fact it was set in the 1980's, that was cool cause not many "good" shows are set in the 80's. Another thing was the music, I love classic rock and it about time a show had a good soundtrack but the coolest thing about this show is that you can releate to anybody on the show cause you have either been or going through situtations that are on the show. I really glad Freaks And Geeks finally got realeased on DVD, I think its cool that tv shows are getting released on DVD. I was amazed by the 29 commentary tracks, I mean that is unheard of but in any case it is a awesome DVD collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars For the inner Mathlete in all of us, June 25 2004
By 
Andrew West Griffin "Andrew Griffin" (Oklahoma City, OK United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series (DVD)
Where to begin? Well, I guess it's safe to say that "Freaks and Geeks" far surpassed any comedy-laced drama I've seen in many moons.
I had originally heard about the show during its original run on NBC during the 1999-2000 TV season. I even managed to catch a few episodes. However, I didn't watch it often enough to get to know the characters very well. Still, as a bit of a geek myself, I could relate to what Sam Weir (John Francis Daley), Bill Haverchuck (Martin Starr) and Neal Schweiber (Samm Levine) were going through, as awkward high school freshman. In fact, I can recall some similar painful experiences while attending Robinson Junior High and East High in Wichita, Kansas circa 1987-90.
So, when I heard online that this slice of Americana was being cancelled, I chalked it up to another example of bonedheaded decisionmaking by the shortsighted suits who wouldn't know a good TV show if it bit 'em square on the tuckus.
Look what befell quirky and interesting shows like "Twin Peaks" and more recently, "Wonderfalls." I could go on but I think most people reading this review know EXACTLY what I'm talking about.
So, when Apatow's new show, "Undeclared," came on a season or so later, I began taping the episodes. And during the short reruns of "Freaks and Geeks" on Fox Family, I was happily reintroduced to the Weir clan and all the complex and interesting characters inhabiting early 1980's-era Chippewa, Michigan.
There was the beautiful and smart Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini), the dry-witted, Nuge-loving Ken Miller (Seth Rogen), the stern and outta touch Harold Weir (Joe Flaherty), the sage hippie school guidance counselor (Dave "Gruber" Allen), and one of my all-time favorites -- Harris Trinsky, played by the amazing Canadian actor Stephen Lea Sheppard. Casting director Allison Jones was incredibly astute in choosing Sheppard for that role. In fact, I knew guys (and similar D&D dungeon masters) just like Harris when I was growing up. All these characters, with their very human thoughts, desires and shortcomings, were reminiscent of the characters on "Northern Exposure," albeit a little more down to earth. (And as much as I loved it on NX, FnG didn't have any odd dream sequences featuring rabbis in rowboats or shape-shifting bear people).
And after Fox Family stopped airing the show, I was afraid I'd never see it again.
But I was (thankfully) wrong!
And now ... the amazing creators of "Freaks and Geeks," Judd Apatow and Paul Feig have lovingly put together a most excellent DVD collection featuring all 18 episodes of "Freaks and Geeks." Not only that, but deleted scenes, commentary, and all sorts of other stuff that makes fans like me jump for joy.
Watching these episodes -- each disc features three episodes -- over the course of the past two weeks, has put me in a nostalgic frame of mind. Watching it, I felt like I had gone back to the 1980s. The pop culture references are dead on and the music selections -- Styx, the Grateful Dead, XTC, Journey, etc. -- are perfect. And the episodes -- my faves are "Tricks and Treats," "Discos and Dragons" and "Beers and Weirs" -- couldn't be more fun and heartfelt. And the special guest stars -- Ben Stiller, Joel Hodgson, Jason Schwartzman, etc., etc. -- well, they were totally appropriate for us TV and movie nerds.
And while I enjoyed the lovelorn, pot-smokin', drummer wannabe Nick Andopolis (Jason Segel) and the rebel without a cause Daniel Desario (James Franco), it was the underrated Martin Starr that always stole the show for me.
Seeing Martin Starr getting drunk while watching "Dallas" is an absolute scream! Starr deserves far more attention as an actor, as does Levine, whose comic timing is dead-on. Look at Starr's face when dressed as Jamie Summers (The Bionic Woman) for Halloween, a spaced-out hippie gives him and the gang some homemade carob candy. This, in the midst of the 'razorblade-in-the-candy' hysteria of this era. His expression is priceless!
Then there is the episode where Ken finds out the truth about his girlfriend Amy (the always terrific Jessica Campbell). Another example of television gold!
As for the actors, well, five years later I'm still stunned that Apatow and Feig were able to pull all these amazing talents together. Shame on those NBC knuckleheads for deep-sixing the show just as it was finding its audience. I guess for now I'll just have to get my "Freak" on by sitting down with a bowl of Count Chocula and a bottle of pop and spend some more time watching my "Freaks and Geeks" DVDs while anxiously awaiting that oft-promised "Freaks and Geeks" soundtrack. Please guys, don't forget to include Jean Weir (Becky Ann Baker) singing "The Monster Mash" or Nick (Segel) and Millie (Sarah Hagan) singing "Jesus is Just All Right". That'd be all right.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GO FOR SUPERSTUD!!!, June 15 2004
By 
Robert F. Gaydos (Nashua, NH United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series (DVD)
OK, I'm not going to go into the many reasons why F&G is undoubtedly in the Top Five TV shows ever produced. That the writing, directing, and acting are unparalleled is something everyone here has echoed, and justifiably.
Like many of you, I was able to catch F&G mostly on Fox Family after NBC torpedoed it with myriad bad executive decisions. While what you saw definitely knocked you out, it was very difficult to follow any of the running storylines with any continuity since not all episodes made were aired, and the ones that did air were run out of sequence. Add to this FF's tendency to bleep out anything harsher than "damn" and the fact that some of the original music (some of the best ever in a TV show) was changed due to licensing hassles. So, just the privilege of seeing all these shows, in crystal clear digital glory with 5.1 Dolby, in sequence and unedited would be well worth the retail price (we're talking over 18 hours of film here).
BUT..... if you want the FREAKIEST, GEEKIEST F&G experience, you abso-f*****-lutely have to shell out the $120 for the Special Edition box. I can not recommend this to the novice, but for the F&G fanatic... well... let's just say sex doesn't get much better than this. The amount of work, time, energy, and COST devoted to this set is simply stunning. I believe Judd and Paul when they say they didn't make a dime off the Special Edition... it's that incredible.
First of all, in addition to all the discs in the standard set, you get two PACKED bonus discs full of oddities.... tons of deleted scenes, bloopers, auditions, table reads (A real treat to find out the show cracks up the cast as much as it does us!), the complete Q&A from the F&G induction into the Paley Museum, and much, much more. Oh, and did I mention it's all encased in a 60+ page yearbook the quality of which will put most high schools to shame?
It is the best $120 I ever spent.
So, lest you doubt, ante up and go for Superstud!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars True, honest television, May 24 2004
By 
gp (Palo Alto, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series (DVD)
I don't know if you'll like this show. I loved it. Everyone who has seen more than 1 episode seems to love it. If you have 80's nostalgia or can identify with the "geeks" mentioned, you will too. If not? You'll probably still like this show, but I won't guarantee it. One thing to note: although this show is billed as a comedy/drama, I would put it in solidly in the "drama" camp. Most episodes are simply too poignant to be considered comedies. Freaks and Geeks has some hilarious moments, but they are rarely of the farcical sitcom kind. The comedy that can be found in the show is the kind that comes out of real life.
I caught a snippet of one episode when it aired on NBC. The little piece that I saw (involving a bully nearly accompanying his typical victims to a science fiction convention) was enough to intrigue me. I tried to find the show again, but I was never able to. This, it turns out, was due to some awful schedule shifting that was imposed on Freaks and Geeks due to low ratings and the World Series. The brief clip, along with other rave reviews I read on a few sites convinced me to buy this DVD. With 18 hourlong episodes, I figured I was getting my money's worth. I was, and more. The first show had me hooked, and subsequent episodes rarely let me down. Out of 18 episodes, only 2 or 3 didn't leave me with the feeling that I had just seen great television. While I was about 10 years younger than the main characters, I found the 1980's references amusing. And while the backdrop of the early 80's figures prominently in Freaks and Geeks, some facets of the show are applicable to any generation. For example, one thing which the show did a fantastic job of portraying is the very tight friendships that result from being in an outcast group. The "geek" interactions with each other rang true, in my experience. While the "freak" group was more exaggerated -- they were far too pretty to be freaks, in my opinion -- their interactions were still believable. The point is, these groups are visible at any high school today. The clothes may have changed, but the behaviors are unchanged, which makes it impossible not to identify with these misfit kids.
The acting was spectacular, given the youth of the cast. Samm Levine, playing Neal Schweiber, was an astounding casting choice. Ditto for Stephen Lea Sheppard, who playes Harris. The writing was also much better than I expected from a high school drama. Characters developed -- but slowly and logically. The show paced itself well. Although there was plenty of action in each episode, the writers were in no hurry to deliver spectacular plotlines. The show became especially poignant towards the end. Reading through the writers notes, it turns out that they were very aware of their impending cancellation, and they wanted to make each of the last few episodes really matter. The last 2 episodes of Freaks and Geeks were among my favorite television moments _ever_. I watched the final episode with a knot in my stomach. I still have a slight one, a day later. I can't believe the ignorance of NBC executives who cancelled this show. Frankly, I think that if it was given one more season -- enough time for the freaks crew to graduate high school -- it could have sailed off into the sunset as one of the best shows ever televised with no argument. Although it wasn't given that chance, the 18 episodes are good enough to at least stir a debate.
The actual DVDs, as other reviewers have pointed out, are everything you'd expect. A neat "liner notes" package with an episode guide + brief notes is included. Each disc contains 3 episodes with & without full commentary, as well as deleted scenes with and without commentary. The commentary includes cast, crew, NBC executives and even fans! Be sure to check out the official website (freaksandgeeks.com) for other tidbits.
While each episode is reasonably self-contained, in my opinion this series needs to be judged as one long story. And like most stories -- even the great ones -- it has a moment or two where it drags. But on the whole, this is some of the finest writing TV has seen in a long time. And judging by the shows that survived where Freaks and Geeks failed, it will be a long time before we see a show of this quality again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Viva Freaks & Geeks, May 14 2004
By 
Lisa Brown (Philadelphia, PA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series (DVD)
I truly loved this show when it originally aired. I know it's merely a television program, but it physically hurt when I found out the show was cancelled. I signed petitions and regularly checked the show website to see if and when the programs would be released on DVD. I've watched them at least 5 times since getting them in the mail and the disk quality is incredible.
The cast - freaks, geeks and adults are superb! Their performances and little nuances are so realistic, when I watch this show I'm immediately transported back to my high school days in the 80's (having graduated high school in 1983). Beyond the music, this show could span any decade.
I cannot begin to explain just what a wonderful series and how touching the performances and writing caliber is, you have to view it for yourself. I've watched a number of teen programs at least once...only once, since most were unrealistic, psychoanalytical garbage not worth watching beyond 60 minutes, and that one time viewing being a serious struggle. How they managed to be hits says volumes but the lack of discriminating taste and expectations of the general viewing public. Precious few teen dramas have been done well (My So Called Life, Degrassi Junior and Senior High) being exceptions. Both were thought provoking for adults and teens with realistic portrayals of the trials and tribulations of the teen years, but even they weren't in the same league as Freak and Geeks.
I do take consolation in having the DVDs, but this was one program that should never have been cancelled. You know... it still sorta' hurts.
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Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series
Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series by Linda Cardellini (DVD - 2004)
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