Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Why That 70's Show Beat Freaks and Geeks

Freaks and Geeks is a comedy/drama from 1999-2000 that takes a look at the lives of an “average” family in 1980.

Starring Linda Cardellini and John Francis Daley, Freaks and Geeks has a cast of secondary characters that would go on to become some of the biggest names in television in movies. The crew of “Freaks”, the high school kids who party and break all the rules, features James Franco, Seth Rogen, and Jason Segel.

While 1999 may have been before these big name actors really broke out, it’s surprising that the show only aired one season and did not get picked up for another. The main reason for this was probably the show’s competition with That 70’s Show, which started around the same time. The two shows are very similar; both show a group of high school kids that are a mix between news and rule breakers. Both shows featured high school aged kids smoking weed, and both shows had characters who would freak out over all the developments in the “nerd community”.

 While Freaks and Geeks had many characters who would go on to be well known actors, they didn’t gain any advantage over That 70’s Show because of this. That 70’s Show featured Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and many more successful actors.

Probably the biggest reason That 70’s Show was picked up for 8 seasons and Freaks and Geeks only got 1 was because of the length of the shows. That 70’s Show consisted of quick, 22 minutes episodes full of cheap laughs and minimal overarching storylines. Freaks and Geeks, however, took more of the “dramedy” route, requiring viewers to watch each episode in order to really understand what’s going on. Following a series of hour long episodes before the era of online streaming was difficult, and thus it was easier for That 70’s Show’s viewers to follow along. Even still, Freaks and Geeks is an entertaining show with likable characters that deserved more than the one season it got.

No comments: