If you haven't seen the critically-acclaimed, albeit short-lived masterpiece that is "Freaks and Geeks," we suggest you do so immediately. And if you're overdue for a binge-watch, we think now would be the perfect time to revisit some old friends.
Judd Apatow's '80s-set teenage dramedy turns 15 on September 25, but it still holds up as one of the best coming-of-age TV programs of all time. The show was not only a launching pad for the careers of mega-stars like Seth Rogen and James Franco, it was a realistic snapshot of the suburban high school experience that brought us a hilariously realistic portrayal of what it means to be young, lost, and misunderstood.
"Freaks and Geeks" lives on in our hearts (and on our Netflix rotation). Why not celebrate its anniversary by rounding up 10 life lessons we learned from the beloved series?
1. You don't need to get wasted to have a good time.
This lesson is evidenced by Lindsay's Jesus-loving mathlete former BFF Millie, who always seems to make the most of any situation. Sure, she's kind of a square, but we think it's totally endearing how amused she is by the silliest of things. Let's get high on life, everyone.
2. Love means being able to cut the cheese in front of someone.
Thanks, Bill, for your insight on what romance is really all about. "You have to sleep with your wife every night of your life. If you couldn't blast one in bed, you'd get physically ill," says Bill. Listen to the man.
3. Bullies aren't always what they seem.
In "Chokin & Tokin," Alan (a relentless geek bullier) admits that underneath his tough exterior he's actually jealous of the geeks. He reveals this to a comatose peanut allergy-ridden Bill, who's lying in a hospital bed after Alan spikes his sandwich with peanuts. That doesn't excuse his mistreatment of the guys, but at least know there's more to him than being a total jerk.
4. Confidence is key.
Despite his small stature, nobody seems more confident about themselves in "Freaks and Geeks" than Neal Schweiber. The amateur comedian and ventriloquist even borderlines on arrogant at times. We could all get through the day a little bit easier if we approached life the way he does.
5. You can have fun with unlikely friends ...
In "Discos and Dragons," freak Daniel has an unexpectedly great time playing Dungeons & Dragons with the geeks. Who knows where this new friendship would have lead had the show not been canceled?
6. ... But you should also remember to be yourself
When Daniel tries to impress a punk girl by pretending he's a punker too, he painfully (seriously, he gets kicked in a mosh pit) that that whole world isn't him at all.
7. Your crush will often disappoint you.
Sam manages to land his cheerleader dream girl Cindy Sanders, despite the fact that his nice guy ways originally landed him the friend zone. But after a few dates, including a screening of "The Jerk," he realizes she's boring, vain, and doesn't find Steve Martin very funny. Shame on you, Cindy!
8. When in doubt, dance it out.
See Bill dance, above. This is also evidenced when Lindsay goes all jam band festival girl rocking out to The Grateful Dead alone in her room.
9. There is such a thing as coming on too strong
Nick Andopolis is one of the best characters ever, but his over-the-top boyfriendness pushes Lindsay away. Pro tip: Don't sing "Lady" by Styx for your new significant other unless you're REALLY sure they're gonna be into it.
10. It's not how many friends you have, it's about how many make you happy.
"I don't need another friend. I already have two. I mean, how many more friends does a guy need?" Sam tells Lindsay. Sam's right in a lot of ways. Some people don't even have one buddy to sit with in the cafeteria and he has two loyal great ones (plus Harris and Gordon!) that make him laugh and give him advice. Think about it.
Photo courtesy NBC / Everett Collection
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