FREAKS AND GEEKS: Where Are They Now?
One of my favorite shows of ALL TIME is the brilliant but cancelled FREAKS AND GEEKS, which ran on NBC back in 1999. I was like the rest of you back then: I didnt watch it. My excuse was that I was busy working on my 4.00 in Psychology at Eastern Illinois University and getting drunk at Marty's Bar after classes instead of watching television. So what prompted me to buy the ENTIRE 18 episode series on DVD? Easy - James Franco. But after seeing the incredible pilot episode, I was soon enthralled with every episode of the series thereafter. In short, the show follows the geeks and the freaks in a show that takes place during the early 80s. The use of music and nostalgia are infectious, and so is the cast. And what a cast it was!
JAMES FRANCO later went on to win accolades in the TV Movie based on James Dean before soaring to a cinematic high in all three Spider-Man movies. He continues to make feature films, such as FLYBOYS and ANNAPOLIS, but has yet to bare his ass (at least I dont think he has).
SETH ROGEN: Who knew that this secondary character from FAG (that's short for Freaks And Geeks, by the way) would be the superstar of the '07 Summer. He was the leading man in KNOCKED UP and the goofy cop in SUPERBAD. Other TV: UNDECLARED. He can next be heard in HORTON HEARS A WHO.
JASON SEGEL: Mr J is now in his third season of my favorite comedy on TV at the moment: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER on CBS. He was also inKNOCKED UP, and will next be seen in the feature film FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL with Miss Mars herself, Kristen Bell. Other TV: UNDECLARED.
JOHN FRANCIS DALEY: played little pip squeek Sam Weir. He is all grown up now, of course. He had a brief flirt with TV fame again in KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL (soon to be on DVD). I am sure he will pop up in a Judd Apatow movie soon (don't they all?)
SAMM LEVINE: Samm was another pip squeek. Guest TV work included my faves VERONICA MARS and HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER. He also had a funny poolside death scene in the horror comedy CLUB DREAD.
MARTIN STARR: Martin put the EEK in GEEK. Film credits include SUPERBAD, KNOCKED UP. TV Credits include REVELATIONS, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER and the brilliant UNDECLARED.
LINDA CARDINELLI: Linda was the star of Freaks and has since blossomed in TV and movies. She is currently starting her fifth year in the ER. But I kinda liked her best as Velma in the two SCOOBY DOO features. Other films: JIMINY GLICK IN LA LA LAND, BAREBACK MOUNTAIN and GRANDMA'S BOY. Next up: THE HEAVEN PROJECT in 2008.
BUSY PHILLIPS: Busy played the love her/hate her Kim Kelly in FAG. I loved her in the show, and am glad to hear she will be guesting on HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER this season. She is also joining her pal Linda as a cast member on ER this season (possibly it's final). She was also a lead in the quickly cancelled LOVE INC two years ago.
SARAH HAGAN: Sarah played the geek to Linda's freak as Millie Kentner. Since FAG, Sarah has guested on UNDECLARED, MEDIUM, CLOSE TO HOME and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. Her next assignment: SPRING BREAKDOWN with Amy Poeller, Rachel Dratch and Parker Posey.
JUDD APATOW: Judd is THE IT MAN of film comedy these days, thanks to the HUGE success of TALLADEGA NIGHTS, 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN (with Seth Rogen), KNOCKED UP (with Seth Rogen, Martin Starr, and Jason Segel) and SUPERBAD (with Seth Rogen and Martin Starr). Coming up: FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL (with Jason Segel), DRILLBIT TAYLOR, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS (with Seth Rogen and James Franco) and WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY. But it's his one-two TV combo of FREAKS AND GEEKS and UNDECLARED that will forever cement Judd in my pop culture life.