I just finished watching all 18 episodes of Freaks and Geeks, the 1999 dramedy series about high-school kids in 1980 Detroit, which despite the involvement of a murderer’s row of current comedy stars, was canceled before the end of its first season.
That’s too bad, because this show (and I know I am very, very late to the the party here) was really something special. Of the countless TV shows set in high school, this is the only one that actually made me feel like I was back in high school, that awful purgatory between being a kid and an adult, too much of both and not enough of either. It’s so sweet and funny and sad and heartbreaking — the writing is painfully true to life and the kids they cast, particularly John Francis Daley, Martin Starr, and Samm Levine as the freshman geeks, are probably the best child-actor ensemble ever. Out of the 18 episodes, probably 14 or 15 choked me up at one point or another.
But then, it seems like everything chokes me up these days. I don’t know what’s changed, but it seems like almost everything I watch on TV anymore gets me a little misty. Maybe it’s because I’m a dad now and I love my little family. Maybe because I’m getting sentimental. Maybe because I’m just too old to care anymore if anyone catches me wiping my eyes.