THAT YEAR’S GIRL: Freaks and Geeks

by Sara

We don’t all have time to re-watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the good seasons of Fringe and Veronica Mars, so if you’re looking for a single-season show with a kick-ass female lead, Sara‘s got you covered with our first installment of “That Year’s Girl.” Consider it your weekend assignment.

FREAKS AND GEEKS (18 episodes, on Neflix and DVD)

Our hero: Lindsay Weir, played by Linda Cardellini, a former “geek” who embraces her rebellious side and joins the “freaks.”

Her story: Lindsay and her geek brother navigating high school, friends, and their well-meaning parents.

Is a guy I have a crush on in this? Young James Franco and Jason Segel are pretty decent, but if you like present day Martin Starr, I’ve got bad news for you

Is a gal I have a crush on in this? Busy Philipps is a given, and anyone who saw this season of Mad Men can’t deny how hot Linda Cardellini still is.

Your surprise fave: Kim Kelly is set up as an antagonist, and Millie Kentner is set up as a bit of a nuisance, but they’re both great. This show is amazing at developing characters, so they all have a lot of flaws and a lot of redeeming qualities. I feel safe saying you’ll end up with some strong feelings for characters you weren’t expecting.

The OTP: Something I love about this show is what a mess all the relationships are, because they’re high school relationships.  Maybe you want Lindsay and Daniel to make out, or you wish she’d give Nick a real shot, but there’s none of that pretense of true love other high school shows try to sell you.  That said, Daniel/Kim Teen Asshole Couple 4EVA.

Best female friendship: Lindsay and Kim, hands down. “Kim Kelly is My Friend” is an iconic episode of television.

Why should I watch? I know the idea of a Judd Apatow teen show throws up a ton of red flags, and if he made one today I’d be wary, but Freaks and Greeks has some of the most kindly realistic female characters I’ve seen on television. They’re funny, they’re kind, they’re assholes, and they’re doing their own thing. Lindsay Weir can be a freak and a geek and a deadhead and whatever else she wants to be because she’s an actual person — a person I wish I could have hung out with in high school.

Sara has a degree in television and a fear of squirrels (unrelated). Follow her thrilling saga @binaryfission.

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