Paul Feig and Judd Apatow open up about “Freaks and Geeks”

The two give a glimpse into what Season 2 could have been and what the show meant to them

Topics: freaks and geeks, TV, coming of age, judd apatow, paul feig,

Paul Feig and Judd Apatow open up about "Freaks and Geeks" (Credit: "Freaks and Geeks")

In this month’s special comedy edition of Vanity Fair, producer Judd Apatow and show creator Paul Feig give an oral history of the sorely missed ”Freaks and Geeks,” their short-lived NBC comedy from 1999 about a bunch of suburban kids trying to navigate high school. Apatow, who has gone on to produce major hits like “Bridesmaids,” maintains that it’s “the best thing I have ever worked on.”

Feig and Apatow explain that everything about the show — from its conception to the dialogue to the casting – -was authentic:



PAUL FEIG: My friends and I weren’t popular in high school, we weren’t dating all the time, and we were just trying to get through our lives. It was important to me to show that side. I wanted to leave a chronicle — to make people who had gone through it laugh, but also as a primer for kids going in, to say, “Here’s what you can expect. It’s horrifying but all you should really care about is getting through it. Get your friends, have your support group. And learn to be able to laugh at it.”

JUDD APATOW: The pilot had a very daring existential idea, which was that a young, really smart girl sits with her dying grandmother and asks her if she sees “the light,” and her grandma says no. And all the rules go out the window. The girl decides to have a more experimental high-school experience, because she doesn’t know if she believes anymore. I was always surprised that the network didn’t notice that that’s what our pilot was about.

They also shared the details of what Season 2 would have looked like (Kim Kelly would have gotten pregnant, and Daniel Desario may have ended up in jail) and got the whole cast together for a reunion shot.

 

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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