It's difficult for television shows to follow up a great pilot, not necessarily because the following episode is bad but because the first episode is so good that it's hard to top it. I wouldn't say that "Freaks and Geeks" has a second episode that tops the first one.. but then again, I'm not sure. I liked the Pilot more, but this episode takes everything we came to learn about the characters in the first episode and improves on it in every possible way.
Once again, we get two seperate plots that we jump back and forth to. Lindsey's parents are leaving for the weekend, which leaves the house open for a party, something that Daniel suggests and the rest of the "freaks" quickly agree with. As Lindsey prepares for the party, Sam grows worried that he's going to get in trouble for not letting his parents know that there's a party going on. To avoid his house being trashed by a bunch of drunk high school students, him, Neil and Bill buy a keg of non-alcoholic beer to replace the real beer with. It's a clever idea that takes the concept of a high school house party, something that's been done to death in high school movies, and flips it on its head.
By the time we get halfway through the episode, the party has started and a half-dozen different plots and characters begin intertwining in ways that most television shows can't pull off in less complex situations. There's the hidden lust that Neil has for Lindsey and his attempts to make her happy throughout the party, Lindsey's yearning for Daniel, Daniel and Kim's very gross and disturbing love game on Lindsey's bed, Lindsey and Nick's understated friendship that appears to be slowly blossoming into something more (Jason Segal's character in this show is very similar to the character he played in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.. he's just a likeable guy, and even when he makes a mistake, he has a way of still making you like him), Bill's love for Dallas (okay, that's a joke, but still.. there's just so many great things going on!).
The party is easily the best part of the episode, and in a way, can seen as "Pilot Part 2," if only because it continues to establish the things happening in Episode 1. Watching Bill drink the real beer while everybody else thinking they're drunk was a very clever move by writers Judd Apatow, and although Seth Rogen doesn't get much to do here, his reaction to learning that the beer was non-alcoholic was comedy gold and further evidence that he's good at deadpan. My friend told me that the relationship between Lindsey and Nick was always one of her favorites on the show and on television in general, and I must say, the two actors who play them do such a great job.. and the show also has those great recurring characters that appear here and there and have just as much of an impact as the lead characters (whether it's that long-haired guy, I think his name is Harris, or Lindsey's smart friend who plays that awkward Jesus song.
Now that I think about it, I think this episode is my favorite out of the first three episodes. It's perfect in the way it combines the tragic moments of the script with the ridiculous ones. It's disappointing coming into the show with the knowledge that it was cancelled after one season, but the least I can do is chronicle my experience throughout the show and focus on how great each episode is in itself.
I am reading this book on scriptwriting, and it's talking about the importance of balancing the familiar and the unexpected. For example, lesser writing is easy because it falls into cliches that seem to happen automatically. But if you start with something clichéd, the trick is to take it in a completely new direction, and then suddenly instead of boring it is genius. Immediately, I thought of this episode.
It starts with what ought to be the dullest most predictable cliched situation of high school TV shows-- the parents leave town, the teen lets this slip to her friends, then in effort to look cool she is pressured into hosting a party while they're away, and yes, there will be alcohol, and yes, way more people than were originally invited will show up. In the hands of a lesser writer, the story should continue like this: the party is chaos, the parents come home early and/or the police are called, the teen gets in trouble and learns their lesson, the end. But not on Freaks and Geeks. Instead, you throw in the twist-- younger sibling sees trouble and takes action to avoid it, by replacing the keg with non-alcoholic beer. (And it's also a refreshing twist to throw a different character type into the story too-- usually in this cliche, you have The kids who do the Everybody Who's Anybody Drinks routine, the goody-goody, and the kid being peer pressured. But here we have the teen who honestly sees that there's genuine danger a-brewin' and doesn't want the party to happen out of their OWN intelligent decision on the matter, not just because They're Not Supposed To-- as someone who WAS that teen once, it's nice to be finally represented... and have teens treated as intelligent, decision-capable people!) Further twist it-- everyone gets drunk psychologically anyway! Further twist it-- the only person who gets physically drunk was one of those involved in the plot to STOP the party! Further twist it-- neither the parents NOR the cops show up-- though the latter cliche is incorporated by the characters into moving the plot along! And guess what-- the characters learn their lessons ANYWAY (without adult punishment or drunken death-and-dismemberment!), so it's all still safe for the impressionable kiddies!
The way it turns stereotypical high school television on its head is what made Freaks and Geeks so great. This episode shows you how that works.
This episode starts out with Lindsays parents going out of town and Lindsay convinces them that Sam and her don't need a babysitter. Lindsay and her friends decide to have a keg party and when Sam finds out freaks out. Sam, Bill, and Neil make a plan to buy a non-acoholic keg of beer and put it in place of the real one. Even without acohol the party gets out of hand and Lindsay finds Daniel and Kim have gotten back together and are making out on her bed. Lindsay just wants the party to end and Neil helps her by calling the police.
This is one of my all time favorite episodes, because it is absolutley hilarious. How realistic is it that a group of teens drink what they think is alcohol and then have mock side effects?! It just goes to prove that the "drunk act" has been around for quite some time and will most likely never die.
I also enjoyed Sam and his friend's panic over the possibilty of a party after seeing a documentary on the effects of alcohol. They try so hard to do what they think is right, and do succeed in their quest, however, not completely. The party still spirals out of control and Neil ends up being the only one who truly gets "tanked."
I hate that this show is no longer on the air. The writing was excellent, and the characters were very believable. I can only hope that someday some network will pick up this series and run the episodes so that I can enjoy them again.
When the Weir parentals go out of town for the weekend, Lindsay's new friends decide it would be a good idea to throw a party, and Lindsay reluctantly agrees, mostly in hopes of impressing Daniel. They buy a keg for the party. A school assembly about alcohol freaks out Sam and his friends and they get worried about the party, and hatch a plan. They buy a keg of nonalcoholic beer and replace it.
However, their plan backfires. The keg has a placebo effect on the partygoers and they all think they're drunk, so they act like they are. Lindsay fails to get anywhere with Daniel; he and Kim hook back up.
This episode was both hilarious and dramatic. Millie singing the Jesus song was a great scene, and the most memorable for me. Bill's getting drunk is a definite close second.
A nice second episode of this fabulous show, it sometimes felt to go on to slow but still managed to impress and to give a few laughs while developing the characters. Problem is, parties never make fantastic episodes. The party went on tooo long.
The episode is about Lindsey’s parents going out and leaving the house behind. Lindsey tells her friends and they immediately want to have a party at her house, she’s afraid of not being accepted so she says yes.
In the party plenty of characters develop or change a bit.
Sam and his buds change the beer for fake beer that doesn’t have alcohol. it seems like Sam gets more confident through the episode and he even makes a joke around Cindy and her cousin and makes them laugh.
Neal in this episode is also pretty confident and he tells Lindsey that he had a crush on her since 5th grade. He’s also the one who comforts her and helps her to get out of her nightmare party.
Bill in this episode is the funniest, he watches Dallas and is the only one who truly gets drunk.
the others all drink and most of them believe they are really drunk. Daniel sort of flirts with Lindsey on and off and she develops a crush on him but then she finds him kissing with Kim on her bed. That completely ruins everything for her and she goes outside where Nick holds her and tries to take off her bra which hurts her even more.
The good thing about this episode is that it went deeper into the main characters even though the party storyline wasn’t that fantastic. The episode succeeded to continue the show and the main storylines.