I never caught “Freaks and Geeks” when it aired, despite raves from family and friends. I caught part of an episode and was suddenly intrigued. I borrowed the DVD collection and began watching it obsessively. “Freaks and Geeks” appeared to be one of those rare cult-classic, cancelled-before-its-time shows that actually deserved real attention. The whole team had really captured the discomfort and awkwardness of high school. Clearly the show’s demise was premature and unfortunate.
As I watched the DVDs I delved through all the extra features and read the DVD booklet. I came to a short section where creator Judd Apatow answered questions he received from fans. One question was what was going to happen to the characters. They set up a great cast, and since it’s really the characters that drive a show (as opposed to the premise), it was the characters that the fans were interested in. Apatow’s reply was “anything you want to happen would happen.” This comment wasn’t wry or ironic; it was rude, callus, and frankly just plain stupid. This killed my love of the show.
Why would Apatow say this? Why would he insult the intelligence of all the fans of the show? His response might as well have been, “Who cares?” Or rather, “Why do you care?” A writer or producer with any real love of their medium would have eagerly told fans all the secrets they’d never get to or explained where they wanted the series to go. I suggest this because other producers of other cult shows canceled “before their time” love talking about their shows in interviews, on blogs, and especially on DVD sets. This was the place to share the love with F&G fans, and Apatow screwed up.