TV’s favorite misfit teens are here to stay. For the first time since it went off the air in 2000, Freaks and Geeks is now available to purchase and download on digital streaming services after years of being nearly inaccessible to watch anywhere. The series has arrived on Apple TV, Amazon, and Google, and is ready and waiting to be binge-watched, as reported by A.V Club.
A cult classic television series, Freaks and Geeks ran on NBC from 1999-2000. A one-hit wonder, it only lasted for one season but left a permanent impact on the way teen TV shows were thought of and made. Created and written by Paul Feig, (Bridesmaids, The Heat) who co-executive produced alongside Judd Apatow (Knocked up, The King of Staten Island), it was praised for its raw and at times unforgiving depictions on the awkwardness of growing up. It especially drew critical acclaim for its compassionate and in-depth stories on a group of burnouts, also known as the freaks, and a group of geeks.
For the past several years Freaks and Geeks has been hard to watch as it jumped from one exclusive streamer to another. After years on Netflix, it left the streamer in 2018 and for a while it was left floating alone in no man’s land. Then in 2020, the first and only season arrived on Hulu, and a resurgence in appreciation for the series arose. Today, Freaks and Geeks has really caught on, with it now being available to download and purchase on Apple TV, Amazon, and Google in addition to being able to stream on Hulu and Paramount+.
In wake of the series jump onto the various digital services, Apatow talked to Entertainment Weekly on the lasting impact of Freaks and Geeks and the significance of it now being available to a wider audience: “It’s always drifted in and out. It showed up on DVD and then it was on different channels and different streamers, it just hovers around. But now with the digital release, people can own it for the first time and they don’t have to wonder who’s broadcasting it at any particular moment. Especially since not everybody still has their DVD player. So all of those people who went out and bought this DVD yearbook we created a long time ago can finally dump their DVD player, if they feel the need. I’m holding onto mine, but I understand if they let it go.”
Taking place in Michigan during 1980, Freaks and Geeks featured a wide array of actors who would go on to become some of the biggest stars in Hollywood. Linda Cardellini (Dead to Me), Seth Rogen (Long Shot), Busy Phillips (Girls4eva), James Franco (Disaster Artist), Jason Segal (Dispatches From Elsewhere), John Francis Daily (Bones), Martin Starr (Adventureland), and Samm Levine (Sydney White) all starred on the series.
Apatow went on to talk at length to Entertainment Weekly about why Freaks and Geeks has always been extra-special to him, and why it still strikes a chord within audiences today: “I think that everybody tried to write and perform and direct from their heart. People really gave it up to the show. It went to the bone, and it’s meaningful to people because everybody associated with the show shared who they were and tried to inject it into these characters and these stories…”