The other day, as I scrolled through the seemingly endless selection of channels in my cable pack, I saw that Teen Nick now airs episodes of Freaks and Geeks in syndication. This led me to consider my favorite characters, of whom I’ve taken the liberty of compiling into a list. You know, just for giggles. And the love of Judd Apatow.
This is early James Franco, people. We’re talking young, rebellious, and ripe for the picking. As the series progresses, Franco eases into his role and the character really comes alive. At once heart throb, rebel, and slacker, Daniel DeSario embodies every school girl’s fantasy – and every parent’s worse nightmare. Best scene: When Daniel shares the nudey flick with Sam and, in turn, is welcomed into the Geeks’ Dungeons and Dragons circle.
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Knowing what we know about Jason Segal characters now (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, How I Met Your Mother) it’s kinda hard to distinguish how much of Nick Andopolis is fiction and how much is the actor, well, just being himself. Freaks and Geeks was the birthplace of the Jason Segal MO: sensitive, stalkerish, and totally into ’70s drum-rock. Best scene: Nick’s “Lady L.”
No matter what Martin Starr does, no matter where he goes, he will always be “Bill” to me. When I, per chance, met him at the South By Southwest 2007 premiere of Knocked Up (another Apatow project), I told him as much. He seemed nice but a little nonplussed. In the series, he’s part of the geek crowd, the third player in his three-geek gang of comprised of friends Sam and Neil. Best scene: A two-way tie between the geek fight scene and Bill’s prank call to Coach Fredericks.
To say that Harris is a supporting character would be giving him too much credit. He’s in the periphery most of the time but the scenes in which he does appear are golden. Rumor has it he was a real student at the high school where Freaks and Geeks shot. Apatow thought he was funny (which is totally is) and plugged him into the show. Best scene: Any scene in which Harris offers sex advice.
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I would assume that, at some time or another, everyone has known a “Millie” type. She is the quintessential good girl, the “Jesus Freak,” mathlete, the only freshman still playing with dolls, president of “sober students,” and the former best friend of protagonist Lindsay Weir. Best scene: When Millie goes rogue after Lindsay and Kim accidentally kill her dog. She even drinks a beer and mouths off to her mom!