Monday, July 12, 2010

Ripple in Still Water

I just didn't knew until quite recently that there used to be a show called Freaks and Geeks. Not that I am an authority in movies, serials and their ilk. But I certainly didn't know about Freaks and Geeks until I read some one's tweet on it. It didn't sound something cool enough to me, but after some minimal wiki-ing, I thought of giving it a try and saw it's first two episodes. It took me around another month or so to watch it's all eighteen episodes. Without any further ado - I have loved Freaks and Geeks. It's been some time now since I finished watching it, but I still watch it every now and then, time and again.

For the uninitiated, Freaks and Geeks is a television show which used to be aired on NBC in late nineties. The show was cancelled after twelve shows but a campaign by the public forced the channel to air the remaining six shows. The show took its viewers through life in a high-school (which I tend to think is the American equivalent of the class 8 to class 12 strata of the Indian schools) for two contrasting sets of people - the freaks (will just about study, will bully) and the geeks (would like to get nerdy, would like not to get bullied). And that's just about as far as I would go with the plot. This post is not about the story, it's about what made me like the show so much.

To begin with, the entire relation between Lindsay and Sam throughout the show has been portrayed so well. Lindsay trying to protect her frail young brother Sam from the bullies, Sam playing the spoilsport to Lindsay's adventurous plans at times, all the late night gossips between them, Lindsay pulling Sam's leg and all that sibling fun. It reminded me strongly of my growing up with my elder sister.

The dialogs are just too good. Ken telling to Kelly, "You killed Millie's dog! What, like with your bare hands?". Then another one, Ken to Lindsay, "Ok, how about you date Nick and then break up our band. Oh wait, I think you already did that." Bill to Coach Fredricks, "Anything is better than that, like picking my nose and eating it". Daniel to Nick, "Whichever way we play is the right way". Ken by the way, I sometimes think was the coolest character on the show. My favorite dialog came in the last episode. Lindsay to Ken, "Ken why are you doing this?". Ken, "Because it goes against everything that we stand for." The last two episodes are may be the best two.

And then there were the other things, the characters are just perfect and they gradually grow upon you. Everyone of them. With time, every character opened up more. Kim looked the sure bad woman to begin with, but soon enough you start liking her as well. Even the bumbling Nick endears himself by the end. The soundtrack is way too good, from The Who opera in that Bill-centered episode to the final episode when Lindsay moves to the rhythm of Box of Rain and the credits roll out with Ripple. I mean if not anything else, this show opened me up to the American Beauty album, I still haven't got tired. It made me fall more in love with The Who. I"ll confess, until watching this show - I had not been a much of a fan of 'Teenage Wasteland' (Ken to Lindsay - "Baba O'Reily, the song is Baba O'Reily"), 'I'm One' or even 'The Song Is Over'. It just reignited my interest in The Who and a few others as well.

Lindsay Weir bowled me over. Breathtaking beauty, excellent character and impeccable acting. Never before I have liked a woman protagonist in any movie, etc. so much. Some of her dialogues straight away come to my mind every time I think of the character. To the visiting Republican, "Mr. Vice-President, my question is why did your staff reject my question. Are you afraid of an open discourse.". To Daniel - "Gosh, how can I be so awful to suggest that you people actually play a complete song correctly.". To Sam - "Sam, you cannot date someone you do not like." I honestly don't know any other character in any movie or television which comes even close to Linda Cardellini as Lindsay Weir.

The show ends with what is easily my favorite scene where Lindsay gets down, smiles and gets on to the bus. The ending credits roll over and Ripple plays on.

1 comment:

kaushik said...

and an awesome future-star power in the credits: Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Judd Aptow and brilliant 60-70's music :)

I have just seen a couple of them, but really liked it.

Also, you seem to be mighty impressed by the show that you HAD to restart blogging for it...hope you continue to write!