While it only lasted for one season, Freaks and Geeks is celebrated as one of the best portrayals of teenage life any television show has offered. It has attained cult status not only because it was a great show that ended too soon, but also because it served as a launching pad for some of the most recognizable and successful talents working today: series co-creator Paul Feig (Bridesmaids), James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Martin Star (Silicon Valley), John Francis Daley (Bones), and Linda Cardellini (Bloodline). Actors who also made appearances throughout the show include Rashida Jones, Jason Schwartzman, Shia LaBeouf, Ben Foster, Lizzy Caplan, and David Krumholtz.
And though there was a cast reunion a few years ago, in this age of reboots, many have wondered if Freaks and Geeks would ever make another appearance. Series writer, director, and producer Judd Apatow was asked this very question at the recent Television Critics Association winter press tour (via The Wrap). This was what Apatow shared:
“You never know, it could happen. This year it won’t happen, but we’ll see. I think James Franco has already made a series of Freaks and Geeks and hasn’t told us yet.”
Besides the humorous reference to Franco’s seemingly non-stop projects, it does seem like Apatow entertains the possibility, or at least wouldn’t be opposed to the idea. And while the show was meant to capture life as a teenager, it would be interesting to see these characters at the age that many people who watched the show are now probably- or even fast forward to when they have their own teenage kids, or focus on their (really younger) siblings. Time can always be played with.
Of course, the success the cast has attained since the show premiered might cause scheduling issues regardless of the plot and format. But given that Netflix was able to revive the somewhat similar Wet Hot American Summer, as well as get around similar issues with season four (and possibly season five) of Arrested Development, a Freaks and Geeks sequel/reboot isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Especially considering most of the cast works together on a regular basis anyway. Then again, perhaps it’s better just to let it be.
UPDATE: Don’t get your hopes up too high just yet. Freaks go all the way, but this might be the exception. While at the TCA our own Christina Radish participated in a group interview with Apatow in anticipation of his Netflix series Love, and he sounded a lot less positive about the prospects of a sequel series. When asked if he thought they would revisit Freaks and geeks, he said the following.
I don’t think we would, just because it has somewhat of a perfect ending. I don’t know if you really want to know what happened to those people. I don’t think good things happened to a fair amount of them, so it might be deeply sad to see what happened to Jason Segel’s character or James Franco’s character. I mean, you could do it. They were meant to be really damaged people. Jason Segel’s character had a dad who was in the armed services, who didn’t really understand him and discouraged everything that he wanted to do, and it was really painful to watch. Would he break out of that and have all his dreams come true? I don’t know. We’d have to sit down and try to figure out the logical conclusion for all those people. Who knows?
While Apatow’s not ruling out the possibility entirely, he clearly isn’t anywhere near feeling it’s a narrative necessity. Additionally, the Apatow pointed out some of the more obvious logistical improbabilities.
We certainly couldn’t do a TV show because we couldn’t afford one of those people, as opposed to the whole cast. They all could write and direct it. It’s very tricky. It was a miracle that we got them all together for the Vanity Fair photo. It took months of preparation to find a day when everyone was in the same city, and then Paul Feig couldn’t go because he was shooting.
What do you think? Would you want to see the Freaks & Geeks again? And if so, what would be the best story that would make the most sense?