Call me what you will, but I just finished binge-watching an entire (one season long) show and feel absolutely zero shame. Which show, you ask? “Freaks and Geeks!”
When I first started watching it was weird to consider how anyone could capture the often awkward unfairness of teen life, but 18 episodes later I’m convinced it couldn’t have been done any better.
The neat thing about “Freaks and Geeks” is that the show, through simple, but emotional truths, portrays a community that beats the odds and grows stronger because of it. Simply put, it redefines — in every sense of the word — what it means to stereotype.
I found the whole concept ironic because even though stereotyping is essentially expected of teens, the fact of the matter is we all stereotype — regardless of our age, sex, race, etc. Of course, for a majority of people their act of stereotyping is unintentional and not meant in a necessarily derogatory manner, but for the person actually being stereotyped it’s still just as hard to not take offense. Who wants to be categorized, made to fit into a box and described by cookie cutter measurements? I can’t think of a single person I know who would genuinely enjoy that.
I feel like stereotyping happens because people are too scared to take the plunge and feel vulnerable, and don’t want to recognize that maybe their preconceived notions are, in fact, premature and inaccurate. After all, no one wants to admit they’re wrong — myself included — but if there’s one thing I know to be true it’s that doing so can often lead to beautiful realizations and experiences.
Arguably one of the most authentic TV shows I’ve watched yet, “Freaks and Geeks” hit home with its beyond accurate depiction of social ineptitude and the everyday struggle to figure out who exactly it is we all are.