The Best Show That Nobody Watched?

Every time you switch over to some more crap on E4, you are neglecting a show of great genius. Freak & Geeks, people, Freaks & Geeks...

The immortal Freaks & Geeks

The beauty of the DVD market is that television shows that would otherwise completely fly under your radar can be brought tantalisingly within reach.

For me, the entire DVD market, the gestation of the technology, and the mere existence of eyes and ears, can be justified by Freaks & Geeks. It’s what separates humans from animals.

Not seen it? Course you haven’t. No one in the UK would even think of screening it, yet alone at a civil time. And you can kind of understand why. A series about an American High School that doesn’t feature some 19-year old hottie to lay over the centre spread of your ‘usual’ magazine of choice must be a bitch to sell.

But sell it they should. Because what makes Freaks & Geeks special is the feeling that it’s so genuine. It simply divides the American High School into the nerds, and the in-crowd, and focuses on one girl as she pretty much spans both.

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Yet it does it with excellent, fully-rounded cast characters (right down to the funniest parents seen on US TV pretty much ever), frequent moments of comedy gold, and a cruelly cut-short series that never made it to the end of its first season.

One of the creative minds behind it, Judd Apatow, has gone on to make the hugely overrated The 40 Year Old Virgin (and the far more promising-looking Knocked Up), while James Franco earns his trade in Spider-man films. But if anyone involved ever tops F&G, it’d be a massive surprise.

At over £30 to import the DVD, it’s a lot to ask as a blind purchase. But consider this: if you’ve ever bought a Friends DVD (surely the most pointless purchase ever, given that E4 is effectively Friends TV), have a collection of discs in shrink wrap, or think that the 3 for £20 at HMV is the highlight of your year (as, er, it seems to be mine), then surely a one-off punt isn’t going to hurt?