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02 April 2011

TV Night - Freaks and Geeks

The freaks and the geeks
If there needed to be any more proof of the horrible nature of American TV, the way the series Freaks and Geeks was treated is that proof.

This series, which ran for one season on NBC, starred Linda Cardellini as Lindsey Weir and John Francis Daley as Sam Weir.  With story arcs that tracked their lives during the 1980-1981 school ear at William McKinley High School, just outside Detroit, the series was a case study of life in American high schools.

Lindsey Weir has been a model student until now.  Getting good grades and participating as a "mathlete", Lindsey starts to question the world around her after the death of her grandmother.

She begins hanging out with the "freaks" of the title.  Daniel Desario (James Franco), Ken Miller (Seth Rogan), Nick Andopolis (Jason Segel) and Kim Kelly (Busy Philipps) hate school, like rock music and just like to hang out.

Sam Weir is new to high school and feels like a fish out of water.  He and his "geek" friends Neal Schweiber (Samm Levine) and Bill Haverchuck (Martin Starr) enjoy comic books, science fiction and comedy.

The Weir family is rounded out by their parents, Harold (Joe Flaherty), a sporting goods store owner and their mother, Jean (Becky Ann Baker), a stay at home mom.

After running for less than a season, NBC cancelled the series, without having at least the decency to finish the run of the series.

Eventually, Fox Family picked up the last few episodes, but the series was doomed.

For the next four years, the series obtained an almost cult status while fans (and others who just wanted to watch good TV) clamored for a DVD release.

Producers and music industry types worked to hammer out expensive details regarding the original music in the series and an expansive DVD box set was finally released in 2004.

If you are interested in well written, well acted television, you will enjoy the Judd Apatow produced series that should have be given more of a chance that it got.

You should...

...check it out!!! (WP)(AMG)(IMDB)

01 April 2011

Playlist for April 1st, 2011


This past week marks the 15th anniversary of the death of Jeffery Lee Pierce, temperamental and mercurial frontman of the influential band the Gun Club.

Jeffrey Lee Pierce on vocals,
Patricia Morrison on bass
Formed in 1980, the Gun Club included members such as Pierce (a former reggae aficionado and head of the U.S. Blondie Fan Club) and the great Kid Congo Powers (who also played with the Cramps and continues performing with the Pink Monkey Birds).

The band, due to the driving force of Pierce, who now turned his musical attention to old blues and country, played a mix of punk, country and blues that has been described as "tribal rockabilly blues" and has influenced other great bands, such as Uncle Tupelo and the White Stripes.

Contemporaries of the Gun Club include the Blasters, X and the Cramps.

Pierce passed away in 1996 after establishing a reputation as a wildman who was, at best, unpredictable and, at worst, unreliable.

This week, we pay tribute to one of the great bands of the 1980's and their insane frontman.